Losing bidder objects to Nevada Medicaid dental contract
Over the objections of the losing bidder, the state Board of Examiners on Tuesday approved a $404.5 million contract to provide Medicaid dental services in Nevada.
Medicaid administrator Marta Jensen told the board the new contract takes dental services under Medicaid in a new direction, focusing much more heavily on preventive care instead of reactive care to dental problems. She said the contract with Liberty Dental focuses on preventive care and management of care for dental patients.
Paul Georgeson of McDonald Carano, representing Delta Dental, urged the board to hold off approval of the contract, pointing out they’re filing in district court to block the contract and will be seeking an injunction. He said Delta Dental wasn’t treated fairly during the application and review process; that the original RFP was pulled back after Delta was awarded the contract in January.
The reasons given were that material changes needed to be made to the proposed contract but Georgeson told the board the actual changes were minimal.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, however, said he was concerned about the delay that would be caused by waiting until the legal fight was resolved. He said that could take two years or more. He was joined by board member Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske who said she too was concerned about the length of time it would take to resolve the legal fight.
Liberty Dental’s lawyer Matthew Dushoff urged approval for the same reason saying “judicial review will take, conservatively, over two years and this contract is only for two years.”
Jensen urged the board not to delay approval of the contract.
“The benefit of this program is they manage the care,” she said.
She said extending the existing contract, “I don’t think is in the best interests of our members.” She said that’s especially true for the nearly 100,000 children covered by Medicaid for whom she said preventive care is critical.