6700 Southside Drive, Ste B
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Payment For Dental
One of our goals, as an office staff, is to make sure our
patients are satisfied, not only with the dental services we
provide, but also with how we collect their money. Lets face it,
a dental office is like any other business in that it must collect
for services rendered or it will go out of business. But our
office staff wants to make you comfortable and avoid the
awkwardness that comes with paying at the front desk.
What are some of the reasons for
Something we believe is important for you to
understand is that dental offices operate differently than do
medical offices with respect to payment of services. In most
medical or physicians offices, the front office staff asks you to
pay your co-payment at the date of service. Its usually stated on
your insurance card what that payment is.
- One reason is insurance. Patients
assume that insurance is supposed to cover it, or at least most of
it, so why do I need to pay today?, a patient may say.
Another reason is a patient may feel numb or
be tired after
their treatment. This may make it tougher to communicate with the
front office personnel.
A third reason is that we live in a
Bill Me generation. We say, Cant you just bill me
And perhaps another reason might be that a
service is expensive requiring payment over a period of
dentistry a co-payment is often unknown. We may have to wait until
the insurance pays. However, one thing this office will try to do,
whenever feasible, is to know your co-payments ahead of time. We
feel this is critically important to avoid what we call insurance
statement awkwardness. That is when you receive your insurance
statement saying what they will pay. Weve all been there. Its
never what we thought. So, what do we do next? We pick up the
phone and call the doctors office to alert them to their mistake.
Our hope is that you will feel confident in our staff to
thoroughly inform you of all the payment options, bill your
insurance correctly and efficiently, announce to you ahead of time
what your co-payment will be (if any), and extend courtesy and
compassion whenever possible so that you can receive the dental
treatment that you need.
is a co-payment calculated?
The first thing to
understand about dental insurance companies is that they are in
business to make money. It is also important to know that no
insurance company is the same. They vary greatly with respect to
how they operate. For example, some insurance companies will offer
different packages. One plan may have a higher premium but allows
the patient to choose his or her dentist. Another premium may be
lower but requires the patient to go only to a participating
provider. The latter plan may mean the dentist has to write off
part of the cost of the dental treatment.
insurance companies may pay only a certain percentage for a
particular dental treatment. For example, an insurance company
say they pay 100% for an exam and cleaning. Yet the dentist may
charge out $100 for treatment, the insurance pays $80, and you
receive a bill for $20. And the patient doesnt understand why he
or she owes anything at all. The reason for the difference is that
dental insurance companies pay out on what they call a UCR (a
Usual and Customary Rate). This UCR is often lower than the actual
fees the dental office charges. The UCR above may have been $50
for the cleaning and $30 for the exam, while the dentists fees
were 60 and 40 respectively.
Other reasons patients may
have a co-payment is that they have a deductible to meet, or the
treatment went over the maximum allowable amount, or the insurance
company simply wont pay for a particular service.
office will do everything we can to help you, so that you dont
receive insurance statements or bills that you werent
What is our
Please understand that our
will assist you with trying to maximize your insurance benefit as
best we can. But we cannot always know exactly what your insurance
carrier will do with respect to actual payment, especially for
services that are not routine in the dental office.
expect the patient to pay the remaining balance if the insurance
does not pay the full amount (unless stated otherwise, such a
participating provider plan which may require the dentist to
adjust the remaining portion).
Unless otherwise discussed,
services less than $200 must be paid on the date of service (this
does not include an existing balance). This can be done with
check, credit card or cash.
If you have dental insurance
and, therefore, owe a co-payment, our office staff will assist
you in figuring out that amount. We do expect you to pay your
co-pay estimate in the office at the time of service.
we are unable to figure out your co-payment, then we can send you
an e-statement as soon as we know the amount you owe or if the
insurance pays and you have a remaining balance.
treatment that requires you to pay in excess of $200 (or
co-payments that add up to greater than $200), you may ask about
other payment arrangements.
Again, please ask us
about payment plans. Our office staff wants you to receive the
best dental care possible. But if the cost of dental care becomes
the reason you choose not to receive the very best, then please
let us help you overcome that obstacle.
We appoint our patients so that they receive optimal care. We
try never to double book so that our patients may receive the
allotted time for their procedure.
However, because we
schedule this way we want to minimize cancellations and broken
appointments. We often find that these leave large holes in our
schedule in which Dr. Veal and the office staff are not actually
providing care. It is our wish to always schedule patients so that
they receive the proper amount of time to treat their dental
needs. Yet by doing this, it often places some responsibility on
the part of our patients to make all their appointments (and also
be on time so that we do not run behind and make other patients
This office does charge for broken appointments and
cancellations. Please understand that we do not charge
cancellation fees to recoup money from a missed appointment but
rather as a reminder to our patients that making all their
appointments or canceling appointments in advance, so as to be
courteous to other patients, is critically important to our
appointments must be
done within 48 hours to avoid a cancellation fee (if its a Monday
appointment then must cancel by Thursday at