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County Provided Dental Services Levels Reduced

December 15, 2010

While the state’s recession has dramatically increased the demand for county-provided indigent health care services, state funding and local revenues have declined. As a result, on Tuesday, Placer County reduced the level of dental services it provides to eligible adults with low incomes.

In order to ensure that the most important dental care can be provided to all eligible low-income adults with the resources available, the county will align the scope of its dental services with the federally required adult dental services. This is the same scope of services covered by the state Denti-Cal program since July of 2009. Those federal standards define the care needed to prevent serious illness or disability in patients. As a result of this change, the county anticipates being able to provide these necessary safety net services to all eligible patients.

The action comes following a Beilenson hearing conducted during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Dec.14. The change is effective Jan. 1, 2011.

As the result of a bid process, Placer County will enter into an agreement with Chapa-De Indian Health Program, a local non-profit agency, to provide these dental services to eligible individuals in the Auburn/west Placer region through Chapa De/Auburn dental clinic. Placer County’s Kings Beach Dental Clinic will provide these services for the North Lake Tahoe region. Overall, the changes will reduce county costs by about $273,000.

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