California Medicaid program to cover teledenistry services in 2015

October 20, 2014

California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, will begin to cover teledenistry services on Jan. 1, 2015, making it one of the first states to do so.

Sacramento, CA-California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, will begin to cover teledenistry services on Jan. 1, 2015, making it one of the first states to do so.

The new law, which was recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown (D), is designed to reach patients in underserved areas across the state. The Virtual Dental Home pilot program, which uses telemedicine to offer dental services in elementary schools, preschools, and nursing homes, allows dental assistants and hygienists to consult remotely with a dentist and share health records online.  After a consultation with a dentist, those workers can apply temporary fillings and determine necessary X-rays, both without the supervision of a dentist.

Tele-imaging holds promise for rural patients

The law expands the scope of practice for dental assistants and hygienists and provides Medi-Cal reimbursements for telemedicine-enabled dental services.