MedicareIf you think the Medicare opt-in or opt out decision is a confusing one you are not alone. I have been reading opinions from every direction regarding the need for dental practices to make a decision about whether to OPT IN or OPT OUT of Medicare by June 1, 2015 and the more I read the less clear I feel on what the right decision for me is. The knee-jerk reaction that I don’t want government involved in my junk is just not going to cut it. Medicare is THE dominant medical insurance after age 65, it is involved in SOME of the things that we do in dentistry, and it IS the government, so ignoring it isn’t going to be possible. As I searched the web and read many opinions, one thing became clear: if you are a dentist offering sleep appliances to your patients in cooperation with their sleep physician and some of those patients are 65 or older, your decision is especially critical. Here are some links to the ADA that are excellent resources for guiding your decision.

This one has several links on it with many topics

This one is an excellent “decision” flow chart

Click here to view the Dental Sleep Medicine course by Dr. Steve Carstensen Let us know what you think in the comments!

Gary DeWood, D.D.S., M.S., Spear Faculty and Contributing Author  


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Commenter's Profile Image Robin Santiago
May 8th, 2015
Nice summary and great links. Thanks.
Commenter's Profile Image Ashley
May 10th, 2015
do you see any disadvantage of opting in as prescribe/refer only. I can't see the harm in that option and leaves one foot in the door to opt in for more later if one wishes to.
Commenter's Profile Image Gary DeWood
May 10th, 2015
The door is open every 2 years for changes - from what I've read the opt-in for prescribe and refer seems to make a lot a sense for many practices. For those doing sleep appliances it sounds like many are only opting in as a DME (Durable Medical Equipment) provider. Would love some comments from those who have already figured out what works for their practice and how they decided that. Thanks everybody!