Rhode Island dentists facing workforce 'superstorm': 5 notes

Rhode Island dentists are predicting a staffing "superstorm" in the state driven by several factors, The Providence Journal reported Feb. 20. 

Five things to know: 

1. Rhode Island is expected to experience a large number of retiring dentists because 45% of dentists in the state are age 55 and older.

2. Dentists are also dealing with low payer reimbursements, which has led to fewer dentists practicing in the state. 

3. Reimbursement and other administrative issues have also led some dentists to stop accepting Medicare. Sarah Eager, president of the Rhode Island chapter of the Academy of General Dentistry, told The Providence Journal that the majority of oral surgeons in the state have dropped Medicare because of excessive paperwork, approval issues and low reimbursements.

4. A spokesperson for the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services told The Providence Journal that the department is working on a project aimed at increasing the number of providers who care for Medicaid patients.

5. The Rhode Island Dental Association has also backed a bill that would impose an 85% medical loss ratio on dental insurers.

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