When people have access to comprehensive oral health care, their overall health, well-being and self-confidence are significantly improved, as are their ability to secure employment, learn in school, and contribute to society. Michigan has over 1.5 million residents with annual incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. The majority of this group do not have dental insurance or are on Medicaid, and have poor access to dental care.
My Community Dental Centers, Inc. (MCDC), a non-profit, 501(c)3 corporation, has been formed to address this access problem by creating and managing dental centers on behalf of local Public Health Departments in Michigan.
The practice style used in MCDC administered public health centers is a social entrepreneur model, which is akin to the prevention-driven private practice model, with incentives to increase productivity and control costs. This approach generates teamwork that enthusiastically provides needed care, regardless of the payer source.
Our clinics utilize state-of-the-art equipment that includes digital panoramic and intra-oral radiography, and Dentrix® practice management software at chairside to provide the electronic patient chart. This allows efficient delivery of care, reduces charting and billing errors, and manages healthcare records that are easily read and understood.
Through the creation of regionally marketed reduced fee programs, low-income uninsured individuals gain access to care in affiliated public health centers, as well as to self-selected private practitioners who participate in the program. In these reduced-fee plans, after paying an enrollment fee that covers the initial exam, patients pay for care directly to the provider. Fees coincide with the Delta Dental DPO fee schedule.
As centers generate monies in excess of costs, monies will be accumulated in a Dental Assistance Fund to help contribute to the cost of care in our centers on a sliding scale, based upon the patient’s income. This allows our centers to provide care to those with very low incomes, as well as for services not covered by Medicaid.