Only about one half of our patients are covered under some form of dental benefit plan. The national average is about 60 per cent of folks have a dental benefit plan. Over 95 per cent of those with a benefit plan get coverage through their employer sponsored health plan. It is too soon to tell what the effects of the Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”) will be on dental coverage. No matter what happens in the world of dental benefits we want to restate our philosophy regarding patient care. We believe that our examination, diagnosis and recommended treatment have nothing to do with whether you have insurance or not. Our goal is to provide care for our clients based on the outcomes you desire at the highest standards we can provide. For most of those folks with insurance the amount of coverage has not increased in many years even though we all know costs have continued to go up. In the past year or two several companies actually decreased the benefits they will pay out. In an effort to force our office into being a participant in an insurance company plan the companies will not pay us on the same schedule as participating dentists. They also try to force patients to see participating offices by withholding benefits if you see dentists outside the “network”. In essence the insurance companies want to set the fees paid to our office and to determine what services we can deliver based on whether they will cover the service or not. We don’t work for the insurance companies. We work for you – our clients. Our goal is your maximum health and well-being through education and prevention. If treatment is needed we will discuss the financial issues before we begin. We will provide care with respect and in a pain free manner. We believe our client is the final arbiter of care. We will still file your insurance paperwork for you but we work for you not the insurance company.
What about our fees? Our fees for services are the same whether you have a benefit plan or not. We believe that it is patently unfair that we would discount fees to a segment of our patient population because they have a dental benefit package while our non-insured clients pay more. This is the insurance industry/government getting in the middle of our business. They are telling dentists “work with us and we will send you more business”. However they will demand we charge a lower fee, they will determine what services we deliver. Dentistry is not a business where you can turn up the speed on a machine and produce higher volume to cover lower fees. We still treat people one at a time. This is sold to the employer and employee on the basis that if you see “our doctors” you will have little or no out of pocket cost.
All we have to offer to our clients is Care, Skill and Judgment. If we are going to prosper in the dental care business we must cover the costs of running a business – payroll, overhead, facility, reinvestment – and - we must make a fair return on investment – profit. The level of service by every member of our team must be so superior to our competition that our clients are willing to pay for the “value added experience”. There is no specific formula to create this experience. For some it will be superior technical skill, for others it will be special behavioral talent. If we listen to our clients we will know when we are getting the right combination to develop true long-term relationships based on mutual trust and understanding. Our system must work with the terrain we are in. Every member of our team must believe in our philosophy and have a passion for the delivery of great care. We must great communicators and be accountable to others and ourselves. We must be committed to deliver the highest standard of care we are capable of. Finally we must go back to the very basic belief that the patient determines the outcomes that will be delivered, we must mutually agree on the means to “get there” and we must agree that the “fee” is appropriate for all concerned. We respect the fact your trust in our care, skill, judgment and commitment to life-long learning has allowed us to prosper. We honor your willingness to invest in dental health and well-being.