UPDATE: 1. Additional CDC information for dental providers:
2. This is the latest from the Texas Dental Association: TDA has been in contact with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners and Governor Abbott’s office. As of March 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CT, there are no federal or state directives mandating dental office closures.
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners sent out an email notification to dental providers across the state regarding precautions on the COVID-19 virus situation. We repeat that here:
With guidance from the Governor, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is directing all licensees to follow CDC guidelines regarding elective dental procedures. Please note, a strict interpretation may not necessarily be the best interpretation, and each licensee should use their professional judgement when making these decisions. Click here for complete recommendations: CDC Recommendations
See Also Governor Abbott’s Executive Order No. GA-08: Governor’s Executive Order
Declaration of Public Health Disaster in the State of Texas: Public Health Declaration
The CDC states:
Healthcare facilities and clinicians should prioritize urgent and emergency visits and procedures now and for the coming several weeks. The following actions can preserve staff, personal protective equipment, and patient care supplies; ensure staff and patient safety; and expand available hospital capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Delay all elective ambulatory provider visits
- Reschedule elective and non-urgent admissions
- Delay inpatient and outpatient elective surgical and procedural cases
- Postpone routine dental and eyecare visits
CDC not ADA
It is notable that the TSBDE has directed dentists to the CDC rather than the ADA announcement about the virus.
Recoupments should be delayed
It is not known how all this will affect Texas Medicaid and Medicaid providers. One thing is that those dentists subject to recoupment or repayment schedules to the OIG or Dentaquest or MCNA may want to consider asking to defer repayments during this time.