• Pediatric Care in the Sunshine State Brightens Up

    Pediatric Care in the Sunshine State Brightens Up

    By Dr. Kenneth Rothaus

    In 2005, two professional organizations, the Florida Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics filed suit in Federal Court on behalf of 6 families. The complaint was that the children were being denied care to which they were entitled under Federal law.  The Federal law stated that the children covered by Medicaid must have access to care and receive preventive care equivalent to that received by children covered by private insurance. The suit alleged that the families of the children were not informed of their rights and the care to which they were entitlted under the law or were referred to heath care organizations that were overbooked resulting in long delays.  In addition, the reimbursement rates for physicians and dentists were set so low as to effectively preclude their acceptance by most physicians and dentists.

    When this suit was first filed George W. Bush was president and the Affordable Care Act did not exist. In fact, the children on whose behalf this suit was filed are probably adults or, at the very least, well into their adolescence.  A settlement was announced by Florida Agency for Health Care Administration as a result of court ordered mediation. Under the terms of the settlement, Florida will establish an incentive plan to bring physician reimbursement to Medicare equivalent levels and meet national benchmarks for both pediatric preventive and pediatric dental care by 2019 and 2021 respectively.

    The wheels of justice may at times move slowly but at least they took the correct path. What do you think, was it worth the wait?

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