Fewer Utah dentists are willing to see new Medicaid patients, despite four consecutive annual increases in Medicaid reimbursement rates.
"And it's not just new patients who can't find care. Data from the Utah Division of Health Care Financing also shows that overall the number of dentists who see Medicaid patients is dropping. In the current fiscal year about 50 fewer dentists submitted a single Medicaid claim form than were submitted two years ago.
'Dentists and physicians are dropping off at just an alarming rate,' said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-Ogden, a dentist who estimates at least half of his patients are on Medicaid.
'The dentists do not need the patients. They're busy enough with their regular-paying clients,' he said. 'But the patients need the dentists. It's an ongoing battle.'"