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A lawsuit originally filed in 2008, currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, has recently been adjusted to represent three patients who claim to have been denied oral health services they were entitled to by Medicare. According to the news provider Dr. Bicuspid, the suit names Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as its defendant.
The terms of Medicare policy do not typically cover dental care characterized as routine. However, it does offer provisions for dental services that are determined to be directly related to a medical service covered under the government insurance provider, including ridge reconstructions performed when oral cancer tumors are removed or teeth wiring to treat jaw fractures.
Among the patients newly named in the pending lawsuit, one allegedly develop squamous cell cancer of the tonsils, resulting in various dental infections and tooth loss, while another has suffered similar symptoms caused by a series of auto-immune disorders. Finally, a third claims to have suffered teeth infections and losses due to a disease resulting from a bone marrow transplant.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, approximately 11 adults out of every 100,000 will develop oral cancer, and that the disease is more likely to occur in men than in women.
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