Tuesday, May 22, 2012

States improve in dental care among low-income children

States improve in dental care among low-income children - Local News - Chattanooga, TN - msnbc.com: Jeffrey Parker, CEO of Sarrell Dental clinics, knows about the laws. Sarrell is a nonprofit that provides care to Medicaid kids in Alabama, taking only Medicaid fees with no government grants or private donations. It operates more like a hospital than a dental clinic, with a chief dental officer who oversees and peer-reviews all dentists on staff, Parker said.

There are now 14 Sarrell clinics spread across the state, providing care to more than 105,000 kids last year.

Parker, a retired businessman, took over the non-profit Sarrell clinics in 2005 and waged a battle with the Alabama Dental Association and the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners for several years. Before the governor signed a law in 2011 that gave Sarrell the right to continue operating in the state, the dental groups opposed the clinics, calling them "illegal."