Texas Medicaid dental program no longer state-run

Changes to the Texas Medicaid dental program have pediatric dentists across the state scrambling to help patients maintain their appointments.

For years the Texas Medicaid dental program was state-run, but now it is being handled by three different insurance companies: Delta Dental, DentaQuest, and MCNA Dental. Patients have to pick one of the providers and select a doctor that is also covered by that particular company.

The change, which took effect March 1, came with little warning or information from the state Medicaid program, according to a story by CBS7 News in Odessa.

But the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), which oversees the state Medicaid program, claims dentists have gotten almost a year's worth of advance notice about the change.

"The legislature approved moving Medicaid dental services to managed care during the 2011 session, and we’ve been providing information to dentists about the change for almost a year," an HHSC spokesperson said in an email to DrBicuspid.com."

The HHSC sent a notice to Texas dentists last June, and more information is available here.

In addition, the commission has delayed the requirement for patients to select a main dentist until April 30 to give them more time to contact their dental plan with their preferred dentist, the HHSC spokesperson noted.

"CHIP dental services have been provided through managed care for several years, and it’s worked very well," she wrote.

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