Business models like this are working. Kool Smiles dental practices in underserved communities across 16 states and the District of Columbia mainly serve Medicaid patients — in fact 80 percent to 90 percent are Medicaid enrollees. By providing quality dental care backed by efficient business systems and practices, Kool Smiles clinics continue to successfully operate and maintain exemplary patient satisfaction rates.
The Deamonte Driver story, while tragic, has clearly illustrated the urgent need to change the business-as-usual attitude regarding pediatric dental care. It’s simply not acceptable for innocent children to go without care because public policy and providers are at odds. With innovative business practice, and leadership by lawmakers, we can ensure good health and happy smiles for all American children.
Paul O. Walker is a board-certified pediatric dentist and has served as president and director/examiner for the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and as a member of the board of trustees for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.