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The latest Trump child-detention policy sparks harsh criticism. Also on the Thursday rundown: New York sues the EPA over Hudson River PCBs.

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New Dental Provider for TennCare to Save State 3.5 Million

July 21, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - TennCare's new dental benefits manager (DBM) will administer dental benefits to more than 730,000 children who are currently on the program. Kelly Gunderson, TennCare director of communication, says the tight state budget sent them looking for a way to save money while continuing to provide care.

"We're basically asking any company out there if they think they can provide the proper services for us at the proper price to put in a proposal. And then, we have independent reviewers look them over."

Delta Dental had the winning proposal, with a new contract that is is expected to save the state $3.5 million over three years. While saving money is important, Gunderson says making sure dental services are provided to Tennessee's youngest citizens tops the list.

"One of our main goals during this is to make sure that there's a smooth transition, when we're switching from our previous DBM over to Delta Dental, and it's going to be good communication with enrollees to let them know what's going on."

TennCare is Tennessee's managed-care Medicaid program. It serves approximately 1.2 million low-income children, pregnant women and disabled Tennesseans with an annual budget of $7 billion.

Randy O'Brien, Public News Service - TN