California Dental Clinic Controversy: Return State Payments for Dental Care

California Dental Clinic Controversy: Return State Payments for Dental CareCalifornia Watch, the Center for Investigative Reporting has published a report that California’s health program for the needy is approaching the state’s dental clinics with a controversial request: Send back those checks for root canals, tooth extractions and other dental services rendered within the last year.

This is a heads up to all dental providers across the county. As states near bankruptcy, they will do everything in their power to raid healthcare benefits.

This all started when past California state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and law makers approved a state budget that eliminated all non-emergency dental care in the state Medi-Cal program.

The California dental clinics retaliated by suing the state because they felt the state did not follow the correct legal procedures in making the cuts to the state dental program. A federal judge blocked the Medi-Cal cuts from taking effect and California appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In May of this year, the state of California met all the legal requirements to implement the cuts and won the right to eliminate all non-emergency dental care. Now the state of California wants back the reimbursements paid to clinics during the temporary reinstatement period from October 2010 – May 2011.

According to California Watch, Norman Williams, spokesman for the Department of Health Care Services, said in an e-mail that providers were warned during the court-order period that they may have to send back the money.

Jennette Lawrence Shea, director of government and community relations for Family Health Centers of San Diego told California Watch that their clinics provided 5,300 dental visits from October to May at sites throughout San Diego County and expects to be on the hook for about $850,000.

Dental clinics state-wide are bracing for the bills to arrive from the state —

What are your thoughts? Do you think dentists should have to repay the stat of California for the dental treatments they provided during the reinstatement period?

For more on this story see: State asking clinics to send back payments for dental care

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