Fla. dental professor: Sarrell clinic an educational model

Frank Catalanotto, D.M.D., a professor and chair of the department of community dentistry and behavioral science at the University of Florida, is so impressed by the work being done at Sarrell Dental Center that he plans to visit the nonprofit clinic based in Birmingham, AL, July 23 to learn about its success and how he might replicate it in Florida, according to a story in the Anniston Star.

The clinic opened in 2005 in donated space with the purpose of providing oral care to underserved children on Medicaid. Over the next five years, seven Sarrell Clinics sprang up around the state, serving 35,853 patients in 2008, according to the Star.

Revenue nearly tripled during the same period, from $2.3 million in 2006 to $6.75 million in 2009, while costs per patient visit has declined from $328 in 2005 to $131 in 2009, according to Jeff Parker, Sarrell CEO.

"Many dentists say they don't take Medicaid patients because they don't pay enough money," Sarrell told the Star. "We've proven that is not true."

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