Survey of North American Multidisciplinary Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Team Clinic Administration

Kristin D. Pfeifauf, Kamlesh B. Patel, Alison Snyder-Warwick, Gary B. Skolnick, Sibyl Scheve, Sybill D. Naidoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aims to provide an understanding of the ways cleft palate (CP) and craniofacial teams address billing, administration, communication of clinical recommendations, appointment scheduling, and diagnosis-specific protocols. Design: An online clinic administration survey was developed using data from an open-ended telephone questionnaire. The online survey was distributed by e-mail to the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) nurse coordinator electronic mailing list, used regularly by the ACPA and its members to communicate with teams. The response was 34.1% (42/123). Two incomplete records were excluded, as were any inconsistent responses of 3 teams submitting duplicate records. Results: Six (15.8%) of 38 teams do not charge for clinic visits. For all other teams, some or all providers bill individually for services (68.4%) or a single lump sum applies (10.5%). Patients of 34 (89.5%) of 38 teams occasionally or often neglect to schedule or attend follow-up appointments. Twenty-six (66.7%) of 39 team directors were plastic surgeons. Phone is a common method of contacting families for scheduling (60.0%) and appointment reminders (82.5%). Most teams’ providers (90.0%) routinely communicate findings to each other during postclinical conference. Most teams saw patients with isolated cleft lip (43.6%), cleft lip and palate (64.1%), or isolated CP (59.0%) annually. Conclusions: The breadth of strategies team clinic administration strategies warrants further exploration of the variations and their effects on patient-centered outcomes including the quality of life, satisfaction, cost, and resource utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-513
Number of pages6
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • cleft palate
  • clinic organization
  • craniofacial
  • multidisciplinary treatment


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