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September 23, 2013

Well, its been three weeks now that our new dentist, Dr. Saema Qadri DDS, has been with us. I have several thank you's that I need to mention.

First off, thank you Saema for choosing Fox Valley Dental Care as the practice that you wanted to work with. You have been a breath of fresh air as you bring a brightness to the office with a smile and a willingness to treat our patients with such tenderness and care. Starting your career right out of dental school can be a challenge, yet you have handled yourself exceedingly well. Welcome to our practice. 

And second, I'd like to thank the patients of Fox Valley Dental Care who have been seen by Dr. Qadri. Thank you for your willingness to give "the new kid on the block" a chance to put to good use all those skills that have taken years to develop. As Dr. Qadri is settling into her role her, she has been so busy asking questions, learning about the particular materials and techniques that we implement that might be different than the has become accustomed to at the dental school. She has been like a sponge, soaking up information and putting into practice as much as I can teach her. As a dentist that has been practicing in Elgin for over 21 years now, I may know more, but from a skill set standpoint, she will quickly pass me up, as Dr. Cathy (our other associate dentist) has already done.

We look forward to a long and fruitful run, treating the wonderful families that we have the privilege of seeing throughout the year. See you next time! Blessings!

 

Posted by FVDC Office on September 23, 2013 at 6:05 PM
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September 10, 2013

Ok, so this is coming more than a week from the last blog as promised, but I have a good excuse.... I didn't get to it. I know. I know. Not much of an excuse but the truth shall set you free.... free to finish out this series on insurance.

We've talked about every kind of dental insurance plan except the big two: PPO's and Usual & Customary (U&C). To review,  U&C plans are the king. You have the same benefits anywhere you go and you don't have any restrictions as far as choosing a provider. PPO's on the other hand still offer you the ability to go where you want but if you choose to go to a non-participating dentist, you benefits are not as good.

The benefits of having a U&C plan are obvious. But as our economy has tightened, we are seeing employers shy away from this type of coverage. You get what you pay for and U&C insurance is typically much more expensive for an employer to provide. Most larger employers have thus opted to go with a PPO type of plan. And with all these PPO's, its important to understand them at least a little.

From the patients perspective, PPO's work quite well. An employee will get a list of "preferred" or "participating" providers within a PPO network. Although a person can go to any dentist or dental specialist of their choosing, they will get a better deal from a financial point of view if they go to one of the dentists whose name is on that PPO list. Participating dentists have agreed to accept a lower than normal fee schedule that they are typically used to charging in exchange to that preferred provider status. Patients can save anywhere from 10-30% off per procedure. Why would a dentist accept a 10-30% pay cut in joining a PPO? Chalk it up to a marketing expense. Having your name in a PPO book gets you exposure to hundreds if not thousands of potential patients and having a patient in the chair getting a 10-30% discount is better than having no one in the chair! The Elgin area is saturated with large employers who offer PPO insurance plans. In order to accommodate this patient base, our office participates in most of the major PPO plans and as our patient population has grown and we have added new products, new services, and new associate dentists, it has been a wonderful relationship. We are blessed to have patients to help with their dental needs, and the patients have access to quality care at a reduced rate. Everybody wins!

 What will the future hold? No one knows for sure, but one possible type of insurance that is becoming more and more prevalent is something called direct reimbursement. Basically, this is a situation where an employer has eliminated the middle man.... eliminated the insurance company. A patient will come in for dental treatment and the payment (in full or in part depending upon the type of treatment) would be made by the employer directly. There are several great things that happen under this type of system. There are no insurance premiums to pay by the employer or the employee and no restriction as to dentists or treatments. All the treatment decisions are between the doctor and the patient, as they should be. The amount of benefit on a yearly basis would not change and any insurance company imposed restrictions, treatment can proceed unobstructed. Knowing that only half of Americans go to the dentist on a regular basis, the employer would no longer be paying insurance premiums for patients that do not use the insurance anyhow. It can save the employer money offer better access to care for the employee. A good system indeed.

If you ever have any questions regarding insurance companies or your coverage, don't hesitate to give us a call. We have been in the dental business for a good many years (I can't believe I've been a dentist for 21 years now!!!) and know all the ins and outs of the insurance side of things. So please give us a call. See you soon!

Posted by FVDC Office on September 10, 2013 at 5:34 PM
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