On August 9, the House Committee on Human Services held a public hearing. Part of the agenda was to hear testimony relating to the proposed dental Medicaid reimbursement rate cuts for many necessary codes that have been called "devastating" by the Texas Dental Association.
Testifying on the subject were Dr. Paul Kennedy, Dr. Adam Lalonde and Dr. Chad Evans. The three basically told the committee that the providers should have been consulted beforehand to work out the best way to save money for the program, not just drastically cutting rates on necessary codes that will reduce prevention and cost the state more in the long run. They offered to work with HHS now to still do so.
Dentists should be consulted
Committee chair Rep. Richard Peña Raymond told the dentists, committee members and Charles Smith, Executive Commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services that the dentists should be consulted with now to help provide the greatest benefit to the program. Smith basically agreed.
"Abuse by Xerox" caused program costs to soar
An expected hearing highlight occurred when vice-chair Rep. James Frank mentioned that program excesses such as in the case of the previously failed Medicaid orthodontic program needed to be avoided. Chair Raymond took pains to explain that the excesses were not caused by dentists but by "abuse by Xerox" which was still the subject of a lawsuit by the state.
TDMR has compiled a number of short videos showing the relevant testimony for those interested.