Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I am perfectly willing to accept all of the challenges post 2008 and the advent of Obamacare. But I want the patient public to understand that since Obamacare was created and the recession of 2008 created a lot of opportunities for the injection of corporate DSO’s into the dental industry, the paradigm shift occurring is not a positive one for both the doctor and the patient.
Here are the stats:
1. In 2017, dentist’s reimbursement rate dropped 0.7 percent. However, between May 2018 and May 2019, dentists experience a 2.7 percent reimbursement rate decline. Keep in mind, healthcare costs on the supply side are rising while reimbursements are declining.
2. For orthodontists, reimbursement rates dropped 4.9 percent. In 2017, the reimbursement rate decreased 4.7 percent. In their arena, there is also increased competition (and law suits) from private non-dentist companies to provide orthodontics at your local mall or over the internet.
3. Solo practitioners have seen the biggest reimbursement rate decrease at 8.7 percent by May 2019. In 2017, solo practitioners saw a 6.7 percent decline in reimbursement rates. Think about that, you are paying higher premiums and receiving reduced benefits. Who’s winning here? Not you the patient and definitely not the dentist.
4. Group practices are expected to see reimbursement rates increase 1.6 percent during the 12-month period. In 2017, the reimbursement rate grew 0.5 percent. Here again, the increased negotiating power of the DSO’s is pushing out the sole practitioner and supplanting what used to be quality care with essentially oil change dentistry.
5. In total, dental reimbursement rates have dropped 3.3 percent on average. This makes no sense when dentists are and want to pay higher wages and offer better quality services through high tech developments.
Who benefits, investment banker backed corporations and insurance companies. Who loses, you and your dentist. What is the overall consequence? Fewer and fewer quality providers will enter the market with the turmoil occurring in the field of dentistry.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
Hanna Orland, DMD
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Chamblee, GA 30341