The following statement on the passage of the Texas Dental Board Reform Act (HB 3201) is released from the Texas Coalition of Dental Support Organizations:
“As a coalition devoted to helping Texas dentists expand access to affordable, high-quality dental care, TCDSO applauds House Public Health Chairwoman Lois Kolkhorst and Senate Health and Human Services Chairwoman Jane Nelson for their leadership and joint efforts in passing the Texas Dental Board Reform Act (HB 3201).
“We also wish to thank the Texas Legislature for its continuing commitment to improving oral health care in our state. According to Kaiser State Health Facts, Texas ranks near the bottom of the nation in the number of dentists per capita and the number of dentists needed to meet the oral care needs of its residents. The Texas Department of State Health Services has reported that nearly five million Texans live in a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area, and 46 Texas counties have no dentists at all. This “Dental Divide,” as the American Dental Association has properly termed it, is being experienced all across the nation and requires targeted action that expands access to and the delivery of dental care.
“For these reasons, we applaud the Texas Legislature for setting aside proposals that would have negatively impacted dentists who utilize administrative support services and for instead overwhelmingly approving legislation reforming the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners and reinforcing the rights of parents.
“For more than 30 years, many Texas dentists have benefitted from using the administrative support services of dental support organizations (DSOs) for tasks including facility maintenance, supply procurement, and scheduling support. By contracting with DSOs for non-clinical administrative services, these dentists expand access to dental care by devoting more of their time to the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care to patients and less time to administrative duties.
“TCDSO members look forward to working with legislative and community leaders to improve the oral health of residents in Texas and our nation.”