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Library: Policy

317:30-5-700. Orthodontic services

Revised 9-12-22

(a) Orthodontic services are available for members who are SoonerCare-eligible and under eighteen (18) years of age at the time the request for prior authorization for treatment is received. In order to be eligible for SoonerCare orthodontic services, members must be referred through an OHCA contracted primary care dentist using the DEN-2 form found on the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) website; a member can receive a referral from a primary care dentist to the orthodontist only after meeting the following:

(1) The member has had a caries free initial visit; or

(2) Has all decayed areas restored and has remained caries free for twelve 12 months; and

(3) Has demonstrated competency in maintaining an appropriate level of oral hygiene.

(b) Member with cleft palate can be referred directly by their treating physician without a dental referral and are exempt from above requirements.

(c) The SoonerCare Orthodontic Program limits orthodontic services to handicapping malocclusions determined to be severe enough to warrant medically necessary treatment. The orthodontic provider has the ability to determine if members may qualify with a visual screening. Diagnostic record accumulation and/or submission should only occur for members with high potential for acceptance. These orthodontic services include the following:

(1) A handicapping malocclusion, as measured on the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) Handicapping Labio-Lingual Deviation Index of Malocclusion (DEN-6) form, with a minimum score of thirty (30);

(2) Any classification secondary to cleft palate or other maxillofacial deformity;

(3) If a single tooth or anterior crossbite is the only medical need finding, service will be limited to interceptive treatment;

(4) Fixed appliances only; and

(5) Permanent dentition with the exception of cleft defects.

(d) Reimbursement for orthodontic services is limited to:

(1) Orthodontists, or

(2) General or Pediatric dental practitioners who have completed at least two-hundred (200) certified hours of continuing education in the field of orthodontics practice and submit for review at least twenty-five successfully completed comprehensive cases. Of these twenty-five comprehensive cases, ten or more must be extraction cases. An applicant for this certification must practice in an OHCA deemed under-served area. The comprehensive cases submitted must be of a complexity consistent with type of handicapping malocclusion likely to be treated in the SoonerCare program.

(A) Cases submitted must include at least one (1) of each of the following types:

(i) Deep overbite where multiple teeth are impinging upon the soft tissue of the palate;

(ii) Impacted canine or molar requiring surgical exposure;

(iii) Bilateral posterior crossbite requiring fixed rapid palatal expansion; and

(iv) Skeletal class II or III requiring orthognathic surgery.

(B) As with all dental or orthodontia treatment performed and reimbursed by SoonerCare, all pre and post orthodontic records must be available for review.

(C) The OHCA requires all general dentists providing comprehensive orthodontic care to submit a copy of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry continuing education report and verification that at least twenty (20) continuing education hours in the field of orthodontics has been completed per reporting period. All verification reports must be submitted to OHCA Dental Unit every three (3) years, no later than August 30. In addition, verification of adequate progress for all active orthodontic cases will be reviewed by the OHCA Dental Unit upon completion of twenty-four (24) months of therapy.

(e) The following limitations apply to orthodontic services:

(1) Cosmetic orthodontic services are not a covered benefit of the SoonerCare program and no requests should be submitted;

(2) All orthodontic procedures require prior authorization for payment;

(3) Prior authorization for orthodontic treatment is not a notification of the member's eligibility and does not guarantee payment. Payment for authorized services depends on the member's eligibility at the beginning of each treatment year. Treatment year is determined by date of banding; and

(4) The member must be SoonerCare-eligible and under eighteen (18) years of age at the time the request for prior authorization for treatment is received by the OHCA. Services cannot be added or approved after eligibility has expired. It is the orthodontist's responsibility to verify that the member has current SoonerCare eligibility and the date of birth indicates the member is under age eighteen (18).

(f) Orthodontic services are an elective procedure. The orthodontist must interview the prospective member as to his/her understanding of and willingness to cooperate fully in a lengthy treatment program.

(g) The interview information is unavailable to OHCA except through the provider's recommendation of treatment. The interview process for OHCA members is equivalent to that of private pay patients.

(h) Providers are not obligated to accept a member when it appears that the member will not cooperate in the orthodontic hygiene treatment program, does not return to the general dentist for preventive visits or is not willing to keep eligibility for SoonerCare current.

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