Opening the Door to Dental Care is a statewide campaign initiated by the South Dakota Dental Association to encourage increased dentist participation in Medicaid. The campaign’s focus is on provider engagement and recruitment, enrollment support, and patient access. Adding one person per week, or one family of four per month, to each dentist’s patient base would address the majority of access issues by the end of 2024.
Dental offices have a fresh opportunity to reengage in the Medicaid program and provide care to more patients covered by Medicaid:
- Reimbursement rates have increased to 70% of average billed charges. View the new fee schedules.
- Provider enrollment wait times have also been nearly eliminated by the Dept. of Social Services.
- Annual maximums have been raised to $2,000.
- Benefits have improved, including sealants on primary teeth and extraction of third molars.
Why it matters: Dental care is essential health care and oral health is a primary component of overall health. Providing care to patients covered by Medicaid SDDA members demonstrate:
- A commitment to providing care for all people in their community.
- The success of the current independent-practice model
- External influences on the profession of dentistry are not needed in South Dakota.
How You Can Help: The campaign’s focus is on provider engagement and recruitment, enrollment support, and patient access. There are five different ways that you can help:
- Become an enrolled Medicaid provider.
- Take one additional Medicaid beneficiary in your practice a week or take one additional family a month.
- Partner with a local human services organization and provide care to their clients enrolled in Medicaid. Examples: Non-profits caring for individuals with developmental disabilities or young children; Head Start programs; emergency rooms, medical clinics, and elementary schools.
- Accept patients from the Delta Dental/Medicaid referral line.
- Volunteer for an agency or non-profit that provides care for Medicaid beneficiaries. Examples: Donated Dental Services Program, Community Health Centers, Dental’s Mobile Dental Units and the St. Francis Mission.