FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Over half of dentists have partly or completely dropped out of the dental insurance game, according to a recent survey by The Wealthy Dentist. Dentists are especially frustrated by low payment schedules.
July 19, 2008 (San Francisco, California) Dentists are sick and tired of dental insurance companies dictating fees and treatments. Just over half of the dentists in this survey by dental practice marketing resource The Wealthy Dentist said that they had mostly or completely stopped accepting dental insurances. "We
still work with hundreds of insurance companies by filing the paperwork, etc," said an Ohio dentist. "But by not being ‘in-network’ on any plan, we get paid for what we do."
Dropping insurance can raise a dental practice’s bottom line, but it can also cost them patients. One-third of respondents felt that dropping insurances was not a financially realistic option for them. Eleven percent had completely dropped insurances, 44% mostly had, and 12% were considering it.
Some feel that insurance encourages sub-standard care by focusing more on the financial bottom line than on patients’ best interests. “Insurance has ruined medicine,” complained a New Jersey dentist. “I do not think the insurance companies should be trying to dictate treatment. They often change treatment plans to the cheapest option which is not the best for the patient,” agreed a Kentucky dentist.
The biggest complain about dental insurance is how inadequate the benefit payments are these days. "It has been 48 years since dental insurance began, and the $1,000 yearly maximum has yet to be raised. That's half a century!" said an Ohio dentist. "Dental insurance is a joke. It's not even insurance; it's an employee benefit with ridiculously low payouts. Their goal is to not pay out a penny more than what their customer is paying in premiums. Insurance carriers get away
with legalized theft, and I will not participate. I truly wish more dentists would kick them out. They are NOT a necessary evil to survive,” declared an Alaska dentist.
Many patients don’t fully understand how dental insurance differs from medical insurance. Dental "insurance" is actually more of a benefit plan. Patients typically qualify for about $1000 of dental work each calendar year. Unlike health insurance, if you need an additional $100,000 worth of work, your dental insurance won’t help out.
Unrealistic expectations about what insurance will cover can lead to unhappy patients. "The unsatisfied patients are all the ones who still owe money after their insurance did not pay what the patient thinks they should,” sighed a Maryland dentist. "Some of the contracted insurance patients were the most demanding, unappreciative, and always wanting to make 'deals.' I believe this was encouraged by the insurance company,” said a Minnesota dentist.
Even dentists who drop insurance still help patients with the paperwork. "I have dropped all insurance plans, and patients pay us first. However, we will fill out paperwork and fight for the patient to get the benefits they are owed,” said a Washington dentist.
"Dentists have a lot of hostility towards dental insurance companies," said Jim Du Molin, dental practice management consultant and founder of dental continuing CE website The Wealthy Dentist. "Of course, getting out of the insurance game is difficult for anyone, and might be impossible for some. Still, it seems clear the current system isn’t ideal for either doctors or patients."
Visit http://www.thewealthydentist.com for more Wealthy Dentist survey results on topics such as cosmetic dentistry, dental implants,
sedation dentistry, dentures, wisdom teeth, and braces. Plus, sign up for Jim Du Molin's free video training program on dental website marketing.
Jim Du Molin