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Financial Considerations

Early intervention in oral health problems using evidence-based programs can help avoid unnecessary expenses resulting from delayed care.

Multiple factors influence the design and development of a school-based dental program.  Consideration must be given to start-up costs of the program and financial sustainability to continue to operate the program over the long-term. Program costs will vary depending on the level of services offered.  For programs providing direct services, the primary expenses include the initial purchase of equipment and ongoing cost of supplies, transportation methods, and related costs if the equipment moves, staff salaries, marketing, and promotional materials, equipment maintenance, and liability insurance. Financing for start-up costs comes from local, state, or federal grants as well as targeted fundraising campaigns.

The identification of a sponsoring organization for a school dental program will vary depending on location – the rates of reimbursement for direct care services will vary by state and sponsor type.  Reimbursements from Medicaid, CHIP, and private insurance billing are a valuable source of funding when combined with grants or fundraising revenues.  You can use the financial feasibility calculator from Smart Mouths Smart Kids listed below to calculate program expenses, revenues, and sustainability. The following resources will assist your financial considerations:

https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/coding_preventive_care.pdf  Coding for Pediatric Preventive Care, 2019

http://smartmouthssmartkids.org/?page_id=48   The Financial Feasibility Calculator is a downloadable Excel sheet that helps you consider expenses related to staff time and wages, costs of supplies and equipment, and income from insurance reimbursements and potential grant revenue.

http://smartmouthssmartkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/CreatingaBusinessPlan.pdf  This tool will help you build a business plan for approaching school districts, school administrators, and other personnel, community members, funders and other potential partners for support.

https://ilikemyteeth.org/ohpp_resource_type/get-paid-for-oral-health-services/   The table provides a state by state information on reimbursement, including provider type, procedure codes, etc.