40228
Jefferson
Story

Please tell us how you, your family or your community has benefited from Medicaid coverage for dental care, vision care, and transportation assistance: As the dental services manager for Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center I can say that the surrounding community has been positively effected by Medicaid dental coverage and access to quality care. Kids are missing less school, adults are going back to work, and the community at large is healthier by having infections treated and pain reduced. People are smiling. This community is beginning to utilize our office for preventive treatment. The first year was mostly extractions after 2014’s expansion. We now have two dental hygienists hired in September of last year working full time to keep up with the preventive volume. Medicaid reimbursement is integral to this office, accounting for 70% of our patient population. We estimate half of those are in the expansion population. We serve the working poor, who are attempting to keep up with their healthcare to stay in the workforce and take care of their families. Our clinic employs 3 dental assistants full time, 2 FT hygienists, 1 front desk receptionist, 1 FT dentist, and 3 part time dentists. We are very concerned about the health of our patients moving forward and the sustainability of our practice. We have worked hard to educate and empower our community on the importance of preventive care and hygiene. Taking their benefits sabotages the progress we have made. In a community with so many barriers to care and oral health disease, moving backward is not an option. This would force them to use the ER at the peak of disease for pain relief and antibiotic treatment of infection. It costs the state and tax payers less when we invest in preventive and routine care.

Please tell us how eliminating these benefits would affect you, your family, or your community: see above