State dental associations are asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to rescind certain federal regulations that they believe adversely affect access to dental care across the nation.
In a May 4 letter to Tom Price, M.D., HHS secretary, the dental associations from all 50 states and Washington D.C. urged the agency to consider eliminating the Medicare mandate enrollment requirement for providers who don't perform Medicare-covered services and who are not reimbursed for these services. They also asked that HHS enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act as written without the promulgation of regulations.
"Our associations believe that [these regulations] unnecessarily contribute to the cost of providing care, making it more difficult for our members to deliver oral health care services at an affordable price," they wrote.
Regarding the CMS-mandated enrollment for all providers performing certain activities where a Medicare beneficiary is the patient, the coalition noted that these actions were initiated in an effort to "tamp down waste, fraud and abuse within the Medicare program."
Fewer than four percent of all dentists provide Medicare services and are enrolled in Medicare as full providers and others have enrolled or opted out in response to the mandate, the coalition noted.
Therefore, "we ask that you eliminate the enrollment mandates for those providers, including dentists, who do not perform Medicare-covered services and are not reimbursed for these services."
Read the full story