Design of an innovative paediatric capitation payment approach for public sector dentistry: An Australian experience

J. Conquest, M. Jacobi, J. Skinner, Marc Tennant

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    © 2014 FDI World Dental Federation. Aim The aim of this study was to trial the methodology and administration processes of a public paediatric capitation programme provided in the period 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2011 through a Bachelor of Oral Health programme in rural New South Wales (NSW), Australia, where access to public dental services is limited. Basic Research Design The principal structure of the programme was the development of three diagnostic pathways: active caries and pain (Pathway A); active caries and no pain (Pathway B); and no active caries and no pain (Pathway C). In 2011, de-identified treatment data for NSW public dental services' patients under 18 years of age were analysed to identify the top 10 dental treatment items. These items were clustered according to the mean decayed and/or filled surface of patients under 18 years of age who had decayed, filled or missing teeth. Each treatment item was allocated 60% of the 2011 Australian Government Department of Veteran Affairs Schedule of Fees. Clinical Setting The programme was trialled in Charles Sturt University dental facility in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Participants The programme targeted patients in the following age groups: 0-5 years; 6-11 years; and 12-17 years. Result The 6-month trial provided 361 patients with a capitation pathway, at a total cost of $47,567.90, averaging $131.76 per capitation pathway. The total number of items provided (n = 2,070) equated to an average of 5.7 items per capitation diagnostic pathway. Conclusion This model offered an early entry point for paediatric patients to access dental care that addressed their needs, whilst being flexible enough to be fiscally attractive.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32-38
    JournalInternational Dental Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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