Over the past several years, more companies are signing on with dental maintenance organizations (DMOs) in order to save on their dental insurance costs. We see cost saving measures being taken in many facets in our lives. In some cases the changes are acceptable; however, in other cases, the cost savings create additional costs in some way which we do not anticipate. This is indeed the case with DMOs.
The truth of the matter is this. Each DMO signs up “preferred dentists” who are willing to get paid anywhere perhaps from $10-30 monthly for each employee who declares them as their “preferred provider”. So whether you come in or not, they get paid this money. Do you get paid NOT to work for someone? So, let’s say you want to make a DMO-dentist appointment for a cleaning, exam, and some x-rays. You will often find that your available appointments are limited. They are most likely being rationed. This is because these dental practices also have patients within them who have other insurance or other means of paying for their preventive appointments which has not yet been paid to the dentist; the dentist has already been paid for your preventive appointments, remember? So, by rationing your appointment availability, the dentist can see other “paying” patients. Are you seeing what I am saying?
This is kind’a like trying to use your airline miles (possible exception from the Capital One Venture card) from your credit card. You know what I am saying. There are often many blackout dates, many seats are rationed or are limited in availability, and we get frustrated. We might even have to pay a fee to use our “free” airline miles. Do you see where I am going with this? There is the added cost of often-rationed appointments with a DMO because your chosen “preferred provider” is already being paid for your preventive appointments whether you get the service done or not. The dentist is being paid no matter what! DMOs and our national government are two entities who may pay people for not working; do you sense my frustration? Do you really want your dentist to make a business decision on whether you can come in or not so he/she does not lose money for your presence in the dental chair?
The situation is a bit different but still similar when other procedures are being done. The dentist has other patients with other insurance and other means to pay for which he/she receives more payment than with your DMO. There is still a competition for a dental chair; there is still often-rationing for the dentist to maximize his/her profitability. And, many times it is a corporate entity making these protocol decisions on who gets priority seating in the dental chair. Is that really what you want?
Here at my practice, I have chosen not to play games with DMOs. You will not find my name on those lists. I respect patients and people too much than to make decisions on their making appointments based on profitability. If you are interested in finding out more about my unique practice, please follow this link. If you are interested in an appointment with us, please call us at (972) 250-2580.