This Valentine’s Day, show some love to our patients with Medicaid – New Dentist Blog


Photo of Elizabeth Simpson, D.M.D.

Blogger Elizabeth Simpson, D.M.D., is a common dentist from Indianapolis, Indiana. She attended Tufts College College of Dental Medication for her dental training. After commencement, she did a one-year common apply residency at Meharry Medical Faculty College of Dentistry. She is now a medical assistant professor on the Indiana College College of Dentistry. She is the vice chair of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Entry and Prevention and a medical reviewer for the web site On a regular basis Well being.

I really like Valentine’s Day, and, whether or not single or in a relationship, I at all times have. I really like the colours, I really like the little valentines, I really like the crafts, I really like the treats, and I really like the general public being pressured to point out love. Contrived or not, I really like that somebody (greeting card corporations?) determined to create a vacation primarily based round love. And I might ask that this Valentine’s Day, you present some like to our sufferers with Medicaid insurance coverage.

As somebody who spent the vast majority of my years of apply working in underserved communities in jobs starting from seeing sufferers on-site in nursing properties, to being an affiliate in non-public practices the place Medicaid was accepted, to working in federally certified well being facilities, I’ve been a proud Medicaid supplier my complete nearly 11 years of apply. Now, because the vice chair of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Entry and Prevention, I spend time outdoors of my working hours working with a staff of people who find themselves actively working to enhance Medicaid for sufferers and suppliers.

I as soon as heard somebody say we are able to’t clear up the entry to care disaster with free dental days. Final 12 months, Donated Dental Companies supplied dental remedy to 228 folks in my state. In my state, over the previous couple of years, about 200 dentists have dropped Medicaid, however there’s about 2 million individuals who use Medicaid insurance coverage. Don’t cease studying, fellow dentists. My plea is delivered with an abundance of gratitude to these of you who’ve given your time and abilities to our sufferers and supplied free companies, whether or not by way of a Mission of Mercy occasion or Donated Dental Companies or Dental Lifeline Community. With my gratitude comes the plea: Why not settle for Medicaid? I do know why you’ll say that you simply don’t. I’ve heard each argument there may be: The reimbursement charges are an insult and never sufficient to maintain your small business afloat. The paperwork is, at minimal, a trouble. The no-show charges are abysmal. I’m not asking you to show your apply right into a “Medicaid workplace.” I’m petitioning you to join it, when you keep it up enterprise as standard, and possibly simply tackle one new Medicaid affected person a month…each different week…possibly even as soon as per week?

I heard a dentist say just lately, “Medicaid sufferers are the worst sufferers you’re ever going to see.” I felt like somebody stabbed me within the coronary heart. These are human beings whose lives come together with, oftentimes, extra issues, however does that make it OK to say they’re “the worst sufferers you’re ever going to see”? To make a sweeping generalization that all the inhabitants of individuals are “the worst sufferers you’re ever going to see” — due to the kind of insurance coverage they’ve? My sufferers who’ve Medicaid have made me love dentistry. I’ve a great deal of earlier than and after footage of instances I’ve executed and presents and playing cards from grateful sufferers — who had Medicaid insurance coverage. When my finest buddy and her husband have been fostering their son (my godson), he had Medicaid insurance coverage as a ward of the state. Was he, as an toddler, one in all “the worst sufferers you’re ever going to see,” or was he exempt from this as a result of his foster dad and mom themselves weren’t coated by Medicaid?

I’ve heard folks say, even when reimbursement charges are drastically elevated, they nonetheless received’t settle for Medicaid. At commencement, we took a pledge, however does that pledge solely prolong to those that can afford remedy or who’ve insurance coverage charges that reimburse increased than Medicaid?

I might politely ask that you simply contemplate what I’ve written. Even in the event you don’t wish to settle for a number of Medicaid sufferers into your apply and cope with the inconveniences to assist this affected person inhabitants who’s simply as deserving of high quality care as every other, at the very least cease the generalizations and stigmas. This Valentine’s Day, present some like to our sufferers with Medicaid.

For sources on well being fairness from the ADA, go to


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