News

Provider Relief Fund: Medicaid/CHIP and Dental Deadline Extended

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that providers participating in state Medicaid programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and/or Medicaid/CHIP-managed care programs now have until Aug. 3, 2020, to apply for funding under the approximately $15 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (Provider Relief Fund) Medicaid and CHIP Distribution (Medicaid and CHIP Distribution).

Similarly, on July 20, 2020, HHS also extended the deadline until Aug. 3, 2020, for dental providers to apply for Provider Relief Fund payments (Dental Distribution).

For more information, please visit:  https://www.mcguirewoods.com/client-resources/Alerts/2020/7/provider-relief-fund-medicaid-chip-dental-deadline-extended-more-funds-hard-hit-hospitals

TAPD Officer Spotlight—Angela Lopez-Loverich

Name: Angela Lopez-Loverich

Position: Secretary/Treasurer

Number of years in practice: Eight: two practicing general dentistry and six as a board certified pediatric dentist.

Where you went to dental school and completed residency: The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio-Doctorate of Dental Surgery and The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio-Certificate of Specialty in Pediatric Dentistry.

Number of years as a TAPD member: Eight

What made you decide to get involved as a TAPD officer: I decided to pursue an officer position because I wanted to have a voice and positively impact the future of pediatric dentistry. When I first completed my residency program and was a new member, I learned how much
legislation shapes our profession.

What is your goal for the year: My goal for this year is to learn as much as I can from my fellow executive board members, Dr. Ben Morgan and Dr. Steve Siedow, to prepare myself for the future. I will also be working on navigating our CE committee during this pandemic in order to continue to provide quality CE from a distance.

What have you learned in your time as a TAPD member: I have learned how important organized dentistry is for the welfare of our profession—without it, our profession would be in the hands of others who do not fully understand patient care.

What surprised you the most about the legislative process: While the amount of organization and persistence needed to bring about real change for our profession is daunting, we are fortunate to have such a dedicated group representing Texas pediatric dentists.

What are you most proud of about TAPD: We continue to grow our numbers and strengthen TAPD, which indicates that our members see a value in what we do for them. We are on the frontline of decision making in our state and help control the direction of pediatric dentistry. We gain so much knowledge from one another as active pediatric dentists working in different climates. Our leadership and board members donate their time to better our future as pediatric dentists. We have also started to create CE of great value to our members while still having fun.

UnitedHealthcare Dental Touch-base Webinar on June 28

UnitedHealthcare Dental is hosting a “touch-base” webinar on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. CDT. 

The United team will cover important updates, including the dental plan’s:

•             Response to the COVID-19 pandemic;

•             Medicaid and CHIP program readiness review and operational activities;

•             Member enrollment; and

•             Marketing and outreach efforts.

Please help spread the word.  Dental providers can register for the webinar at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5549868911848453133


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Elizabeth LaMair | Deputy Managing Director | Austin, TX | Sellers Dorsey  | Cell 512.796.6009

Reminder: Applications for Medicaid/CHIP Relief Fund Due July 20th

Reminder!!!

The deadline for Medicaid and CHIP providers to apply for the Medicaid/CHIP Provider Relief Fund is July 20, 2020. 

Payment to each eligible provider will be at least 2% of reported gross revenue from patient care. Dentists are eligible for this funding, but you must have billed Medicaid/CHIP for services between January 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020 and you must not have received payments from the Provider Relief Fund General Distribution.

For more information see the flyer below or visit:  https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/for-providers/index.html

Governor Issues Proclamation to Expand Hospital Capacity

Today, Governor Abbott amended Executive Order GA-27 to increase hospital capacity throughout the state.  Effective at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 10, 2020, Abbott directs all hospitals in the following counties to postpone surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician:

Austin, Andrews, Aransas, Atascosa, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Blanco, Bosque, Brazoria, Brewster, Brooks, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Chambers, Coke, Colorado, Comal, Concho, Crane, Crockett, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Ector, Edwards, Falls, Fayette, Fort Bend, Frio, Galveston, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hardin, Hays, Hill, Howard, Irion, Jackson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kendall, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Kleberg, La Salle, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Limestone, Live Oak, Llano, Loving, Martin, Mason, Matagorda, Maverick, McCulloch, McLennan, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Midland, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Real, Reeves, Refugio, Runnels, San Patricio, San Saba, Schleicher, Starr Sterling, Sutton, Terrell, Tom Green, Uvalde, Upton, Val Verde, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Ward, Wharton, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Winkler, Zapata, and Zavala counties.

These counties join Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, Nueces, Travis, and Webb counties that are already included in the order. 

N95s Available For Texas Dentists

Texas dentists are now eligible to order up to 5 boxes of N95 respirators, while supplies last. Shipments of the N95 respirators will be in allotments of 20 per package/order. This is a result of the way the manufacturer, BYD, packaged the N95 respirators for the State of Texas. There will be a nominal fee of $20.60 per box to cover costs associated with processing, handling, and shipping plus credit card fees. The total fee charged will not surpass the fees assumed. Please be patient with the ordering process as demand will likely be high.

To order N95’s, please visit:  https://www.summitppe.com/

This offer is extended to all dentists –not just TDA members. 

Governor Abbott Establishes Statewide Face Covering Requirement

Today, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order which requires that a face mask shall be worn inside a commercial entity or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from someone not in your same household.  A person does not have to wear a face mask if: 

1)      a person is younger than 10 years of age;

2)      a person has a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;

3)       a person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;

4)      a person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;

5)      a person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;

6)      a person is obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;

7)      a person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;

8)      a person  is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;

9)      a person is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;

10)   a person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience; or

11)   a person is in a county (a) that meets the requisite criteria the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) regarding minimal cases of COVID-19, and (b) whose county judge has affirmatively opted-out of this face-covering requirement by filing with TDEM the required face-covering attestation form—provided, however, that wearing a face covering is highly recommended, and every county is strongly encouraged to follow these face-covering standards.

A person in violation of the order can receive up to a $250 fine for each violation, however the first violation shall be issued a warning.  

Governor Abbott Issues Proclamation To Expand Hospital Capacity In Four Additional Texas Counties

Effective at midnight on July 1, the Governor has extended his executive order prohibiting certain non-essential surgeries and procedures to Nueces County, Cameron County, Webb County, and Hidalgo County.  Under this order, the Governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician.

Nueces, Cameron, Webb, and Hidalgo counties join Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis county in this restriction. 

For Immediate Distribution  |  June 30, 2020  |  (512) 463-1826
Governor Abbott Issues Proclamation To Expand Hospital Capacity In Four Additional Texas Counties

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation suspending elective surgeries at hospitals in Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces, and Webb counties to help ensure hospital bed availability for COVID-19 patients in these communities. This proclamation amends the Governor’s previous Executive Order to include these four counties in addition to Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties. 

“As these counties experience a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are committed to working alongside hospitals to help ensure that every COVID-19 patient who needs a bed will have access to one,” said Governor Abbott. “We are constantly monitoring the data at the local level and will continue to take precautionary action where it is necessary. I want to remind all Texans that each of us have a responsibility to help slow the spread of this virus, and I urge everyone to wear a mask, wash their hands regularly, practice social distancing, and stay home if possible.” 

Under the Executive Order, the Governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician. Through proclamation, the Governor can add or subtract from the list of counties included in the Executive Order to address surges in hospitalizations that may arise in other parts of the state.

Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order Expanding Hospital Capacity

Today, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-27 that will limit elective surgeries at hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties.  Under this order, the Governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician. 

At this time, the Executive Order only applies to four counties, however, additional counties can be added as hospital capacity is needed. 

For Immediate Distribution  |  June 25, 2020 |  (512) 463-1826
Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order Expanding Hospital Capacity
Order Suspends Elective Surgeries in Four Texas Counties 

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order to ensure hospital bed availability for COVID-19 patients as Texas faces an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The Governor’s order suspends elective surgeries at hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties. Under this order, the Governor directs all hospitals in these counties to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician.  

Through proclamation, the Governor can add or subtract from the list of counties included in the Executive Order to address surges in hospitalizations that may arise in other parts of the state. 

“As Texas faces a rise in COVID-19 cases, we are focused on both slowing the spread of this virus and maintaining sufficient hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients,” said Governor Abbott. “These four counties have experienced significant increases in people being hospitalized due to COVID-19 and today’s action is a precautionary step to help ensure that the hospitals in these counties continue to have ample supply of available beds to treat COVID-19 patients. As we work to contain this virus, I urge all Texans to do their part to help contain the spread by washing their hands regularly, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing.”

TAPD Officer Spotlight—Benjamin Morgan

Name: Benjamin Morgan

Position: Vice President

Number of years in practice: Seven

Where you went to dental school and completed residency: Baylor and Baylor

Number of years as a TAPD member: Nine total, two as a student member.

What made you decide to get involved as a TAPD officer: Dr. McWhorter, our chair and program director at Baylor, required us to go to meetings in residency and we really enjoyed every meeting. I had a lot of admiration for the people at these meetings and I wanted to have a professional life like theirs.

What is your goal for the year: Support Steven’s big agenda and be a “glue guy” and fill in the voids were I am needed. I am specifically tasked with the Bylaws and Membership committees. We will write and ratify bylaw amendments and likely initiate the TAPD policy manual to help align with AAPD. Membership committee will focus on educating new residents on organized dentistry, making sure our practicing members are heard and their wishes are met, reaching out to dentists who are new to Texas and—most importantly—making sure the membership knows they are welcome at any board meeting. Come join us in person or online!

What have you learned in your time as a TAPD member: If you are not at the table you are on the menu. In the past, we have not been consulted prior to major changes, like slashing our clinical practice purview or our reimbursements. We better be ready to step up and speak up.

What surprised you the most about the legislative process: It is not as adversarial as it appears on the news—there are many on different “sides of the aisle,” but there is a respect for the craft and the call to serve. Also, the young staffers run a lot more of the Capitol than we realize—they work very hard for all of us.

What are you most proud of about TAPD: The ridiculous amount of work these people get done for the practicing community—it is unreal for a volunteer organization. Sealants, coronal polishing, stopping tons of rate cuts, keeping sedation in our offices, and the list goes on and on…