PDS applauds CMS proposal to expand dental care in Medicare

2018 07 27 22 22 5971 Medicare Puzzle 400

Dental service organization Pacific Dental Services (PDS) is commending a proposal from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand the definition of medically necessary dental service for Medicare recipients.

On July 7, the CMS announced proposed changes for payments under the Calendar Year 2023 Physician Fee Schedule rule and other Medicare Part B issues that would include Medicare paying for dental exams and treatment preceding organ transplants. If approved, it would be effective as early as January 1, 2023.

Until September 6, CMS is seeking public comment on what other medical conditions, such as cancer treatment or joint placement surgeries, warrant coverage under the U.S. healthcare program for dental services. The announcement came just weeks after more than 100 U.S. legislators asked CMS to broaden the definition of medically necessary dental coverage.

"This is a great day and proud moment for me personally and professionally," PDS founder and CEO Stephen E. Thorne IV said. "Medically necessary dental care will save money and reduce hospitalization. And more importantly, it will save lives."

The Boston-based nonprofit CareQuest Institute for Oral Health has also lauded the lawmakers who requested the proposal.

Currently, there are approximately 24 million Medicare beneficiaries who do not have dental coverage.

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