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Healthcare providers can breathe a little easier, as the federal government has once again delayed until February 2017 the requirements that all providers who prescribe under Medicare Part D either “opt in” or “opt out” of Medicare. The “opt in/opt out” requirement has been in effect for other Medicare services since July 2015.

Endodontists were not impacted by the July 2015 deadline because they rarely provide services covered under Medicare Parts A and B; however, the February 2017 deadline will have an impact because endodontists do prescribe to Medicare recipients. If a provider does not “opt in” or “opt out, pharmacists will not be reimbursed by Medicare for the cost of prescriptions, and the prescribing provider will be responsible for reimbursing the pharmacist.

The ADA continues to work hard for repeal of the Medicare Part D requirement. However, unless that happens, providers will have no choice but to comply with the mandate or face covering the costs of Medicare Part D prescriptions

AAE members who have attempted to register report that the process is very confusing and time consuming. This has been a universal problem across dentistry, and healthcare in general, and unfortunately, there is no short cut. The ADA has producedexcellent resources to help navigate the system.

The AAE will keep members apprised of any new developments.