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Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Begins Sending ADA Dental Billing Codes Directly to Medicaid and Medicare Programs

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CHICAGO, May 24, 2011 – As part of an updated licensing agreement between the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Dental Association (ADA), dental codes will no longer be available through the downloadable Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) file available on the CMS Web site. CMS will continue sending the complete HCPCS code set, including the dental procedure codes, directly to entities that qualify under CMS guidelines.

"As the copyright owner of the dental codes, the ADA updated its licensing agreement with CMS to ensure that only those entities who are involved in programs administered by the CMS have free access to the ADA’s dental procedure codes," said Dr. Chris Smiley, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs. "Although the ADA CDT codes are no longer available through the CMS Web site, the ADA dental procedure codes continue to be a part of the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System, which provides a standardized coding system for processing oral health service claims efficiently." 
 
CMS, which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the federal agency that administers the Medicare program and monitors the Medicaid programs offered by each state.  CMS is licensed by the ADA to distribute dental codes for free to entities participating in programs administered by the CMS. The ADA charges a licensing fee to commercial entities, such as benefit plan administrators, that wish to use the dental procedure codes. 

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.