Objectives: This article describes a model for a school-based program designed to reduce dental access disparities and examines its financial feasibility in states with different Medicaid reimbursement rates.
Methods: Using state and national data, the expected revenues and expenses for operating the program in different states were estimated. Hygienists with support staff provided screening and preventive services in schools using portable equipment and generated surplus funds that were used to supplement payments to community clinics and private practices for treating children.
Results: The program is financially feasible in states when the ratio of Medicaid fees is 60.5% of mean national fees. Of the 13 states examined, one-third have adequate Medicaid fees to support the program.
Conclusion: The model program has considerable promise for reducing access disparities at a lower cost per child than current Medicaid programs.