Affordable Dentistry: Medicaid “Bounty Hunters” on the Streets of Texas
Quite many special recruiters are walking up and down the streets Texas cities, in order to find children who are eligible for Medicaid treatment and refer them for a checkup.
Two years ago, the Medicaid has paid out no less than $1.6million in order to cover for dental treatments for children. This would roughly translate into $500 for each child.
These special recruiters try to talk parents into taking their child for a dental checkup, and refer them to a certain dentist in the city. Quite often, the parents are even offered incentives just to sign up for the program. Also, many dentists will offer bonuses to the special dental recruiters for referring children to their offices.
A mother from Dallas reveals that she has been approached on the streets by recruiters from Access Dental, and they have been offering her a free pizza meal if she would sign to take her kids to the dentist. Juanita Bonner, the mother from Dallas, says that such approaches happen quite often lately, and it is not only Access Dental, but several other organizations too.
Some of the other gifts include Wal-Mart gift cards (seemingly the most valuable for mothers!), pedicure &manicure treatments or pizza dinners. Receiving a gift card with a value of $20 or $30 just to take your child to the dentist seems like a good bargain some would admit.
The recruiters give out the appointment cards, the parents must sign, they receive the vouchers or the gift cards, and the “business” deal is closed. Even more so, it has been noted that the streets of different cities are being taken by the Texas Community Outreach Associates, a group of no less than 400 members who are offered normal wages in order to send patients to the Galaxy dental offices.
Even if everything sounds pretty good according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services it is practically illegal to do marketing to such extent, and picking people from the streets and send them to the dental office. This is called direct solicitation and it is not allowed.
It has been found that the TCOA (Texas Community Outreach Associates) is recorded as a private business, and it has got the same exact address as the DPTX (Dental Professionals of Texas). You might not know it, but the DPTX is actually the mother company of 22+ dental brands across the state, including Galaxy Dental.
The profit of the DPTX clinics is estimated at about $100 million per calendar year, and quite a big percentage of this money comes from Medicaid. Many who have worked in such a system as the “special recruiters”, say that the companies rewarded them with about $10 for sending cash patients to the dental office, $20 for patients which have private insurance, and a whopping $40 for each Medicaid patient…
Categories: Dental News
Topics: Tags: affordable, affordable dentistry, dental, dental treatment, dental treatments, department of health, free pizza, good bargain, health and human services, insurance