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TxOHC E-brief

The TxOHC e-brief is our way of keeping members and stakeholders up to date with oral health and policy updates from around the state and nationally.

To view past issues click here.

May 23, 2023

Volume: XI  Issue: 5

Charting the Path Forward for Oral Health in Texas


Registration is open for the in-person 2023 Texas Oral Health Conference on Friday, August 4, 2023.  Register now to take advantage of early registration, TxOHC member and group rate discounts. 


:               2023 Texas Oral Health Conference
Location:          TCEA Conference Center
                          3100 Alvin DeVane Blvd. Bldg B
                          Austin, TX 78741
Date:                 Friday, August 4, 2023
Time:                8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Please visit for more information.

2023 Texas Legislative Session

Texas CapitolThe 2023 session ends Monday, May 29, 2023, and bills are moving quickly through both chambers. TxOHC is monitoring a number of bills across our priority issues, to keep up to date on those bills, please visit

Some highlights include:

  • HB3824 relating to the administration of a local anesthetic agent by a dental hygienist was amended by the House Public Health Committee changing the education language from detailing 70 hours of education for infiltration to “a board-approved course of study designed to train dental hygienists to administer a local anesthetic agent by infiltration.”

    On May 21, 2023, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee reported the bill favorably w/o amendments and it was placed on the local & uncontested calendar for May 23, 2023.
  • HB12 relating to the duration of services for 12 months provided under Medicaid to women following pregnancy. HB12 was amended by the Senate and passed May 21, 2023.  The House will have to concur on the amended bill or HB12 will go to conference. The amended version has not been published on Texas Legislature Online yet.
  • The appropriations bill, HB1, is still in process.  What we know thus far is that House and Senate conferees developed a version of the bill that does not include funding for the STAR+PLUS Pilot Program (SP3). SP3 passed in 2019 but was unfunded and remains unfunded to date.
  • HB3039 would enact and enter Texas into the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact.  This bill was passed by the House Monday, May 8, 2023, and was referred to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on May 10, 2023.  

The Texas Primary Care Office Primary Care Provider Survey

Hello Dental Healthcare Partner(s),

The Texas Primary Care Office (TPCO) has been tasked with updating Texas primary care provider data (Primary Care, Mental and Dental ) by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Division of Policy and Shortage. 

The federal Shortage Designation Branch requires specific data to be submitted in applications requesting designation of an area or population group as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area/ Population (MUA/ P). The required information consists largely of primary care providers names, specialties, office locations, hours per week in direct patient care activities, information on the provider’s patient population, and information on other activities the provider might be engaged in outside of patient care.

HPSA designation is among the criteria tools that many programs use to increase the supply, capacity, and distribution of health professionals in areas that have a verifiable shortage of providers.

In reviewing the designation status of areas within Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services collects data primarily through surveys of provider offices and a combination of supplemental data sources such as online resources and available data sets. The document linked below is the current version of the survey/assessment used to collect shortage designation data. Reviewing this survey should assist in familiarizing you with the information required for evaluating shortage designations. Interested providers and offices may also feel free to proactively complete surveys/ assessments and return them to the Texas Primary Care Office.

  • For dental health: Include Dentists and considers the number of Dental Auxiliaries. Dental auxiliaries are defined as any non-dentist staff employed by the dentist to assist in the operation of the practice.

Please note that providers solely engaged in administration, faculty, research, training, and inpatient care should be identified as they are excluded from the population -to provider ratios.

If an organization has more than 10 providers, TPCO may assist by providing an Excel spreadsheet which would allow the provider list/data to be compiled in one document and quickly uploaded.

The form to submit:

Please note: The information given will not be circulated and will only be used to evaluate and/or apply for the HPSA designation.

Rhonnda Jones
Designation Specialist
Texas Department of State Health Services
Texas Primary Care Office

Regional Oral Health Coalitions

Thank you to everyone who attended the May 19th Quarterly Member Meeting.

We learned about a new resource during the TxOHC Quarterly Member meeting and wanted to share.  It is the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT).  TCHATT provides telemedicine or telehealth programs to school districts to help identify and assess the behavioral health needs of children and adolescents and provide access to mental health services.

If you’re interested in joining TCHATT, please email us at to see if it is available in your region. TCHATT is deploying first in those regions where an existing infrastructure can be expanded or a new infrastructure can be set up quickly.

Active TCHATT Campus' map

On the map above, you can see if your school or school district is enrolled or soon-to-be enrolled. Enrolled schools can call TCHATT any time behaviors are seen or reported that have you concerned for a student’s mental health.

Learn more at

The San Antonio Regional Oral Health Coalition shared the following resources and employment opportunities. 


ADA HPI Releases US Dentist Workforce Data

The American Dental Association Health Policy Institute (HPI) conducts innovative studies on a wide range of topics on the U.S. dental economy, including access to dental care, the dental workforce, utilization and benefits, dental education, health care outcomes, and more. They recently released an interactive dashboard providing national and state profiles of the dentist workforce.

View the HPI website for more information.

The WHO Launches the Health Inequality Data Repository

In March 2023, State Medicaid dental program administrators were given 60 of the most commonly billed dental service codes and asked to select which services were currently covered by their State for

  1. children;
  2. adults;
  3. expansion adults;
  4. adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and
  5. pregnant adults over age 21.

The Medicaid|Medicare|CHIP Services Dental Association  (MSDA) published the 2023 MSDA National Profile of State Medicaid Dental Programs based on these responses.  This reports details each State response, along with published dental provider reimbursement rates.

Texas (pages 88-89) shows the codes and rates for children under 21 through Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit.  

Read the full MSDA report here.

ASTDD Older Adult Oral Health Resources

older woman with poor oral healthAs part of Older Americans Month, ASTDD is pleased to share the Older Adult Oral Health Resources for Collaboration. This resource was developed with support from the Gary and Mary West Foundation.

The resources include information on the link between oral health and overall health, oral health and chronic disease, special populations, ventilator and non-ventilator pneumonia, nutrition, financing routine dental care, information for non-dental providers, teledentistry and equity. We hope that you will begin to use the resources and respond to our evaluation questions.     


New Healthy Beverage Resources for Caregivers and Providers

child drinking sodaIn 2019, Healthy Eating Research released a consensus statement from key national health and nutrition organizations on what young children (0-5 years old) should be drinking as part of a healthy diet. Since the consensus statement release, they have developed many new resources to help both caregivers and professionals learn about and implement the recommendations for healthy beverages. These new resources include updated beverage fact sheets and a toolkit for providers developed in partnership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

You can access the toolkit and learn more about the recommendations for healthy beverages for young children at Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids or find other new resources at Kids Eat Right.

2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans


The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) appointed the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Committee) in January 2023. This Committee is reviewing the science on nutrition and health to support HHS and USDA’s development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025–2030.

As the committee works, there are multiple opportunities for public participation before, during, and after the Committee’s review of the evidence. In fact, the HHS and the USDA have issued a call for the public’s participation in the article,  “Looking Ahead to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030: A Call to Action,” published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN).

The public comment period opened on January 19, 2023, and will remain open throughout the Committee’s work to allow for public comment on the Committee’s scientific review throughout the entire process.

Read the AJCN article or learn more about public comments for the dietary guidelines.

Antibiotic Stewardship is Focus of New CDC Resources

Prescription opioidsfact sheet and brochure from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can help patients learn about appropriate use of antibiotics.

Per the fact sheet, the “ADA treatment guidelines state that antibiotics are not needed for the urgent management of most dental pain and intraoral swelling associated with pulpal and periapical infections in immunocompetent adult patients without additional comorbidities.”

ASTDD also produced a policy statement, Promoting Antibiotic Stewardship In Dentistry in April 2020.

The ADA has also published an Antibiotic Stewardship Resource last updated April 5, 2023.


CMS Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming in School-Based Settings

elementary school studentsThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published “Delivering Services in School-Based Settings: A Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming.” 

CMS says, “the school setting provides a unique opportunity to deliver health care services to children and adolescents, especially those enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP. Schools can play an important role in bridging equity gaps among students in low-income and rural communities where access to health care services may be more limited. To deliver SBS, it is essential that State Medicaid and CHIP agencies, State Educational Agencies (SEAs), and schools all work together to support students.”

“The purposes of this guide are to:

  1. Clarify how payments can be made to school-based entities under Medicaid and CHIP;
  2. Discuss strategies and tools to reduce administrative burdens and simplify billing for LEAs, including rural and small LEAs, to help ensure access to Medicaid-covered services for enrolled children;
  3. Provide best practices and examples of approved methods that State Medicaid agencies and LEAs have used to pay for Medicaid-covered services;
  4. Provide examples of the types of providers that can participate in Medicaid and CHIP within school settings and best practices to enroll qualified providers;
  5. Explain previously unaddressed policies and practices that States may employ in implementing SBS; and,
  6. Ensure accurate claiming for SBS and fiscal integrity of the Medicaid and CHIP programs.”

 Read the full guide here

TxOHC Member Spotlight

Networking TexasTxOHC Member Announcement

We are pleased to welcome the following new members since May 4, 2023.

Individual Members:

  • Anita Albert, DDS
    Dentist, DSHS
    Austin, TX
  • Michele Saunders, DMD, MS, MPH
    Adjunct Professor & Director South Texas Geriatrics Education Collaborative
    San Antonio, TX
  • Tina Scott, RDH
    Dental Hygienist
    Prosper, TX
  • Tara Hopkins, MSW, MBA
    Manager of Outreach, DentaQuest
    Georgetown, TX
  • Carla Flores
    Member Advocate Specialist, DentaQuest
    San Antonio, TX
  • Molly Phares, MPH
    Oral Health Program Manager, SAMHD Oral Health Program
    San Antonio, TX

Many thanks to our Organizational Members for your support and collaboration!

Oral Health Industries
CommUnity Care
Mobile Dental Care
Special Need Dental
San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic_Logo

TxOHC CDE Opportunities

Oral health providers may obtain 1.0 CDE for every one(1) hour of lecture. Online courses to choose from include: 

  • Teledentistry
    • Teledentistry in Texas: Opportunities to Increase Access to Care
    • Selection of Teledentistry Platforms and Utilization in Alternative Care Settings
    • Available for edification only – Taking the Mystery Out of Billing for Virtual Visits
  • Prescribers
    • Mental Health & Opioid Use Disorder: Using the PMP to improve patient-centered care & communication
    • Statewide Mandate Compliance Using the PMP to Provide Patient-Centered Care
    • Maximizing Your Limited Time: Navigating Challenging Patient Conversations
    • Single Use Disposal Systems (SUDS) Training for Dentists
  • Patients with IDD
    • Providing Dental Care under Advanced Anesthesia: Oral Sedation, IV Sedation, TIVA, IV Mac, and General Anesthesia
    • Special Conditions and Barriers and Challenges Providing Dental Care to Patients with IDD
    • Understanding and Working with Caregivers and Group Homes, Dental Desensitization/Advanced Behavior Techniques for Patients with IDD at AbSSLC
  • Oral Pathology
    • Oral Cancer Update
    • Oral Manifestations of Systemic Diseases and Conditions
    • Common Lesions of the Oral Cavity, from Diagnosis to Treatment
  • Health Literacy
    • The Power of Audience Insight
    • Using Storytelling to Engage
    • Making Data Count Building
    • Your Social Media Presence
    • Speaking Up for Fluoride
    • Prenatal
      • Maternal Depression: Signs, Facts & Resources
      • Who Do You Call: Making the Referral Connection
      • Do No Harm: The Ethics, Myths & Business of Caring for Pregnant People

    To access any of these courses, please visit

    Local Continuing Education Opportunities with Midwest Dental 

    Midwest CE Events flyerTxOHC partner Midwest Dental Equipment and Supply has partnered with AIDA Education to provide top-level CE courses with nationally-recognized speakers. During 2023, they will feature 5 live local events in various cities throughout Texas. These full-day events are for the entire dental team and include full breakfast and lunch, and 5 CE credits. 

    Information on these webinars may be found on the individual Regional Oral Health Coalition pages linked here or at

    TxOHC Wants You!

    puzzle pieces

    If you are a TxOHC member and interested in taking a more active role within the Coalition, we are looking to build a pool of potential board members. Please complete this interest application to let us know of your interest.

    To learn more about the Coalition and our activities, please visit our website at or contact us at for more information.

    With much appreciation and sincerest gratitude, we wish to thank our 2023 Coalition Partners!

    Midwest Dental Equipment and Supply
    St. David's Foundation
    Cook Children's
    UHC Dental logo

    Your Contribution Matters

    Your contribution is essential to our continued efforts and will make a positive impact on the lives of millions of your neighbors. No matter how small your contribution may seem, it is an integral piece of the larger puzzle leading meaningful change. Please join in the advancement of our vision to make optimal health a reality for all Texans. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your participation in our community to continue this forward momentum.

    TxOHC is also raising funds with Planet Green Recycle through our ink cartridges recycling fundraiser. Click here to request your FREE USPS shipping label to recycle your inks. Be sure to type in our Program ID Code: 32140 when completing the shipping form.