The Value of Joining a Fee-for-Service Dental Practice
When welcoming a new patient into our practice, we often receive a number of questions regarding our payment plans and insurance policies. These questions vary. However, what I tell patients is this – we are a fee-for-service dental practice, and while we accept insurance we do not operate on a fixed-fee delivery system.
This can be scary for patients who do not understand this system. Yet, there is great value in entering a fee-for-service practice.
Understanding Fee-for-Service Dentistry
Fee-for-service dentistry provides people with high-quality, appropriate treatment for their needs in exchange for a fair fee considering the time, care, skill, judgment and materials required to render that treatment. Practices who operate under this model will not be on your preferred provider list. However, they do still accept insurance.
For those practices that are Preferred Provider Organizations, fees will be determined on a fixed-fee delivery system. Meaning that fees and treatment are pre-determined by the insurance company prior to delivery.
The cost of a crown done at an insurance preferred provider will be a fixed, pre-negotiated fee. In a fee-for-service office the cost of a crown will vary from office to office. This could result in a slightly higher out of pocket cost to the patient. The emphasis in our practice is to give you an excellent long term result for the extra out of pocket cost you may incur.
The Benefits of this Model
The benefit of fee-for-service dentistry is that by removing the insurance company as a middleman, the dentist can focus more on your overall oral health and less on securing payment once the visit is completed. Let me be clear, insurance will still cover a portion of the costs. Yet, this portion is typically less.
What you are paying for then is a trusted advisor in your dental health. The reality is that dental problems do not go away. They just snowball into bigger problems. Because of this, it is important that you trust your dentist to develop a strategy and approach to address your specific needs, regardless of the payment model. In doing so, you are reducing the chance that problems will arise down the road, and thus reducing future costs.
For those patients who are not at the point in their life financially to comprehensively address their dental needs, an approach can be developed to address the most pressing needs then revisit others down the road. It is a comprehensive plan, and one that is designed with one goal in mind – that your teeth outlive you.
For more information on how this model can benefit you, call us at 813-689-4226 to schedule a consultation today.