Delivery of dental and medical care in rural
Delivery of care to communities that can not support a full time dental provider should be a responsibility jointly borne by the State of
The grant program would cover:
- Travel expenses to and from communities. The costs of delivering dental care involving the use specialized portable equipment are particularly prohibitive for a private dentists.
- Lodging expenses. The cost of lodging in remote communities make it cost prohibitive for private practitioners to spend sufficient time in these locations.
- Equipment costs for nonprofit organizations. Some of the components used in a dental office can be used in remote locations. However, the equipment that is unique for use in remote areas (portable chairs, suction units, x-ray machines) is costly.
Dentists and dental non-profit organizations, with the help of the grant program, would be able to travel to underserved areas to provide services. The ability of the residents of these communities to pay the standard fee for service fees would be unlikely for the majority of treatment provided. This means most of the billings would be to the Medicaid system, where reimbursement rates are approximately 45-60% of standard fees. These rates are less than the cost of providing treatment in major communities. With the burden of the high costs of travel and lodging to these remote communities, private practitioner find it cost prohibitive to provide services to the residents.
Grants to help with equipment costs would help non profit organizations provide health care services in remote areas. The equipment would allow organizations to travel to areas without dedicated facilities. This equipment, by its nature, would be transportable so the overall cost when figured on a per community basis would not be large.