The California state budget agreement that was signed on June 16 reverses the 10% rate cuts for Denti-Cal providers that were enacted in 2013, according to the California Dental Association (CDA).
The reversal of the rate cut takes effect July 1, 2015.
"We are pleased to see the attention and acknowledgment that Denti-Cal and oral health are receiving in the state budget," stated CDA President Walt Weber, DDS, in a press release. "We're hopeful that the reversal of these rate cuts will improve the participating provider network."
The CDA cautioned, however, that the rate increase is likely to be tied to a "tenuous funding stream," which raises questions for the association about the sustainability of the rates.
"Our hope is the negotiations will focus on additional investments in the Denti-Cal program to address the serious deficiencies," Dr. Weber stated. "We know even the largest Denti-Cal provider in California can no longer make the program work -- it's broken and the state needs to take action to fix it. With this initial investment, we are encouraged that the governor and Legislature recognize the need to address Denti-Cal's serious structural problems."
Gov.Jerry Brown announced a special legislative session scheduled to begin June 19 to discuss more sustainable funding for healthcare programs, including Denti-Cal.