SACRAMENTO – Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) issued the following statement following the announcement that the state’s largest Denti-Cal provider, Western Dental, will not be accepting new patients.
Senator Nguyen serves on the Senate Health Committee and Western Dental is headquartered in her 34th District.
"Western Dental's announcement is a reminder that we need to find ways to preserve and grow our provider networks so that our Medi-Cal recipients have access to adequate health and dental care. I hope that what has happened with Western Dental serves as a wake-up call and leads to a real conversation about the need to increase reimbursement rates so that our current providers can sustain their businesses and new providers have an incentive to join.”
Western Dental will not be accepting new patients starting June 1, citing low reimbursement rates. Western Dental is the Golden State’s largest provider of Denti-Cal services to low-income patients.
Senate Republicans have called on the Governor and legislative Democrats to increase Medi-Cal provider rates for several years now to ensure that California’s most vulnerable citizens have access to quality health care.
On April 21, the Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to the Chairs of both the Assembly and Senate Budget committees calling for a restoration of the 10 percent rate cut. The letter noted “… with Medi-Cal rates well below private insurance and Medicaid rates, many medical professionals who would like to serve Medi-Cal patients simply cannot afford to do so.” (View PDF Copy of Letter)
During a Senate Budget Subcommittee 3 (Health and Human Services) hearing yesterday, the Committee voted to end the 10 percent cut. Senator Jeff Stone (R-Temecula) voted to restore the funding.