Topical application of fluoride to a child's teeth is a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay as part of a comprehensive oral health program.
Wisconsin Medicaid recommends that children under age 5 who have erupted teeth receive topical fluoride treatment. Children at low or moderate risk of early childhood caries should receive one or two applications per year; children at higher risk should receive three or four applications per year.
The most accepted mode of fluoride delivery in children under age 5 is a fluoride varnish. OTC mouth rinses are not covered.
When submitting claims for topical fluoride treatment, medical providers should indicate procedure code 99188 (Application of topical fluoride varnish by a physician or other qualified health care professional) if fluoride varnish is used or D1208 (Topical application of fluoride) if topical varnish is used. Providers may also submit HealthCheck and office visit HCPCS procedure codes in addition to the above services if appropriate.
In cases where more than two fluoride treatments per year are medically necessary, providers are required to retain supporting clinical documentation in the member's file indicating the need for additional treatments.
Ancillary staff (e.g., physician assistants, nurse practitioners) are required to follow certain billing procedures.
Wisconsin Medicaid will separately reimburse providers for the appropriate level office visit or preventive visit at which the fluoride application was performed.
An Oral Health Provider Training guide describing how providers may perform lift-the-lip oral screenings, apply fluoride varnish to a small child's teeth, and provide basic oral health guidance to parents is available.