Can 4,000 Dental Providers Serve 4.2 Million Medicaid Eligible Children?

Texas needs to attract more dentists to help serve the ever-increasing number of Medicaid-eligible children in the state.

Medicaid dental provider statistics

Back at the end of 2013, there were roughly 3.2 million Medicaid-eligible children with 3,468 Medicaid dental providers (see PDF) to serve them. That's one dentist for every 922 potential patients.  19% of these 3,468 dentists saw less than 30 patients, with 63% seeing over 100 patients each.  Don't think it was covered then.

At the end of 2022, there were 4.2 million Medicaid-eligible children. Because the final figures for active Medicaid dentists are not in for 2022, we will estimate 4,000 active dentists as the total.   The gap is widening to one dentist for every 1,050 kids.

Lots of dentists in the state

The TSBDE maintains a database of licensees that is updated every 24 hours. Currently, there are 19,483 active, licensed dentists listed with the TSBDE, including all specialties.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has a 2021 list of "professionally active dentists ...defined by the ADA as those who are licensed as dentists, and determined to be not retired, not having a suspended dental licensed, living in the 50 states or District of Columbia, and as having a primary occupation of private practice, dental school/faculty staff member, armed forces, other federal services, state or local government employee, hospital staff dentist, graduate student/intern/resident, or other health/dental organization staff member."  The ADA data shows 12,541 general dentists with another 3,400 specialists for a grand total of 15,992 active dentists in the state.

Texas HHS has reported that Texas had 14,445 actively licensed dentists in 2020.

Make it better to be a Medicaid provider

How does the state keep and interest more dentists to participate in Medicaid?  Only roughly 28% do at this present time.

2023 has its challenges. Dentists in private practice are saying they need to raise their fees to cover inflationary costs and keep good staff. The ADA says that 3 out of 4 dentists are planning to do this in 2023.

Dental Medicaid rests on the back of a minority of dentists, 65% of whom see more than 100 Medicaid patients a year each.

More dentists might get involved if HHS fixed issues such as credentialing, the three-year rule and the fee schedule that hasn't increased since 2007.

Lets help children be healthy

It is for the good and health of Texas children.

2 Responses

  • It is curious that he is suddenly gone, but one could speculate all day long and be wrong as to why. Maybe Winter, a man driven by moral outrage with the knowledge that certain politically connected dentists were pocketing millions of dollars suspiciously derived from providing suspect Medicaid services, went Rouge and used office to try to curb abuses that his superiors turned a blind eye to? Maybe he tried to make peace with the many factions by negotiating a settlement everyone within Texas could accept, including the accused dentists who were trying to tack on to said settlement any way they could? Maybe he was the fall guy for his efforts?
    Who knows and who really cares? But the one think we all know and can count on is TDMR using any event remotely related to the events of the great Texas Medicaid Fraud Era to try to vindicate their guys.
    Administrative courts and civil courts are two different beasts. So your guys managed to get a politically appointed Administrative judge with no jury to find that an HLD score can mean anything a doctor signing the scoring sheet wants it to mean. Anyone with a non politically appointed brain can figure out that this is BS and that no taxpayer should be forced to make a creatively HLD scoring dentist a multimillionaire.
    Due process never happened and for that we can all be unsettled. But those accused tried and still to this day are trying to use any means possible to delay a court hearing on the case when actual non-political individuals would be tasked with determining if a HLD score is objective or subjective.
    Maybe Ray Winter decided there was more to life than fighting this battle and moved on to something else? That makes the most sense of all.

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