County ends contracts with 7 dentists; service to continue

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Nov. 26, 2012 at 5:26 a.m.
Updated Nov. 27, 2012 at 5:27 a.m.

Dentists working part time for Victoria City-County Health Department will lose their contracts at the end of the year, but patients should not see any change in service.

Victoria County Commissioners Court gave a 30-day notice after unanimously voting to terminate the existing contracts Monday.

County Judge Don Pozzi said the dental services will continue under Community Health Centers of South Central Texas, a federally qualified health center.

The center serves as a "safety" net provider focusing on the indigent and uninsured population but is for all residents.

The health department currently provides dental services for children as young as 4 years old. Under the new health center, infants as young as 6 months old can see a dentist, Pozzi said.

"We have been assured that the services will not suffer, in fact, at the first opportunity, they will expand," Pozzi said.

Plans call for adding three chairs in the dental department, the judge said.

"We have done an awful lot of investigation and an awful lot of work," Pozzi said. "This is absolutely no reflection on the outstanding job that these dentists have done for us over a number of years out there."

The county budgets $250,000 for dental expenses annually. That revenue will not be saved, per se, but will be budgeted elsewhere, said County Auditor Judy McAdams said.

McAdams said she expects to see a loss in revenue this year.

In all, she said seven dentists' contracts were terminated.

Henry Salas, CEO of Community Health Centers of South Central Texas, did not return requests for comment Monday.



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