On the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Legislative Appropriation for Dental Plans

Fair Warning – Texans

By Darrell K. Pruitt DDS

Just like capitation dental plans, in the long run, poor, sick children in hospitals don’t save Texans money

THHS Commission’s Legislative Appropriation

As part of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s legislative appropriation request, the Agency is quietly pushing for approval of a short-sighted proposal to change the state’s current Medicaid/CHIP (discounted) fee-for-service delivery model to multiple corporate-run capitation plans – where executives who fund political campaigns get bonuses but cannot be held accountable for the slow lines or the fast dental work.

Expedient Deception?

If HHSC succeeds in their politically-expedient deception, not only will it be even more difficult for poor parents to find dentists who accept Medicaid or CHIP payment, but the communities’ charity dental clinics – the default hope of relief for far too many of the state’s poor already – will be unable to keep up with the surge of basic dental needs in the community. Many free dental clinics already need donations of dentists’ free time more than money.

Current Programs Marginally Acceptable 

Even though the state’s current Medicaid/CHIP program is only marginally acceptable to dentists because of next to charity fees plus aggravating and costly bureaucracy, nothing is more disgusting with dentists and patients than dental managed health organizations (DMHO). If naïve people in Austin have their way, the long waits for dentists’ time – state-paid or volunteer – will increasingly cause children to end up in hospital emergency rooms with painful, life-threatening oral infections that are expensive and preventable.

Assessment 

Your local dentist’s capacity to give back to your community by volunteering in neighborhood free clinics is not limitless. Let’s not make a bad situation worse with capitation. It’s a lie.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. The time is NOW to contact YOUR TEXAS LEGISLATOR http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ and tell them a capitated dental managed care delivery model is not in the best interest of Texas children or Texas dentists! Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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