In this survey, two-thirds of dentist respondents revealed that they do not accept Medicaid payments.
Though one in three dentists does take Medicaid, many were unimpressed. “Too much red tape, broken appointments and unappreciative patients,” complained one doctor. “Not worth my time or my staff’s time.”
General dentists are three times as likely to accept Medicaid as are specialists. In addition, the majority of rural dentists do accept Medicaid, whereas most of their urban and suburban colleagues do not.
What else do dentists have to say about Medicaid? Here’s a sampling:
- “Medicaid is a loss leader. If they ever reimburse for what the procedures/time/materials are worth, I might change my mind.” (Arkansas dentist)
- “With all the dentists being prosecuted and some thrown in jail lately for what appear to be honest coding mistakes, I’d quit dentistry before I’d take Medicaid patients. It’s just too risky.” (Texas dentist)
- “I can’t in good conscience refuse to treat a patient because of who pays the bill, especially if an existing patient falls on hard times.” (New York dentist)
- “I accepted Medicaid for 18 years, but no longer serve this population. They are the most unreliable and ungrateful group of patients.” (Kansas dentist)
- “I lose money on each Medicaid patient I see, but it’s a matter of charitable community service.” (California dentist)
- “States promise but do not deliver adequate funding for socially-needed projects. Waste and mismanagement undercut the truly necessary oral health initiatives.” (Connecticut dentist)
- “With the economy sliding downward, rapidly, I’m glad I’ve got the extra source in a small town.” (Arkansas dentist)
Read more: Dentists Say Medicaid Isn’t Worth It