Sunday, November 21, 2010

State Medicaid cuts threaten oral health

State Medicaid cuts threaten oral health: "Treatment for dental problems at the hospital can cost 15 to 20 times higher than an office visit, he said. 'Typically, we come in and have to admit the patient for two or three days because of severe infection and swelling. The hospital stay is $3,600 and it's at least $3,000 for a trip to the ED,' Haghighi said. 'Now you're looking at $6,600 to remove three teeth, which would have been a $400 procedure,' if done in a dental office."

"The St. John Medical Center Emergency Department already sees nearly twice as many dental-related cases as the national average, spokesman Randy Querin said. Of the 54,000 Emergency Department visits during a recent 12-month period, about 2,000 were dental-related. That's about 3.7 percent, almost double the national average.

Most of those were uninsured patients or on Medicaid, Querin said."