Dental care in the ER is costing us millions — and not helping patients

From the Times:

Dental problems are driving a growing number of Floridians to the emergency room — and costing taxpayers millions of dollars, according to a new study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.

The study found the number of dental-related visits to Florida emergency departments surged from 104,642 in 2005 to 163,900 in 2014, an increase of about 57 percent.

The total charges over that period increased more than threefold, reaching $193.4 million in 2014. Roughly half was billed to Medicaid or Medicare.

That’s a sizable expense — especially considering most emergency rooms aren’t equipped to treat the underlying problem.

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