The dental clinic buzzed with activity Friday afternoon.
The Augusta Regional Dental Clinic in Fishersville, like many others that serve Medicaid customers across Virginia, has been very busy for months — especially as more and more have learned about the expanded benefits for adults, according to Sophie Parson, director of the clinic.
The need for services is so great, people have called the clinic trying to get an appointment from Louisa County, roughly 60 miles away.
On July 1, Medicaid began covering more dental procedures as a result of Virginia’s decision to expand Medicaid eligibility during former Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration.
“But there is nobody to deliver,” Parson said.
The number of dental providers that accept Medicaid patients has fallen to 1,888 from a peak of 2,031 in 2017, according to data provided by Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services.
“It’s getting to the point where people are refusing to