Letters to the Editor

Dental care barrier

Recently, a federal judge ruled that Florida’s Medicaid program doesn’t comply with federal law. This is the first step in the right direction to address the oral healthcare needs of Florida’s most vulnerable children. The Florida Dental Association (FDA) and its members look forward to the hearing later this month to determine how to proceed with the state toward a resolution.

The findings support what the FDA has been advocating for the past several years: Extremely low reimbursement rates for Medicaid dental providers have been a significant barrier for increasing the number of dentists willing to participate in the Medicaid program. Those ultimately hurt were children in Florida on Medicaid who have had difficulty obtaining the dental care they so desperately need.

The FDA urges the Florida Legislature and Gov. Scott to take this decision to heart and appropriate additional funds in the Medicaid budget so children on Medicaid get the care they need and deserve.

Later this month, the FDA will launch Florida’s Action for Dental Health, a comprehensive initiative to address barriers to accessing dental care and to improve the oral health of all Floridians.

Richard Stevenson, president, Florida Dental Association, Jacksonville