22 March 2012 Revelations that Medicare had never approached the Australian Dental Prosthetists Association regarding the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme put the lie to claims that dental health professionals were fully informed about their responsibilities under the scheme.
Shadow Minister for Health Peter Dutton today demanded that the Gillard Government detail exactly what action had been taken to inform dental prosthetists of the paperwork reporting requirements necessary to claim a Medicare rebate under the CDDS.
“Dental practitioners facing demands from Medicare for repayment of substantial sums of money have constantly and consistently argued that they were never made aware of the requirements of the scheme.”
“Now we learn that another branch of the dental profession was never even approached by Medicare.” (www.adpa.com.au)
Medicare, it appears, thought all dental professionals were members of the Australian Dental Association.
“Hundreds of dental prosthetists may now find themselves in the same position as dentists – hit with demands from Medicare that they repay all benefits received,” Mr Dutton said.
Around 990 of the nation’s 1100 prosthetists apparently participated in the CDDS.
“Tanya Plibersek and her predecessor as Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, have continually asserted that Medicare had fully informed dental health professionals of the rules of the scheme.”
“Well today the ADPA put the lie to those claims. The Minister must now detail how information was conveyed to dental prosthetists – her claims that dental practitioners knew what they had to do have been shot to pieces.”
Both dentists and dental prosthetists are facing demands for repayment of benefits because they failed to provide paperwork either to patients or General Practitioners.
“They are being told because of that technical breach that they are rorters.”
Mr Dutton said the Minister should stop her pretence that Medicare had done its job and stop the harsh and unjust demands for repayment of benefits in cases where all treatments were provided to patients.”