Volume: VI, Issue: 19
November 29, 2018

Medicare Releases Mandated Report on Medicare Telehealth Utilization, Barriers & Opportunities

In response to a requirement in the 21st Century Cures Act to issue a report on telehealth use, barriers and opportunities in Medicare, CMS released an informational report on November 15th addressing the four required elements, including the following: 
  1. Identification of Medicare beneficiaries whose care may be improved most by telehealth services;
  2. Activities by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation that examines the use of telehealth;
  3. The types of high-volume services that might be suitable to be furnished using telehealth; and 
  4. The barriers that are preventing telehealth’s expansion.  
The report acknowledges telehealth’s potential not only for Medicare rural beneficiaries but also to those in non-rural areas, racial and ethnic minorities and the elderly with multiple chronic conditions many of whom are currently restricted from accessing telehealth solely by their physical location.
For more details and further statistics on telehealth in Medicare, see the full report.

-- Center for Connected Health Policy

New OHRC Publication:
Prescribing Opioids for Women of Reproductive Age

The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) is pleased to announce the release of a new resource: Prescribing Opioids for Women of Reproductive Age: Information for Dentists, at
Opioid addiction is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. Therefore, exercising caution when prescribing opioids is critical. However, pain management is necessary for some dental procedures, and in some cases, prescribing opioids may be warranted. The document provides an overview of pain management for dental procedures for women of reproductive age and discusses pharmacological considerations for pregnant women. It also discusses neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, guidelines for providing opioids, managing acute dental pain, and guidelines for discharging women with opioid prescriptions. Information about prescription drug monitoring programs is included. 
This publication was made possible by cooperative agreement #U44MC30806 from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau. 

Texas Public Health Priorities Survey

Greetings colleagues,
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks so much to the many of you all who have already submitted our second wave engagement survey! I just wanted to send a quick post-Thanksgiving reminder that we’re still soliciting input in this second round of engagement and we would love to hear from all of you.
And as you will remember, Texas Public Health Priorities is a broad and collaborative effort seeking to identify and then improve health outcomes in three to five areas that represent significant health and/or economic burdens to the state. Once these 3-5 critical health issues have been identified, the initiative will align efforts throughout DSHS and with partners across the state to work to improve health outcomes in these yet-to-be-identified priority areas.
In case you missed it, for reference a recording of our recent ‘Texas Public Health Priorities Updates and Next Steps Webinar’ is now available! Click here to watch the webinar.
DSHS’ Office of Science and Population Health is currently soliciting feedback on a list of candidate public health priorities.  Please fill out a short survey at the link below:
Please feel welcome to share this webinar and survey with members in your organization as well as other public health colleagues and stakeholders in our state.
We look forward to working with you towards a healthy Texas!
Best regards,

Stephen Pont, MD, MPH
Texas Department of State Health Services
Medical Director, Office of Science and Population Health
P.O. Box 149347  MC: 1911
Austin, TX  78714-9347
Office: (512) 776-7792
Fax: (512) 776-7177

for the
2019 Texas Oral Health Conference

July 24-26, 2019
JJ Pickle Commons Learning Center | Austin, TX

Friendly Reminder

Thank you to everyone who attended the Texas Oral Health Coalition's 2018 Annual Meeting Friday, October 19, 2018 in Austin, TX.  Presentations by Dr. Sean Boynes and Ankit Sanghavi may be found on our website at

A friendly reminder to please complete your conference and course evaluations before the December 31, 2018 deadline.  In order to complete your evaluation and receive your CE Attendance Verification, please visit  Your registration number may be found on your email confirmation or conference badge and the completion course codes were provided during the meeting.  You will need your registration number and completion codes in order to complete your online evaluation.  Please refer to the blue page in your conference folder for written directions.

Once you have completed your online evaluation and clicked submit, you will receive a confirmation email notification that you have completed the evaluation process and may download or print out your Attendance Verification to retain for your records.

Austin Community College Wins Portable Unit!

Congratulations to Austin Community College! 

Michelle Landrum proudly accepts the 2018 Portable TPC Unit awarded by Tom Deighton from Midwest Dental Equipment and Supply.

As part of the Collaborative Stakeholder Initiative between TxOHC and Midwest Dental, TxOHC members receive substantial price discounts on merchandise, capital equipment, and laboratory services. For each merchandise or equipment order placed with Midwest Dental in excess of $500, your name will be added to a drawing for a free TPC Portable Unit. Eligible providers/organizations must be present during the Texas Oral Health Coalition Annual Meeting to win. 

If you or your organization are not a member or partner, please join today and take advantage of these cost savings. 

If you would like to take advantage of this cost savings opportunity:

  1. Select your membership category here
  2. Complete your online membership agreement here
  3. Call or email Tammy Campbell, (940)687-7131 (or Lauri Cooper) to set up an account and reference you are a member of TXOHC and wish to participate in the collaborative stakeholder initiative.

Make plans to give back to TxOHC with Goodshop and AmazonSmile by choosing us as your cause as you do your online holiday shopping.

Not only does Goodshop provide the best shopping deals on the internet, but they donate to the nonprofit or school of your choice for almost every purchase you make.

Register with Goodshop then head on over to the pick a cause page and select Texas Oral Health Coalition (or visit the TxOHC page directly).  Once you've signed up for a nonprofit and chosen the stores you love to shop at, sit back and receive the latest coupons and offers at thousands of top retailers like Amazon, Macy’s, Target and Best Buy. You can also donate while you search using powered with the yahoo search engine.

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile ( at the same price. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages.

When shopping you can choose the Texas Oral Health Coalition to support with all of your purchases!
Many Thanks To Our Coalition Sponsors!


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