After 10 years of treating the medical assistance patients in southern Maryland, I have decided to stop treating these patients. I will continue to treat the medical assistance patients already in my practice, but I will not longer accept new patients in this program.

Two days before my graduation from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery Dental School, University of Maryland at Baltimore, the dean, Dr. Errol Reese, spoke to my class. He said that becausewe attended a public institution we owed a debt to the indigent people in Maryland. He recommended that we treat medical assistance patients. For the past 10 years I have diligently treated those patients, giving them the same care I have given my regular patients. During the 10 years, I have not seen any significant increases in the fees allowed by the State of Maryland for medical assistance care.

I can cite many examples of the low dollar reimbursements and of the difficulty in working with the medical assistance office. Medical assistance pays barely more than 25 percent of the usual and customary fees charged by most dentists.

I believe I am the last dentist in St. Mary's, Calvert and Charles counties who accepts medical assistance patients. I realize this is a time of financial crisis in the nation's budget, and people are looking for money for many areas, such as education. However, unless the medical assistance program is revised, many people will suffer in Maryland.

GARNER D. MORGAN Mechanicsville