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Volunteer This Spring

Spread the word about the rewarding career of dental assisting with us. We are heading to local high schools to talk about the benefits of starting a career in the dental profession and we're looking for MDS members to volunteer.


Guest Board Program

The MDS is now accepting applications for the Guest Board Member Program. Any member dentist interested in learning about governance and gaining leadership experience is welcome to apply by April 19, 2024.

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Yankee Study Club reimagines the way dental professionals connect, grow, and thrive in today's landscape. Register now for Spring 2024 sessions.

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Dental Practice Insights

DP-BC MassHealth Hearing

Did you know that federal law requires MassHealth dental fees for patients under 21 to be high enough to enlist enough dentists to ensure equal access to dental care at least to the same extent as dental care is available to the general population? 

It's true - just read 42 USC-1396a(30)A.

Despite this Federal law that requires comparison of the two populations, MassHealth sadly does not compare access to care between MassHealth patients and the general population.

As a result, between January 2009 and December 2023, MassHealth only increased service rates for patients under 21 by one fifth of 1%, while dental services inflation has risen by 45% during the same time period.

But on February 9, 2024, the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) set yet another national policy precedent for dental payment reform, by publicly presenting Massachusetts non-compliance with this critical federal rate-making law at the Biennial dental rate hearing.  

In a letter to the MassHealth program , the Massachusetts Dental Society revealed two examples of Federal noncompliance in MassHealth ratemaking.  

  1. MassHealth improperly replaced measuring “access to care and services” with measuring “minutes to provider.”
  2. MassHealth failed to compare the availability of care of MassHealth patients to that of the general population.
The letter offers more detail and attachments, and is worth the read. MDS has requested that MassHealth come into compliance by:
  1. Instituting a “secret shopper” analysis of Medicaid and non-Medicaid providers, to compare availability of care for MassHealth patients (under 21) and the general population
  2. Implementing an immediate increase of at least 10% for all rates, until further analysis of non-compliance by MassHealth is completed. 
  3. Conduct another rate hearing in September 2024 to assess the results of the analysis (so as to further consider rate increases).

Our MDS Committees, Trustees, and Officers just took a major step in leading our nation to improved oral health for the Medicaid vulnerable, by becoming the first dental society in the nation to request compliance of this critical federal law on Medicaid rate increases.

Together we are leading the nation in private and public dental insurance reform.

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The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) is the leading resource for dental health professionals throughout their careers. Share your story about the positive impact that the MDS has had on your professional journey. Record a 1-2 minute video highlighting the value of membership and your path to success. Join other MDS members who are making a difference by recording your video today!