News

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Harold V. Simpson, II, DDS

Dr. Harold Simpson is a Past TAPD President who served two terms, one in 1993-1994 and again in 2012-2013.

Please join us in congratulating him for the 2019/2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Name: Harold V. Simpson, II, DDS

Position: President – Twice!

Number of years in practice: 40

Where you went to dental school and completed residency: Dental School – UT Health Science Center San Antonio. Residency – Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas

Number of years as a TAPD member: 40

What made you decide to get involved as a TAPD member: Encouraged to join by Dr. Susie Seale & Dr. Paul Taylor

What have you learned in your time as a TAPD member: Every member can contribute and make a profound difference!

What surprised you the most about the legislative process: Unpredictable, slow, but with a just cause, commitment, compassion, teamwork, a masterful legislative advisor (Charlie Schnabel), excellent secretary (Monica), a small dedicated group can make a big difference!!

What are you most proud of about TAPD: The TAPD gets things done that truly benefit Texas children and every member has a voice and an opportunity to participate.

What do you see in the future for pediatric dentistry: Continuing the role of very early education for expectant parents and young parents, statewide, to help prevent caries and improve overall childhood health.

What advice would you give to a graduating pediatric resident: Know that you have acquired a unique skill set to benefit the children and adolescents you treat. Do the best you can… the kids are not perfect, and neither are we, as dentists. You have worked hard and now have a gift… God bless you in your career and life! If Texas is your home, stay involved in TAPD!!

I truly appreciate this – above any other professional recognition I could possibly receive – not that there is anything else coming anytime soon! Brett, Danny, Bill Steinhauer, Steve White, Susie Seale, Jim Shoptaw, Bob Offutt and many more were TAPD’s early voices of positive changes for all Texas youth and most vulnerable dental population. Thanks to all of you!

My best contribution to TAPD resulted from my close friendship with Charlie Schnabel. Many years ago, the TAPD leadership was looking for a legislative advisor. I had known Charlie for many years as an excellent quail hunter and pretty fair lobbyist- having been secretary of the Texas Senate for 22 years. He personally knew everyone who was anyone in Texas Government! Once we had Charlie on our team, TAPD’s legislative accomplishments were unmatched by any other state pediatric dental association in the nation! Thank you Charlie for your longstanding devotion to TAPD!

I love the TAPD! It’s our ORG! It’s your organization! It’s small enough that everyone has a voice and well respected and influential enough to get things done! And we have! And will continue to! Thank you!!

When you are sitting through these meetings and you think, “Why don’t they discuss this problem?” or “I wonder if we could do this?” Please make your thoughts heard! Monica Fairchild publishes when and where the board meetings will occur. Come to a board meeting and make your thoughts, concerns heard. They are informal and as welcoming as a board meeting can be.

This organization, more than any I have ever been around, is membership driven. So please, become involved, stay involved. How you and future generations practice dentistry literally depends on it! Thank you!!

Two TAPD Board Members honored at the 10th Annual 40 Under 40

Please join us in congratulating two of our Board Members:

Dr. Christian Cabello, Past President from 2017/2018

Dr. Roberto Loar, Member-At-Large, Upcoming Secretary/Treasurer

They were both recognized as America’s top young dental talent!

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Brett Hensley Mueller, DDS, MA

Dr. Brett Mueller is a Past TAPD President who served in 1990-1991.

Please join us in congratulating him for the 2019/2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.

I am presently retired after over 50 years of military, UTXHSCSA professor, and private practice.  I graduated from Northwestern Dental School in 1969 and finished my residency at UMKC Children’s Mercy Hospital in 1974.  I joined TAPD around 1978 after 9 1/2 years in the military.

The most important reason individuals should be a member of TAPD is the fact there is strength in numbers and obtaining important information that should be acted on as a group rather than an individual.  When I joined and attended our annual session we were lucky to have 15 members state wide present at TDA.

I am very proud of the fact that the individuals I served with during my 4 years of leadership in TAPD had as our primary goal to make TAPD the statewide voice for Pediatric Dentists in Texas. The individuals I am talking about were Dr. Stephen White, Dr. James Shoptaw and Dr. William Kemp.

My wife Cynthia A. Banker, also a pediatric dentist, supported me to accomplish this by keeping our home with 4 young children in harmony. 

Our goal also included bringing the 3 state university programs into the mix. Our mission was accomplished in 1991 when we as a state organization hosted the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in San Antonio.  Dr. Robert Offutt and I were Co-Chairmen and with TAPD and Dr. Sue Seale helping us, it was a home run. 

This put TAPD on the map with the American Academy we became the strong voice of Pediatric Dentistry in Texas.  I hope the young pediatric dentists in Texas keep TAPD strong with their support and continued membership.  It’s so very important to be strong in numbers and mutual support. 

Thank you very much for this award there so many people that deserve this more than I.

TAPD Legislative Spotlight—Joe Castellano, DDS

Name: Joe Castellano, DDS

Position: Legislative Committee; Past-President

Number of years in practice: 30

Where you went to dental school and completed residency: UT Dental Branch Houston; Residency- UTHSC San Antonio

Number of years as a TAPD member: 20

What made you decide to get involved as a member of the TAPD Legislative Committee: I have tried to stay involved with TAPD after finishing my years on the TAPD’s Executive Committee. TAPD’s legislative priorities are very important for our specialty and even more so to the children we serve each day. I want to be a part of TAPD’s team that is making sure the children of Texas continue to be well cared for.

What is your goal for the legislative session: To get better reimbursement rates for general anesthesia coverage and hopefully make operating room access easier for our members to obtain and care for their patients’.

What have you learned in your time as a TAPD member: I have learned that our organization is small in the scheme of things, but we can and have accomplished great things. When we focus on what is important- the kids- the folks in Austin understand the importance and are willing to listen.

What surprised you the most about the legislative process: You need to understand how the systems works. Even if a priority seems simple and logical, there are a lot of moving part in the system. Your legislation can quickly get bogged down or forgotten. It is important that you have
a great lobbyist supporting the legislation and help navigate the waters.

What are you most proud of about TAPD: We manage to get things done in the legislative process and make sure the children of Texas receive the best care possible.

Texas Lifts Mask Mandate, Opens Business

Yesterday, Governor Abbott announced the issuance of Executive Order (GA-34) which, effective Wednesday, March 10th, lifts the state mask mandate in Texas and increases the capacity of all businesses and facilities to 100% in this state. The Governor’s order “strongly encourages” wearing face coverings where six feet of social distance is not feasible. 

This executive order rescinds most of the Governor’s earlier executive orders related to COVID-19. Businesses may still limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols, including requiring masks, at their own discretion. If COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a county judge in that region may issue COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, county judges may not impose jail time or fines for not following COVID-19 orders.  If restrictions are imposed at a county level, those restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any type of entity.

The Executive Order does not lift the Texas State Dental Board’s emergency rule because the Governor’s initial COVID-19 disaster declaration is still in place. Dentists should continue following COVID-19 mitigation protocols found in the emergency rule.  

Medicaid THSteps Dental Policy Review

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) recently asked TAPD to provide input for their review of the Texas Health Steps Dental Preventive Services Policy.  TAPD believes that HHSC needs to complete a comprehensive review by convening a work group to review all dental policies; however, TAPD did submit four preventative codes to help HHSC begin process.

Click the download button to see TAPD’s recommendations.

TAPD Legislative Spotlight—William (Bill) Steinhauer, DDS

Name: William (Bill) Steinhauer, DDS

Position: Legislative Director

Number of years in practice: 35 as a Pediatric Dentist

Where you went to dental school and completed residency: University of Texas Dental School at San Antonio (both)

Number of years as a TAPD member: 37 (I started as a student member.)

What made you decide to get involved as a member of the TAPD Legislative Committee: It is my passion to advocate for children and their Oral Health needs.

What is your goal for the legislative session:
1) To not have cuts in the Medicaid Dental fees;
2) to have the legislature direct HHS to partner with representatives of: organized dentistry, academia, OIG, and the DMOs for a thorough “top-to-bottle” review of the benefits and limitations of the Texas Medicaid dental program;
3) to make sure any Teledentistry legislation that may be passed this session, is designed to assist our patients to access quality care, and not be the victims of providers looking to bill for services that provide no real benefit to the patient, or even lead them to believe they are receiving a level
of care which they are not.

What have you learned in your time as a TAPD member: If TAPD is not at the table when healthcare in general, and pediatric dentistry specifically, is under discussion by any governmental body, dentistry will always be an afterthought.

What surprised you the most about the legislative process: How uninformed some legislators are and how financial contributions are often required to get access to the right people.

What are you most proud of about TAPD: We are the most involved dental specialty organization in the State, and have been able to partner with the TDA on so many issues.

E-Prescribing Waivers

As a reminder, effective January 1, 2021, the Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.0755 requires that prescriptions for controlled substances be issued electronically, except in limited circumstances, or unless a waiver has been granted by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. 

A dentist may apply for a waiver from the electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) requirement if the dentist prescribes fewer than 25 prescriptions per year, faces economic hardship, or has technological limitations. 

TAPD has confirmed that the e-prescribing requirement only applies to controlled substances. If a dentist does not prescribe controlled substances, he/she is not required to e-prescribe and therefore does not need a waiver.  However, if a dentist prescribes between 1-24 controlled substances, he/she would be eligible for a waiver if he/she submits the waiver form. 

To request a waiver, please fill out a waiver form and submit it to waivers@tsbde.texas.gov.  Once approved, waivers will be issued for a period of one year.  For more information please visit https://tsbde.texas.gov/e-prescribing-waiver/

2020 Medicaid Question & Answer Session Agenda

VIRTUAL ZOOM MEETING DECEMBER 5, 2020 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

  1. Welcome & Intro 
  2. Overview of Medicaid 
    1. Federal 
      1. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
    1. State 
      1. Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
      1. Texas Medicaid Healthcare Partnership (TMHP)
        1. DentaQuest
        1. MCNA
        1. United 
  3. Current Texas Medicaid Discussion Points
    1. Funding 
    1. Fee Setting 
      1. Top to Bottom Benefits Review 
        1. SDF 
        1. Esthetic Crowns 
        1. Crossbite
    1. Claim Processing 
    1. Prior Authorization 
    1. Assignment of Main Dentist 
    1. Medical Necessity 
      1. Frew Lawsuit
      1. Hospital and General Anesthesia Coverage 
    1. Public Marketing Policy
      1. Solicitation 
        1. Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
          1. Fraud, Waste & Abuse
    1. Tele-Dentistry 
    1. Records 
      1. Audits 
  4. Question and Answering 

TAPD Anesthesia Jurisprudence Exam

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) adopted 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 110.2 – Sedation Anesthesia Permit and 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 110.9 – Anesthesia Permit Renewal at their meeting last week. These rules were adopted in response to the TSBDE’s 2017 Sunset legislation (SB 313). 

The rules require the completion of an anesthesia jurisprudence exam prior to applying for a Sedation/Anesthesia Permit. If you already hold a permit for nitrous oxide, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4 sedation/anesthesia, you must complete an anesthesia jurisprudence exam once every five years in conjunction with the jurisprudence exam required under § 104.1. The anesthesia jurisprudence exam will be part of the existing jurisprudence exam and will not be a separate exam. 

It is our understanding that the anesthesia jurisprudence exam is not yet finalized. We expect the rules to go into effect in mid-October, and will send out additional guidance once we receive it form TSBDE.