Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Steven J. Lindauer


State Medicaid programs were established to care for the poor by eliminating financial barriers and increasing their ability to be treated within the mainstream of the heath care system. The number of children eligible for Medicaid services is increasing, yet the number of Medicaid providers remains low. Health care providers cite failed appointments as being a major problem with Medicaid patients and one of the largest deterrents to participating. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a difference in appointment keeping behavior exists between Medicaid and non-Medicaid orthodontic patients. During a twelve-month period, a tally of appointments was kept for 707 active patients at Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Orthodontics. Patients were categorized as either Medicaid or non-Medicaid and their appointment keeping behavior was evaluated. The results revealed that a significant difference does exist in the number of failed appointments between the groups (P<0.0001). The Medicaid patients failed 247(15.4%) of 1609 appointments and non-Medicaid patients failed 367(8.3%) of 4438 appointments. Additionally, these data show that although Medicaid patients accounted for only 26.6% of all appointments, they were responsible for about 40% of all appointment failures. The findings from this study support the concern among dental practitioners that Medicaid patients have higher rate of appointment failures than non-Medicaid patients.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008