By DrBicuspid Staff

January 13, 2016 -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a $6.2 billion waiver for California's Medi-Cal Medicaid program, with an additional $740 million investment in Denti-Cal, the state's dental program, over five years, according to the California Dental Association (CDA).

"This waiver gives the state new flexibility to work on innovative dental programs and scrap those that are underperforming," noted Ken Wallis, DDS, CDA president, in a statement. "We know the state's current 20-year dental managed care pilot programs in Sacramento and Los Angeles have not served children well -- it's time for the state to develop and test new dental programs that provide better access to care."

Millions of children and adults have recently been included in the state's Medi-Cal system, so meaningful reforms of the Denti-Cal program are necessary to ensure access to timely care and an adequate network of providers, the association stated. California recently reversed a 10% rate cut for dental providers, but the state still has one of the nation's lowest Medicaid provider reimbursement rates, which are 35% of the national average. A critical state audit in 2014 found that 56% of children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program are not able to access any dental care because they could not find dental providers.


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