State faulted for lax oversight of dental program

Dec 12, 2014 2:23 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state auditor says millions of children enrolled in California's health care for low-income residents did not receive dental check-ups last year in part because low payments have deterred many dentists from participating in the program.

State Auditor Elaine Howle said in a report sent to the governor and Legislature on Thursday that nearly 56 percent of the 5.1 million children who get their health care through Medi-Cal did not visit a dentist in fiscal year 2013. Howle says the program suffered from similarly low participation in 2012 and 2011.

She faulted the California Department of Health Care Services for failing to adequately monitor the program or ensure that reimbursement rates are reasonable.

Department director Toby Douglas says he agrees with most of the findings and the state is working to correct the problems.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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