FRISCO, Texas (June 16, 2021) - Gov. Greg Abbott today signed into law a bill to make teledentistry services available in Texas. DialCare is proud to have been a major proponent for the bill, which expands accessibility of telehealth services to include virtual dentistry.
DialCare is the telemedicine affiliate company of Careington International Corporation, a leader in the non-insured health care benefits space based in Texas since its founding in 1979. Today, Careington serves more than 20 million members across all Careington companies, brands, products and services.
DialCare worked closely with Sen. Charles Perry (R - Lubbock), Rep. Stephanie Klick (R - Fort Worth) and lobbyist Andrea McWilliams of McWilliams Governmental Affairs Consultants to help see HB 2056 through a challenging, gridlocked legislative session that had one of the lowest bill passage rates in Texas history. DialCare started working with Senator Perry before the session began and gave significant input for each bill draft, even before the bill was filed.
Representative Klick, who also serves as Chair of the House Public Health Committee said, "I appreciate the stakeholders, including DialCare, coming together to find common ground to support the passage of this important legislation to move Texas forward."
DialCare's teledentistry program offers 24/7/365 virtual access to licensed dentists via phone or video consultation for advice and guidance on oral health concerns and second opinions. In the pandemic era, it is now more important than ever to provide access to care from the safety of home. DialCare has been offering its teledentistry program since the fall of 2020 throughout the nation, and is excited to now expand into Texas. With the passage of this law, Texas will become the 49th state in which DialCare Teledentistry can operate.
"DialCare saw the importance of changing Texas law to allow Texans to access remote dentistry services, so we began working with the Legislature to address this issue more than a year ago," said Barbara Fasola, DialCare CEO. "We are excited that teledentistry will now be available to everyone in the state which we so proudly call our home."
DialCare was at the forefront of this legislative effort. DialCare President Jeremy Hedrick testified in support of the bill, attended stakeholder meetings and met with legislators and staff. He worked closely with Senator Perry to work through contentious issues and to convey the importance of the bill up until its passage.
"DialCare truly appreciates the opportunity to be involved in the passing of the teledentistry bill into law," said Hedrick. "Now, Texans will be able to connect with dentists by phone or video consultation for advice on their oral health concerns, conveniently and affordably."
"Throughout the COVID-19 shutdowns, patient access to telehealth services became essential," said Senator Perry. "The Legislature responded by adding dentistry to the Texas telehealth statute. Teledentistry better connects patients with their dentists by allowing them to offer services beyond the brick and mortar office. By passing this law, more underserved Texans will have better access to preventative dental care and be able to live a healthier life through the care they will receive."
"It was an honor to work closely with the legislators who shepherded this bill through the arduous process of becoming law," said McWilliams. "I personally want to congratulate Senator Perry and Representative Klick on this tremendous accomplishment."
Beyond the innovative teledentistry program, DialCare also offers comprehensive telemedicine and telebehavioral health programs, and plans to launch a virtual veterinarian program by the end of 2021. DialCare provides more than 6 million members with access to its telehealth programs and expects membership to grow to over 10 million by the end of the year.
DialCare Teledentistry is available nationally to organizations of any size or industry, employees of any status and individual consumers throughout the nation.