Partnership for the Children of San Luis Obispo County (PTC) received a $10,000 grant from the American Dental Association Foundation to provide support for the Tolosa Children’s Dental Center satellite office in the City of San Luis Obispo. PTC established operation of Tolosa Children’s Dental Center–San Luis Obispo in July of 2014, leasing the SLO Noor Dental Clinic (for adults) each Thursday in order to improve access to pediatric dental services for underserved children in the central region of the county. After the first 11 days of being open, 169 unique patients had been seen and 193 appointments served. Almost all patients were Medi-Cal insured. Tolosa Children’s Dental Center’s main office is located in Paso Robles. It opened in 2003 and currently serves over 4,500 unique children each year, mainly Medi-Cal insured.
“The ADA Foundation grant will help cover some of our un-reimbursed expenses incurred from our San Luis Obispo operation.” said PTC President, Jon Hollister, DDS. “It could not have come at a better time as Partnership is facing many challenges in the coming year as we work toward our mission of increasing access to dental care for underserved children in San Luis Obispo County. As more families qualify for subsidized care, but no new dental providers are added to the networks serving these families, we anticipate a greater demand for the services we provide. Perhaps more troubling” explains Dr. Hollister “is the 10% recent rate cut to the Medi-Cal dental reimbursements that began in September of 2013.”
Paying only about 30 cents for every dollar of care provided, Medi-Cal has historically been on the extremely low end of the reimbursement scale. “Considering that nearly 90% of families seen in our offices are covered by Medi-Cal, a much higher percentage that one would see in a typical for profit office, this constitutes a significant reduction in our ability to just cover the costs of providing care.”
“Unfortunately, both an increase in demand for our services and a significant decrease in our traditional revenue are requiring us to stretch our resources even thinner, and to dip into our reserves. In light of all that, the ADA Foundation grant is a very welcomed gift.”
About the ADA Foundation
The ADA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that funds programs and grants in the United States and its territories by receiving contributions from corporate donors, individual dentists and many others in order to support dental education programs and grants, scholarships for dental student and allied dental students, grants to non-profit organizations that help expand access to oral health care for disadvantaged populations, dental research on contemporary issues of concern, and grants for dentists and their dependents who can no longer meet daily living expenses.