By Lynn Douglas Mouden, DDS, MPH; Chief Dental Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Part D drug prescribers are required to be enrolled in (or validly opted out of) Medicare for their prescriptions to continue to be covered by Medicare Part D.
Dentists aren’t exempt from the requirement.
Even though Medicare isn’t a dental plan, some dentists can and do bill some services to Medicare or they prescribe drugs for their Medicare patients who are enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D).
So if you’re a dentist who ever prescribes drugs for patients age 65 or older, such as antibiotics or analgesics, it’s a good idea to enroll now in Medicare as a prescriber, because most of your patients age 65 or older will have Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Even a few of your patients under age 65 may have Medicare Part D coverage under certain circumstances.
It’s free, quick and easy to enroll as a Medicare provider—you don’t need to pay a business to do it for you. Visit our website go.cms.gov/PrescriberEnrollment and video go.cms.gov/PECOSVideo to walk you through what you need to do on the Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) website located at go.cms.gov/pecos.
It should take you less than 30 minutes to enroll via PECOS. Your application will generally take 45 days to process after you have submitted it. Processing involves verifying your credentials-this helps protect your patients and you.
Not sure if you should enroll? If you don’t, in the future your patients may get a letter stating that you’re not eligible to prescribe Part D covered drugs, which may persuade them to seek out dentists who meet Medicare requirements to prescribe Part D covered drugs. By enrolling, you’re reassuring your patients that any Part D-covered prescriptions you write will be covered by Medicare just like prescriptions they get from their physicians.
Considering opting out of Medicare (instead of enrolling) to fulfill the requirement? Make sure this is the right choice for you before doing so. Opting out can also have an impact on other services you bill.
Want more information on enrolling or opting out? Visit our Medicare Part D prescriber enrollment website at go.cms.gov/PrescriberEnrollment or contact your local Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) at go.cms.gov/partdmaclist to start enrolling now.