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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cavity moms fight back

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2007 at 4:08 PM

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Several low-income families are filing a federal class-action lawsuit against two of the private HMOs that administer Georgia's Medicaid and PeachCare programs, arguing that the firms are denying their children access to public health care.

Earlier this month, the companies, WellCare and the Peach State Health Plan, announced they were dropping two large providers of dental care from the state program. Help a Child Smile, which operates 12 mobile dental units, and Kool Smiles, which has 10 offices in Georgia, together serve about 100,000 low-income children. Kool Smiles' patients alone account for about 25 percent of all kids eligible for state-funded dental care.

Most dentists in Georgia don't accept PeachCare patients, meaning it could be difficult for the kids displaced from the two dropped providers to find someone to look after their teeth. And if they aren't able to see a dentist, that's less money the two HMOs have to pay in provider fees. Funny how that works.

Incidentally, the families are represented by state Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta.

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