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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dental Insurance- good,BAD and UGLY

I can't tell you how many times a week a walk up to the front desk at my office and think to my self - "I am so glad I don't work in this part of the office". I think its important to have a good understanding of what goes on in that department but I wouldn't want to deal with people and their money for 30+ hours a week- NO THANK YOU! (I'll take infected gums any day)

My office is fee for service which means that our patients pay us the day of their services and then we submit the claim for them and they get a reimbursement check in the mail from their insurance company.

I think it is easiest for me to understand and explain why this is a good way to operate for dental offices by comparing it to medical insurance.

Take my sons recent visit to the doctor: (this is the actual breakdown of my insurance EOB)

My sons MD is a participating provider with our insurance company which means that he accepts what ever fee this insurance company tell him he can charge for his service- no matter how ridiculously low.

                                                  For this appointment the doctors fee is $158

                                                                  the insurance company paid $28.08

                                                                                                   I paid $  3.12

                                                                  the doctor had to write off   $126.80

          The insurance company set the fee for the MD's service at            $31.20

Anyone who doesn't have insurance would have to pay the $158 fee, so as a patient I am torn between being happy that I only have to pay $3 and annoyed that I have to wait in the waiting room forever because the doctor has to see 5 patients at a time to turn a profit because he is only getting paid 20% of his fee in most cases. Because I like this doctor I also hope that he is able to remain in business by only getting paid a fraction of what is owed to him.

As a dental practice that wants to provide our patients with great service we decided that allowing insurance to dictate our fees and essentially determine how we would need to book our schedules would not allow us to provide the kind of treatment we wanted to.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Free Trial of Sonicare AirFloss

I started my free trial of the Sonicare AirFloss on Wednesday of this week- I am on day number 3 and so far I am not impressed. I feel that it is similar to my water pik although requires more concentration because you have to push the button after you place it next to each tooth. I also don't like that I can feel the suck back after each burst of air.

I was excited and hopeful that I would fall in love with this product because I LOVE MY FLEXCARE. I held out hope even after we had  lunch with the representative from Sonicare who told us there isn't really any research to prove that it is effective or superior in any way because they didn't want to replace flossing (I took this as they are scared of a backlash from the dental community... remember the Listerine commercial).I did find some research information on their site click here. And then she said  "something is better then nothing" which is a true statement but not one that makes me want to send all of my patients running to the store to pick one up.

I have read a lot of reviews of people who are using the AirFloss and like it- I would be curious to see what your thoughts are on it. Sonicare is offering a free trial click here for more information. or you can call Sonicare at 1.800.676.SONIC (7664)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Colgate Connect 2012

May 1st-2nd I had the privilege of meeting with some of our industries most influential "online influencers"- according to Colgate.  We were invited by Colgate to consult with their marketing team as well as their research and design team on the needs of our fellow colleagues as well as dental consumers.

It was an amazing trip to New Jersey where Colgate's Technology center is located.

  •  We toured the facility and yes we now know how the toothpaste makes it into the tube 
  • A member of Google was part of our meeting and was full of information on ways to maximize your presence online and stand out in what she called a "party that never stops and is getting bigger everyday." (Information on both of these topics coming soon!)

Below are the guests of Colgate Connect and links to their sites:

 also visit TheDental Implant Blog
also visit The Endo Blog

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