Applying Topical Fluoride Varnish in the Medical Office Setting for Children

doc-child-articleFebruary is National Children’s Dental Health Month. It’s a good time to renew awareness of the Healthy Teeth Healthy Children Program, a program of the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (PA AAP) which is funded by the DentaQuest Foundation.

Due to the effort of Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) member Eve Kimball, MD, along with several other pediatric advisors, application of Topical Fluoride Varnish (TFV) became a billable service in the medical office setting for children. 

This began as a billable service in 2010 mainly for Medicaid beneficiaries. However, a collaborative impact initiative in Pennsylvania, along with recommendation from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, led to the implementation of a new CPT code 99188 starting in 2015.

In Pennsylvania, Medicaid will reimburse for the service for children up to age five. Commercial insurers are reimbursing for children up to the sixth birthday.

“Implementing fluoride varnish in the office is so easy, inexpensive, and effective,” says Dr. Kimball. “Most dental cavities are preventable but daily frequent sugar intake is so hard to interrupt these days.


How to Provide Topical Fluoride Varnish Applications in Your Office

You are required to complete a free one-hour presentation with on-site training in order to offer TFV to your patients. As part of the Educating Physician in the Community (EPIC) program, the training to the medical staff provides information such as fluoride varnish application, oral health screenings, and associated billing/reimbursement.

For information or to schedule a presentation, contact PA AAP at (484) 446-3059 or toll free in Pennsylvania at (800) 337-2227. You can also get details on the program online here or access the following resources:

PAMED members with questions can also contact our Knowledge Center at 855-PAMED4U (855-726-3348) or KnowledgeCenter@pamedsoc.org.  

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