Bethlehem Town Family Dental Newsletter, July 2019
In this newsletter, we have numerous announcements to make. If you have the following dental insurances: Delta Dental, Metlife, United Healthcare, United Concordia, please continue to read below. If you want to find out how we will continue to improve our quality of care in our office, please continue to read below as well.
To our dental family,
We want to give you advance notice of upcoming changes in our relationship with Delta Dental, Metlife, United Healthcare, and United Concordia insurance companies. We are planning to change our status with these companies to become an out-of-network provider. We do not have an exact date yet on Delta dental and Metlife and we will be sure to inform you when we do. The anticipated time of change for Delta Dental is end of September and for Metlife is end of August. The changes for United Healthcare and United Concordia have already occurred and please read further to find out why we couldn’t provide an advanced notice. We understand this is a very significant decision that may impacts your convenience and we will try to address the reasons for these changes below:
Why are we changing our relationship with these insurance companies?
After much deliberation, the cost to continue with in-network status simply became too expensive for us without taking cost cutting measures such as using cheaper labs or supplies and shortening appointments. We have chosen to continue providing the same quality of service you have always come to expect from us rather than dealing with the insurance company restrictions we currently face as a PPO Provider. We also have future plans to expand our services and we want to have no restrictions on the amount of time we can spend per patient. The only way to maintain and improve our quality of care is to end our contracts with these companies and practice dentistry on our terms.
Delta Dental and Metlife
These two companies do not negotiate with any dental providers. They have made it very clear it’s their way or no way. This means they simply do not care if certain dental offices are offering better services than others, they’re all the same to them. We’re unable to continue our partnership with companies that do not value quality of care.
For Metlife patients, you actually may not see much of a difference in your out-of-pocket costs as Metlife’s out-of-network coverage is generally good. This is especially true for patients who only come in primarily for cleanings, exams, and x-rays, without the need of extensive dental work. If you do need other dental work, we can always submit a pre-authorization to Metlife prior to determine your out-of-pocket cost. There should be no surprises.
For Delta Dental patients, Delta Dental does not reimburse providers once we become out-of-network. This means when you come into the office you will have to pay our office fees out-of-pocket first and then the insurance company will mail you a reimbursement check based on their own fees after a few weeks. The difference between our office fee and the insurance fee will be your net cost. We WILL submit the claims for you so all you need to do is wait for the check to arrive. If your plan has out-of-network coverage and all you need is a cleaning, exam, and x-rays, the net cost could be $30 - $80 every 6 months, depending on your specific plan negotiated by your employer.
United Healthcare and United Concordia
The decision to go out-of-network with these companies was a frustrating one to make. While they have the same issue as other insurance companies listed above, they are notoriously difficult to reach in any forms of communication. United Concordia still has our office address wrong after we spent 4 years to correct it. The reason we were unable to provide an advanced notice is because they never gave us an anticipated date for the change. For months we called and asked for the date we will become out-of-network, and none of them had a clue. All of a sudden, we get a letter in the mail saying we are already out-of-network a month ago. We apologize for the inability to provide an advanced notice, but we assure you we tried everything we can to get the date.
Technological Additions and Improvements
We are so happy to have made this purchase and will be bringing this technology to our office end of July 2019. This technology is another digital scanner with the ability to take digital impression. We already have a scanner like this called the Trios 3shape scanner. However, they excel in different aspects of dentistry. The iTero scanner is beautifully integrated with Invisalign treatments where we can shorten the amount of time it takes to get our clincheck back and it could also show patients a simulated view of their smile with straight teeth.
iTero also has the time lapse feature that would allow us to compare our scans from a time period to another. This means you can monitor your mouth and compare your gum levels, teeth positions, teeth wear, and many other properties by overlapping the two scans taken with a certain amount of time apart. Now we can tell you if your gum recession or grinding is getting worse and if your teeth are moving without you noticing.
We have finally found a way to provide Same Day Crowns without compromising on strength of the crown material. We have always shied away from same day crowns concept before because the crown materials are often very weak and they look terrible. The break through that fixed all these issues came from Glidewell lab where they found a way to pre-sinter zirconia material and make them super strong. Zirconia is by far the best material to use for posterior crowns as recent studies have shown with the least failure rate. Traditional way to make zirconia crown in office takes too long due to long sintering process after the crown is milled, defeating the purpose of having same day crown. Now that the sintering is done beforehand, all we need to do is to mill the material into the shape we want and we can deliver the crown right afterwards. The only exception to same day crowns would be cosmetic cases where we need to work with a lab to enhance esthetics of the restorations. Say goodbye to temporary crowns or having to return again for crown delivery and get numbed again, it's truly revolutionary.
Please don’t hesitate to call or email our office for more information on the insurance changes and our upcoming technological advancements. We look forward to continue taking care of your dental needs and we always value your trust placed in us.
Dr. Henry, Dr. Fei, and the BTFD Team