There are many relationships in a dental office. There is the relationship between the dentist and her/his assistants, hygienists and their patients, office manager and business staff, etc. One relationship that has a great affect upon the patient and the dental office is insurance. Dental insurance provides a means where treatment can be completed at a reduced cost for the patient because of the agreement between the patient and their insurance. The insurance company and the patient are in a relationship based upon a fee that the patient pays, and the insurance company agrees to pay a percentage of dental treatment with the remaining cost being the responsibility of the patient. When a dental office is in network with an insurance company, they agree to accept the insurance and have privy to their patient base at the cost the insurance will pay for each dental treatment, this cost is usually much different/less than the office fees. The dental office accepts the fees and the time limits that covered treatment can be performed; we accept but do not let that dictate the treatment that is recommended, all options must be presented to the patient. When a patient questions a non-covered treatment, have to wait for care due to the time limits set by their insurance, disagree with the amount that the insurance will cover, it is the patient’s right to contact their insurance company and let their concerns be known. We contact insurance companies on behalf of our patients often, we are patient advocates. The patient/insurance company relationship is one in which the patient is actively involved and to be heard and their issues considered is a minimum.
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