Steinberg Wants Quick Fix for Dental Plan in Sacramento County
Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) in a letter to Department of Health Care Services Director Toby Douglas called for immediate action to improve Sacramento County's dental care plan for low-income children, the Sacramento Bee reports (Bazar, Sacramento Bee, 2/29).
The Sacramento Bee article was produced by the California HealthCare Foundation's Center for Health Reporting. The Center is supported by a grant from CHCF, which publishes California Healthline.
The article scrutinized the dental program for long wait times and low rates of dental care among beneficiaries.
Under Sacramento County's mandatory managed care program, the state pays private dental plans a fee each month to provide coverage for more than 110,000 child beneficiaries of Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (California Healthline, 2/14).
Details of Steinberg's Letter
In the letter, Steinberg said, "Immediate steps need to be taken now to improve access to dental care for children."
He said DHCS should not delay changes to the program until it draws up new contracts with dental plans.
Steinberg added that families participating in the program should have the choice between enrolling in a managed care plan or a fee-for-service plan.
In response to an earlier letter from Steinberg, Douglas said DHCS is committed to improving dental care for Sacramento County children and would seek a quick resolution to issues mentioned in the Sacramento Bee.
DouglasÂ noted that it would be most effective to keep the children in managed care plans. Otherwise, he said, the state would need to alter agreements with the federal government (Sacramento Bee, 2/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.