Serving low income elders since 2002, the Elder Dental Program is a success today largely due to the caring dentists and specialists who volunteer their time and skills to help low income elders. Our program was founded by local dentists who recognized an unmet need in the community. (The average patient served through our program is a 75 year old woman living on an income of approx. $13,000 a year.)
Click here to see what the Fall '08 Journal of Massachusetts Dental Society has to say about the Elder Dental Program.
If you are interested in becoming a participating volunteer dentist in the Elder Dental Program, here are 5 important facts you may like to know:
1. You determine the number of patients you take through the program. You can specify the number in advance or play it by ear. Before setting up a first-time appointment for a new patient, our program manager first checks with your office to see if you are able to take a new patient at that time. The program manager makes all first appointments so that she is able to control the flow of patients to you.
2. The fee schedule determines the price patients pay. When the program manager sets up a patient’s first appointment, she will tell you which fee category that patient is in. The categories are tied to the patient's income and savings and are based on the federal poverty level. New dentures, crowns, and cosmetic work are not included under the program. Patients in need of those services should be referred back to the program manager.
3. No paperwork mess is involved. No insurance companies or government funds are involved, so there are no reimbursement forms to submit. What the patient pays is the only payment you receive. Participating seniors are instructed to pay at the time of the visit so that you do not need to bill them. A patient encounter form, faxable to the program manager, is the only paperwork involved and takes only a moment to fill out.
4. You treat participating seniors in your own office. There is no need to go to a special clinic or work with unfamiliar staff and setup.
5. You have backup. The program manager is available to help you with your Elder Dental Program patients. If any concerns arise with the patient, if your staff has questions about the program, or if you need to refer a patient for more care, the program manager is there to help and make sure things run smoothly for you and your staff.
If you would like to learn more about how your office can become involved with the Elder Dental Program, please call the program manager at 781-769-3710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.