Managed Dental Care: Lower Fees

Many consider spending less money a wonderful thing. Spending less money on dental services sounds great! This is exactly what managed dental care plans attempt to do.

To reduce fees, managed dental care plans enter into a contract relationship with dentists. Part of this contract is a mandatory fee schedule. These fees may be reduced up to 50%. This sounds great, right? With the cost of business of a dental office being on average 50-65% of the fees collected, this fee reduction can be devastating. How do these dentists make this fee reduction work?

One way is to do more dental treatment. For instance, with a fee reduction from managed care plans of a “modest” 20%, the dentist would have to increase dental treatment by over 27% to net the same amount of money. With a fee reduction of 30%, the dentist would have to increase his dental treatment by over 43%. Are you getting this? With a fee reduction of 50%, the dentist would have to increase the amount of dental treatment done by over 100%, doubling his/her workload. How does the dentist do this? Is all this increased dental treatment that needs to be done from fee reduction truly needed?

Second, to alleviate some of this needed treatment to overcome the fee reductions, the dentist could decrease expenses. The largest expenses that would allow for the most saved dollars would be staff salaries, dental lab expenses that are needed to fabricate your crowns, office space rent, and dental supplies. Decreasing any of these significantly may alter the quality of care. Using discount dental labs, overseas dental labs, and a lesser paid staff may contribute significantly to your quality of care.

Third, the dentist relies on the insurance plan referring patients to the dental office by being marketed in the employee booklets or online listings of “preferred providers.” If the dentist was lacking patients before, why was that? Is the dentist new? Were patients not referring enough patients to the practice?

Managed dental care plans sound great. They do reduce dental fees. However, they come with altered ways of doing the business of dentistry in order to make them work. This may impact the quality of care and the amount of money spent on dental care in the long run.

Within my practice, we do file and accept insurance payments. However, we do not accept the discounted fees. Our “bread and butter” is saving patients money in the long run, with flexible payment terms. We do make quality care affordable. Hundreds of our patients have been with us for over 15 years. We invite you to experience what you may be missing. We invite you to call us at (972) 250-2580.

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