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Dentists: Proposed changes would cost state more

Steve Bruce, a dentist from Boise, cautioned strongly against eliminating non-emergency dental care services for adults on Medicaid. That may not save money, he said, as relatively inexpensive routine dental-care visits are foregone and the patients instead end up with expensive emergency room visits when their conditions worsen. Bruce said he recognizes that the state faces "a difficult situation - we stand ready to help."

Coeur d'Alene dentist Jack Fullwiler told JFAC that the current head of the program that provides dental services through Medicaid is a dietician. A dentist needs to oversee the program, he said, to ensure it works properly and saves money. "As providers, we need better communications from the department and from DentaQuest," he said. "We are the experts when it comes to dental treatment," particularly on appropriate treatment and priorities. "We realize that tough decisions have to be made."

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.