June 2015

Volume 32, Issue 2

A new capitation payment system in dentistry: the patients’ perspective

Authors: I. Tidefors M. Hakeberg U. Wide Boman C. Andrén Andås J. Strand
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3529Strand06

Abstract

A new capitation payment system in dentistry: the patients’ perspective J. Strand, C. Andrén Andås, U. Wide Boman, M. Hakeberg and I. Tidefors Objective: To investigate patients’ experiences of a new payment system for dental care in Sweden. Methods: Twenty interviews, with 12 women and 8 men, were analysed by thematic content analysis. The interviewees were all regularly attending patients, strategically selected from five general Public Dental Service clinics in urban Gothenburg, Sweden, who had chosen a new payment system based on capitation rather than the traditional fee-for-service system. Conducted by two clinical psychologists/researchers independent of dental profession, the interviews were guided by a semi-structured schedule, which included questions about the new payment system and about dental care and oral health. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Results: Two themes emerged from the analysis: “Choice” and “Commitment”. The sub-themes defined patients as having chosen the new capitation scheme on their own initiative or after being influenced by relatives or by their dentist, and that the change of payment system was occasioned by previous bad (dental) experiences or in the hope of future (dental health) gain. The commitment was perceived as affording economic security and, through the contractual relationship with the provider, regular calls to attend the clinic. Conclusions: Patients were generally in favour of the new payment system for dentistry in Sweden; however, important arguments were raised to improve the system, such as better communication concerning the contract and risk assessment. Key words: qualitative research, dental insurance, patient preferences, patient satisfaction, Sweden

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