Utilization of Dental Services and Its Out-of-Pocket Payments: A Study in Dental Clinics of Ramsar
Dental care is globally expensive with the greatest portion of the costs imposed on patients. This study was conducted to investigate utilization rate of dental services and out-of-pocket payments (OOP) in dental clinics of Ramsar, Iran, 2015.
Materials and Methods
In this cross-sectional study, 302 patients referred to Ramsar dental clinics were selected through stratified sampling. The data was collected through review of patient records and telephone interviews with patients. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression test in SPSS, version 21.
The highest utilization rate with 66.9% was related to reconstructive services and the lowest pertained to orthodontic services. Root canal therapy, orthodontics and prosthesis had the highest share of OOP and the highest insurance coverage with 30% related to surgical services. Overall, the share of OOP in dental care costs was 91%. Employment status, educational level, annual household income, and having elderlies (aged over 65 years old) in the household had significant impact on OOP payments (P≤0.05).
Due to the high OOP payment, new policies on insurance coverage of dental services should be adopted. We recommend national policies to be focused on preventing dentistry services, as well as designing and establishing public dental clinics in public hospitals and prioritizing low-income groups.
Journal of Mashhad Dental School, Volume:41 Issue:2, 2017
171 - 182
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