Fewer Iowa dentists accepting Medicaid as reimbursements remain low

Fewer dentists in Iowa are seeing Medicaid patients due to low reimbursements, Iowa Starting Line reported March 21. 

Six things to know: 

1. A 2013 study by the University of Iowa showed the percentage of dentists in the state accepting new Medicaid patients dropped from 62% to 14% over the course of 30 years. 

2. That same study showed the percentage of dentists who said they would not accept any patients on Medicaid increased from 21% to 42% over the same time period.

3. About 22% of the state‚Äôs population is currently under Medicaid. 

4. Kaitlin Emrich, director of Black Hawk County Public Health, told Iowa Starting Line that she has heard from dentists and practices that reimbursements for dental services do not cover the costs of care. 

5. Alison Christensen, DDS, told Iowa Starting Line that she has not seen reimbursements significantly increase for at least 20 years. 

6. The Iowa Dental Association described increasing reimbursement rates for dentists as a top legislative priority, and has previously advocated for increased rates.

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