$88.6 million additional proposed for dental programs
CDA’s successful efforts to increase awareness about the state’s broken Denti-Cal system through advocacy, CDA Cares and media outreach has resulted in the Legislature approving a budget that includes an $88.6 million investment for dental programs.
The spending plan calls for the full restoration of adult Denti-Cal benefits, a five percent reversal of AB 97 rate cuts for Denti-Cal providers, an increase in the Denti-Cal anesthesia fee and the restoration of the California Children’s Dental Disease Prevention Program.
The Legislature’s budget must still receive approval from the governor and negotiations are anticipated about how that money can best be used to restore access to care and ensure rates are sufficient to bring providers back into the Denti-Cal system.
CDA has strongly advocated for the governor and Legislature to address serious issues outlined in a recent state audit that reported 56 percent of children in the Denti-Cal program did not receive any dental care in 2013 due to an insufficient provider network and extremely low reimbursement rates that are 35 percent of the national average for most services.
The issue garnered significant media attention statewide with major newspapers calling on policymakers to address reimbursement issues in the Denti-Cal program.
The governor has until June 30 to sign the 2015-16 budget. CDA will continue to keep members informed about the state’s plans to invest additional funding in the Denti-Cal program through the Update, e-newsletter and cda.org.