ACCESS DENTAL: Opens Doors For Medi-Cal Children
In a move "aimed at giving thousands of youngsters covered by the state's Medi-Cal Geographic Managed Care Program greater access to local pediatric dentists," Sacramento-based Access Dental Plan Inc. has opened "a new pediatric dental office in Sacramento geared to low-income children," the Sacramento Bee reports. "There are not enough pediatric dentists willing to participate in the Medi-Cal program" explained Access Dental CEO Reza Abbaszadeh, because "Medi-Cal reimbursements are low and dentists often drop the program as soon as their higher paying private practices become established." Ray Copithorne, an Access Dental pediatric dentist, added, "Medi-Cal becomes a thorn in their flesh. It just doesn't pay."
A Place To Go
The Bee reports that the new dental office is one of four in the Sacramento area that serves the 60,000 or so Medi-Cal children in the county who are enrolled in the Geographic Managed Care Program. Access Dental also "has contracts with four independent pediatric dental practices in the county," and is planning "to open a second company-owned pediatric office in South Sacramento in the second quarter." The Bee reports that "Access Dental serves about 48,000 local Geographic Managed Care members, including 20,000 children," about 10% of whom "need to see a pediatric dentist" because of "behavioral or severe dental problems" (Chan, 2/12).