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Save GMC Plans

Smile Time Dental

“The GMC plans set themselves apart from Denti-Cal when it comes to general anesthesia. Denti-Cal pays very little for general anesthesia, which makes it impossible to find a dental anesthesiologist to provide services.”

GMC plans being disbanded would have “a huge impact in the hundreds of general anesthesia cases we see in office. Hospitals do not have enough operating room time for us to schedule all the patients that need general anesthesia to complete their dental treatment. Due to the lack of hospital time, we would not be able to treat our patients if they require general anesthesia for their dental treatment. “

Contact: Megan (Office Manager) 916-781-6550

Crystal Dental

“For 15 – 20 years, Denti-Cal reimbursements not updated and are not proportionate with cost increases and the way they process claims takes 5-6 times longer.”

“Without GMC access to care, especially Pediatric Dentists would be impacted.” GMC children are referred to him for procedures requiring anesthesia. “Medi-Cal does not cover specialists, so kids would be neglected and in pain. Plus, with Medi-Cal, alone, they will have to wait months to get squeezed into the schedule.”

Contact: Dr. Aghakhani 949-922-5272

Dr. Said Shaari

“Patients will have a hard time finding doctors who accept Medi-Cal alone. Thousands of patients, in my practice, will be impacted. They will be lost. The only place they can go is an emergency room for treatment.” With GMC plans we are truly able to be responsible for the patient because we are legally bound to see them within 24 hours vs. doctors who may not make the time for them for weeks or months.”

Contact: Dr. Said Shaari 916-649-8200

Florin Dental Center

“This is going to hurt everyone, not just the doctors, but the patients too. “GMC offers more than people understand. With Medi-Cal, alone, there is no such thing as a Specialist, so 25 – 35% or more, who need specialty treatment won’t get the right treatment or any treatment at all.”

With Medi-Cal alone, “there won’t be enough dentists and this will affect the patients drastically. There won’t be enough offices to serve certain geographic areas.”

“Comparing GMC plans to Medi-Cal alone is like comparing apples and oranges because of all the support you get from the insurance company.”

Contact: Dr. Shamisan 310-666-4882 00

Capital Family Dental

With GMC plans, “billing is much easier and I can call patients immediately and directly and establish a relationship with them. This is important because we can follow a treatment plan together. Plus, when a child is in severe pain from wisdom teeth, for example, I can give them an emergency procedure right away vs. it taking longer and the child suffering.”

“100% of my practice would be impacted if GMC plans were disbanded.” I opened this office based on a business model of 100% GMC patients because I only have experience working as a GMC provider.”

Contact: Dr. Ayman Ghobashy 916-452-1884

Kennedy Family Dentistry

“Most of my patients are Medi-Cal. With GMC plans, every day I help people who, otherwise, would not get help. GMC plans are easier to get to and resolve issues in a quick manner. It’s a nightmare calling the state directly and getting something resolved – government bureaucracy is daunting. Hundreds of patients from practice will be affected if GMC plans go away.”

Contact: Dr. Bobby Kennedy 916-487-5160

Simply Smiles Dental Care

“GMC plans are less tedious than Denti-Cal in terms of paperwork and they offer a cap check which I don’t receive with straight Denti-Cal. Who will provide care for all the patients on GMC – there are not enough dentists. Patients will get lost in the mix because they will not have a defined Home and they won’t know where to go. So they will keep putting things off until something really hurts and requires invasive vs. preventative treatment. Every day I treat patients who have not seen a dentist in a long time and they need a lot of help. Without GMC they could not afford to get the treatment they need at that point.”

“GMC is a really beneficial program and I hope it stays.”

Contact: Dr. Nilesh Keshav 916-857-0620

Surfside Kids Dental

“I have been contracted for over 4 years with LIBERTY Dental Plan and Health Net. The reimbursement rate (with the GMC plans) are higher and they provide a way for us to do anesthesia (in the office) so we can treat the kids in a better way. They’ve been a lot cleaner to work with than Medi-Cal, as far as claims (management) and having more direct access to help with the claims and authorizations. “

“If the GMC plans go away, the patients won’t have anyone to see because specialists, for the most part, don’t take Medi-Cal. So there’s going to be a huge population that just either doesn’t get seen or the general dentists are going to have to hold (kids) down and do what they can do. There’s just going to be a population that’s going to be even more underserved than they already are. We’re not going to start taking Medi-Cal if the GMC program goes away because the reimbursement rates are a lot lower and it’s a lot harder to deal with overall.”

Contact: Dr. Joseph Rawlins 916-474-1045

RC Dental Group/Pro Dental Group

"RC Dental Group, as an office, has been a GMC provider for at least 15 years. Dr. Kim has been a GMC provider for nearly 10 years. The GMC Program has provided ease of access and is better than Denti-Cal directly. This program is important to the office on many levels including, but not limited to: 1) patient care, 2) referral needs, 3) Emergency care for patients, 4) claims tracing and payment, and 5) Pre-Authorization processing and follow up.

We would have definite concerns if GMC were to go away including; 1) loss of accessibility and partnering with the plan to direct the best patient care, 2)Lack of accountability for both offices, patients and insurance plans, 3) Patients struggling to find contracted specialists when needed likely resulting in worsening dental conditions due to potential delays in receiving treatment, and 4) No consistency as a provider with the Denti-Cal plan."

Contact: Jennifer Larson, Operations Manager 916-368-0440

Jenny Amador, MSN, RN, PHN, Credentialed School Nurse and Program Specialist, Health Services for San Juan Unified School District

“San Juan Unified School District has had historic difficulty securing dental care for our students. With the assistance of the Center for Oral Health we have had great success in meeting the needs of our students. To lose GMC, at this point, would seriously compromise our ability to meet the dental needs of our students.”

“San Juan Unified School District does not have the resources to help the volume of our students requiring assistance in negotiating their way through a FFS system. The number of students not receiving essential dental care would, once again, be on the rise. Students with dental needs do not perform at an optimal level as decay with pain impacts their ability to focus and learn; their immune systems are compromised with an impact to every other organ system.”

Cindy Quitugua RN, BSN, Credentialed School Nurse – Twin Rivers USD

"As a school nurse, I have noticed that it was very difficult for families to access adequate dental care when they went through Denti-Cal only. Since the GMC plan has included dental, many more families are able to access dental care (routine and/or urgent). Without GMC plans, I know that many families, at my schools, would not be able to access these resources.

Families that need this care the most benefit from the extra assistance provided by the Early Smiles program. This program connects them directly to dental care. Many low income families do not know how to navigate the dental (or medical) care system and usually just give up. As a school nurse, it is very difficult to see students come in with large abscesses or severely decayed teeth and know that the system, alone, does not support them getting the care they need.

Even in its earliest stages, Early Smiles has been invaluable to connecting students with GMC coverage to care. It is a wonderful program! I truly appreciate their efforts and hope that GMC dental coverage can continue to give access to dental care for families who otherwise would not be able to afford it."

Contact: Cindy Quitugua 916-566-1600, ext. 50411

Carrie L. Paddeck-Cotton LVN

"Hello, I hope this is not too late to save the dental plan. I will assure you that oral health is indeed important to the well being of every single child. It affects nutrition, heart health those with diabetes and other disease processes, focus , concentration, and just about every aspect of life from sleeping and general daily activities including intake of fluids and socialization. Any Physician will tell you that so many illnesses can be tapered with good oral health and it is every bit as important as good nutritional health. In fact it can actually be the leading cause of poor nutritional health which affects growth and human development from the cellular level on.

I spent the first part of my adult life as a dental technician and found that poor dental care can cause loss of life even. Maintaining good dental hygiene is very urgent among our children as I see many in the classrooms with very poor oral health. Please keep and expand the programs. They are much needed."

Sheril Anderson, Student Outreach Specialist at Visions Education

“I feel that GMC plans are such a supportive venue for families. Having navigated Denti-Cal as a Foster Parent, I can say it leaves so much to be desired. Without advocacy it (Denti-Cal) could sink back into the swamp of poor service and robotically poor care. The education offered to families through the Early Smiles program has been such an asset to my families.

Education of young parents about the necessity of care and making access to services smooth and unencumbered has been the impetus for several of my students moving forward to seek out Dental care. The stigma of fear and pain was definitely lessened by the services offered by Early Smiles.”

Audrey Edwards, RN School Nurse, BVHS, Pasteur Middle School & Northridge Elementary

“The process, for dental care for underserved low income students, is just beginning to be addressed with reputable dentists that are part of a good GMC. At least with GMC plans I have a main number to call and attempt to make an appointment or switch an assigned provider who is not in the neighborhood a family has moved to, etc. They also seem to have a system for dealing with emergency dental needs which is a HUGE help!

The families I see are the ones who are negligent on dental follow up. I am always relieved to find out they have been assigned a GMC provider. Because of that, I’m usually able to call and provide information on how to be seen in an emergency and then assist with long term dental follow up.”

Judy Allen RN PHN, School Nurse, Robla School District

“Since the start of the Early Smiles dental outreach program in the Fall of 2016, I have had a resource available that has been extremely helpful in helping families to navigate their GMC dental provider program. They have helped with provider changes, appointment making, problem solving, and holding the dental providers accountable for the services they do or do not provide. They have worked to educate the families about their dental care plan and how to navigate the system.”

Tara Melavie, RN, MSN, Credentialed School Nurse, Ralph Richardson Center

“From my experience, I prefer working with the Center for Oral Health through a GMC plan because having them provide screenings, to our students, has been critically important. I have not used Denti-Cal often and I feel that having the hygienists from the Center who know our students is an excellent resource to me and our parents. Without this resource, many parents would be lost in the system of trying to navigate resources through Denti-Cal. For parents, knowing they can speak with the same person who saw their child and understands the struggles of children, with disabilities, getting adequate dental care is so very important. Without this, many parents would give up and feel lost pursuing dental care for their child and, when that happens, the child is put at risk for bigger health issues that can go undetected.

Knowing that students in our school, who have not had a dental exam in years, get a screening and follow up is immensely satisfying for me (and them!). To know they are no longer living with painful, decaying teeth and they will continue to be cared for, in the future, is important to me as a school nurse responsible for their overall health. For our increasingly growing immigrant population, who may also be lacking in oral health screenings, it has been wonderful to be able to get their children screened by the Center’s hygienists. Not having funding for this program would be devastating to our special needs population and a step backwards to enduring children’s overall health.”

Angela Richter, RN MSN, Credentialed School Nurse, Legette Mariposa Pershing Carriage Coleman—PS

“I feel strongly about working with GMC plan! As a school nurse, I have seen the success of their mission first hand. That mission is to get preventative or emergency dental care to children who would never receive it. The Denti-Cal system is too complicated and I have seen parents become so frustrated that they just give up trying to get any kind of dental care or treatment for their children. Not having the GMC plans in Sacramento would hurt and deny thousands of children access to dental care which could, ultimately, affect their attendance at school and their productivity in life.

GMC made a difference in a non-verbal autistic child at my school. The child had been suffering with an abscessed tooth for months. The parent told me the earlies appointment was 6 months out with the only Denti-Cal dentist on her plan in Sacramento who would provide anesthesia and dental surgery for her special needs child. Teachers reported to me that the child was crying and hitting his face at school. His appetite was poor and he was not attending/participating at school. This had been going on for a long time.

Fortunately, I had met Danielle Cannarozzi, Community Outreach Coordinator for LIBERTY Dental Plan, at a recent nursing staff meeting and she had given me her card. I called her immediately and asked for her help. Within a few days, the autistic child had an appointment with a local dentist who could perform anesthesia and fix the abscess. The child came back to school smiling and was no longer hitting his face. The teacher reported he was “a different child”. The parent reported the dental office was wonderful and treated her son with extra special care. I feel terrible that this child could lose access to this dentist for his preventative care in the future. Danielle has helped me connect other children with similar circumstances, as well, in the short time I have known her. This program has made a difference in these children’s lives.

Kevin Galvez, School Social Worker, San Juan School District

“I do feel strongly that GMC plan are the essential link for many families accessing their child dental services. I feel that many low-income families would have additional barriers to accessing dental health care for their children without GMC plans. The GMC program addresses the barriers these families face in accessing Denti-Cal services: language barriers, transportation, and challenges navigating the Denti-Cal system to get their children dental health care.

For families on Medi-Cal, finding a dentist that accepts Medi-Cal can be challenging, so many parents give up trying to navigate the system and simply don’t get any dental services for their children – including routine maintenance and regular exams to look for current or potential dental issues. Children are the ones who would suffer with any loss of funding for the GMC program. Investing public money in helping economically disadvantaged children get routine and regular dental health visits is a wise investment.

Dental health issues can worsen over time and dental neglect can exacerbate these problems. Adult dental health is a carryover from childhood and there have been many studies linking poor dental health, such as gum disease, to heart disease. Therefore, if we start young, when we can have a huge impact on dental health for children, before they become adults, there will be less adults over the years needing extensive and costly healthcare related to dental and/or heart health. Continuing to fund the GMC program is a wise investment of public money, as it is an investment in our children because it addresses the most significant barriers to low income families accessing their Denti-Cal services for their children.”