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Lawsuit blames Florida's Medicaid reimbursement rates for poor dental care
Updated: 1/12/2010 7:00:05 PM

Lawsuit blames Florida This week, three Florida mothers are slated to testify in a class action lawsuit which claims the state does not provide their children with adequate access to quality dental or medical care.

Various associations, including the Florida Academy of Pediatric Dentists, the Florida Dental Association and the Florida Pediatric Society, have joined the parents in their legal dispute.

The lawsuit claims that in 2007 about 390,000 Florida children did not get a medical checkup and more than 750,000 were denied dental care, the Associated Press reports.

Specifically, the plaintiffs are asking state officials to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates to dentists and doctors, which are among the lowest in the country.

"This case applies not just to the dozen or so named plaintiffs, but also to the approximately 1.6 million children currently covered by Florida Medicaid during the course of a year," a representative from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) commented.

In testimony submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives by the AAPD during the healthcare reform debate, the organization claimed that "Medicaid's dental programs that reimburse at market-based rates will succeed in meeting children's oral health needs.

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