Over the objections of the losing bidder, the state Board of Examiners on Tuesday, August 8, approved the $404.5 million contract to provide Medicaid dental services in the state of Nevada.
Medicaid administrator Marta Jensen told the Board of Examiners that the new contract takes dental services under Medicaid in a new management, focusing much more completely on preventive care instead of cure or reactive care to dental dilemmas. Jensen said that the contract with Liberty Dental focuses on preventive care and management of care for the dental patients in Nevada.
Paul Georgeson of McDonald Carano, representing the Delta Dental, urged the Board of Examiners to hold off the approval of the winning bidder’s contract, pointing out that they will be filing a lawsuit in district court to block the contract and will be seeking an injunction.
Georgeson said that his client Delta Dental wasn’t treated justly and fairly during the application and review process of the contract bid; that the original request for proposal was tugged back after Delta Dental was awarded the contract back in January 2017.
The reasons given were that key components changes needed to be made to the proposed contract but Georgeson of Delta told the Board of Examiner that the actual alterations were nominal.
Governor Brian Sandoval, on the other hand, said that he was concerned about the delay that would be caused by waiting until the court battle was resolved. Gov. Sandoval added that it could take two years or more for the legal process to conclude. Sandoval was joined by board member Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske who said she too was worried about the length of time that it would take to resolve the legal battle.
Liberty Dental’s legal representative Matthew Dushoff advised approval for the same reason saying “judicial review will take, conservatively, over two years and this contract is only for two years.”
Medicaid administrator Jensen urged the board of Examiner not to delay approval of the contract.
“The benefit of this program is they manage the care,” Jensen said.
Jensen noted 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.