The safety of patients, dentists and dental team members has been and always will be the Right Smile Center’s utmost concern. And the cost of infection control procedures has skyrocketed and dental offices are facing a significant financial challenge navigating this environment.
Further, costs of personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, gowns and shoe covers, has increased due to supply shortages with prices variable across the nation. Operatory protective barriers, protective equipment for front office staff, additional disinfection protocols and other administrative or engineering controls (e.g. isolation systems, air purifiers, filters, etc.) are adding overhead for dental offices, not to mention being closed to “elective” procedures for almost 3 months.
Given these interim protections, the Right Smile Center anticipates that the cost for each patient visit will substantially increase for procedures performed in the dental office. And in response, third party benefit programs (i.e. insurance companies) should either (1) adjust the maximum allowable fees for all procedures or (2) allow a standard fee per date of service per patient to accommodate the rising costs of PPE. Not doing so is deemed an automatic reduction in our reimbursement rates.
When adjudicating such claims, the Right Smile Center believes that it is inappropriate for any third party benefit program to unfairly place the cost burden on dentists by disallowing or bundling charges for PPE on the pretext that the payment for additional required PPE is included in the payment for any other procedure billed for the visit. They know that denied claims are typically billable to the patient, but they also know that we, as dentists do want to charge you for the needed protections that should be covered by your insurance carrier.
Dentists deserve better and we hope you understand the position we have been put in by the insurance companies during these difficult times. We know it’s time consuming, but please take the time and make the effort to contact your insurance company or elected officials and express your concern for your dentist having to absorb these necessary costs. As of this writing, we have not increased our charges one dime. We have absorbed the costs, including being shut down for almost 3 months.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
ZoAnna Bock, MS, DMD
Hanna Orland, DMD
Howard Abrahams, DDS
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Chamblee, GA 30341