Dental Voucher Scheme
Latrobe Health Assembly and Latrobe Community Health Services partnered in several Oral Health projects in 2018 with one of the main focuses to reduce the General Dental and Denture LCHS waiting lists, which at the time was 2.5 years.
One of the projects was the up-skilling of Dental Assistants to a Certificate IV Oral Health Educator. The utilisation of Oral Health Educator teams within other Public Dental Agencies has seen the reduction of waiting lists to an average of 12 months compared to the Latrobe Valley current average of 2.5 years. As it would be 12-18 months before the Oral Health Educators could be utilised an additional Voucher project was initiated to try and reduce the waiting list in the short term.
The project utilised the existing voucher system that Latrobe Community Health Services provides under the Victorian Denture and Victorian General Dental Schemes. Differences to the standard system were:
- Private providers in the Latrobe area could be utilised and these providers needed to sign an agreement contract to participate.
- The contract outlined that the private provider agreed to provide Oral Health Care education to all participants and smoking cessation advice and referrals as required.
- The providers also agreed to provide weekly updates to LCHS in regards to uptake and treatment planning item codes to assist with monitoring of the budget.
Key outcomes from the dental voucher include:
- 1711 clients were offered a General Voucher.
- 308 clients were offered a Denture Voucher.
- 732 clients received a General Dental voucher, 667 vouchers were processed.
- 181 clients received a Denture voucher, 112 vouchers were processed
The overall outcome of the project was a 10.58% reduction in the waiting list time.