Office PoliciesScheduling Appointments
Broken Appointment Policy
Parents’ Presence During Exam and Treatment
Utilizing Insurance Benefits
We know our parents lead busy lives, therefore our office will make every effort to schedule your child’s appointment for a time that is convenient to your schedule. Preschool children should be seen in the morning because they are fresher and we can work more slowly with them for their comfort. School children with a lot of dental work needing to be done should be seen in the morning for the same reason. Dental appointments qualify as an excused absence from school. Missing school can be kept to a minimum when regular dental care is continued.
Broken Appointment Policy:
Your scheduled appointment is specifically reserved for your child. We ask that you please notify our office at least two business days in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule. A broken appointment fee of $25 will be applied if this policy is not followed. Another patient who needs our care could have been scheduled if we had been given sufficient time to notify them. We are aware that unforeseen events sometimes require missing an appointment, but please contact our office immediately if such a situation does arise.
Parents’ Presence During Exam and Treatment
We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension. However, if you choose, you are more than welcome to accompany your child to the treatment room. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.
A legal parent/guardian MUST bring the patient to their first appointment. For future subsequent appointments, if a legal parent/guardian is unavailable to attend, please bring a signed parent delegation form designating who will be accompanying the patient.
We are unable to see families who do not wish to vaccinate their children. At any given time, we have a vulnerable patient population who are immune-compromised with cancer, newborns, very young children with immature immune system and pregnant families or staff. These individuals rely on the immunity of those around them to avoid serious disease. We ask all new and existing patients upon returning to provide us the copy of their most recent immunization record.
Utilizing Insurance Benefits
Our office is committed to helping you maximize your family’s dental insurance benefits, but some treatments are beyond the scope of what the plan will cover. Our administrative staff works hard to accurately determine your portion of the cost of treatment, but there are often some variances that cannot be foreseen. Please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance carrier or a change of employment.
Our office is proud to be preferred providers for the following dental insurance carriers:
- Delta Dental
- Maryland Healthy Smiles
- Principal Dental
- United Concordia
- United Healthcare
- Local 5 "(plumbers and pipefitters)", Local 602, Local 99, and Local 37
We are happy to file insurance claims on your behalf and we allow 30 days for the insurance company to render payment. By law, your insurance company is required to pay each claim within 30 days of receipt. We file all insurance claims electronically, so your insurance company will receive each claim within days of the treatment. After 60 days, you are responsible for the entire balance to be paid in full. If you have not paid your balance within 60 days, a re-billing fee of 1.5% will be added to your account each month until paid. We will be glad to send a refund to you if your insurance pays us more than we estimated. If there ever is a credit due to you, we will handle it with you as soon as we discover the difference. It is important to note that while we will be happy to file your dental claim, we are not responsible for how your plan is administered and what benefits are covered.
Here are few facts about dental insurances and how they work:
Fact 1 - MOST INSURANCES DON'T PAY 100% OF ALL PROCEDURES
Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in receiving dental care. Many patients think that their insurance pays 90%-100% of all dental fees. This is not true! Most plans only pay between 50%-80% of the average total fee. Some pay more, some pay less. The percentage paid is usually determined by how much you or your employer has paid for coverage, or the type of contract your employer has set up with the insurance company. Maryland Healthy Smiles Dental Program pays 100% of most procedures.
Fact 2 - BENEFITS ARE NOT DETERMINED BY OUR OFFICE
You may have noticed that sometimes your dental insurer reimburses you or the dentist at a lower rate than the dentist's actual fee. Frequently, insurance companies state that the reimbursement was reduced because your dentist's fee has exceeded the usual, customary, or reasonable fee ("UCR") used by the company.
A statement such as this gives the impression that any fee greater than the amount paid by the insurance company is unreasonable, or well above what most dentists in the area charge for a certain service. This can be very misleading and simply is not accurate.
Insurance companies set their own schedules, and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. These allowable fees may vary widely, because each company collects fee information from claims it processes. The insurance company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call the "allowable" UCR Fee. Frequently, this data can be three to five years old and these "allowable" fees are set by the insurance company so they can make a net 20%-30% profit.
Unfortunately, insurance companies imply that your dentist is "overcharging", rather than say that they, themselves are "underpaying", or that their benefits are low. In general, less expensive insurance policies will use a lower usual, customary, or reasonable (UCR) figure.
Fact 3 - DEDUCTIBLES & CO-PAYMENTS MUST BE CONSIDERED
When estimating dental benefits, deductibles and percentages must be considered. To illustrate, assume the fee for service is $150.00. Assuming that the insurance company allows $150.00 as its usual and customary (UCR) fee, we can figure out what benefits will be paid. First a deductible (paid by you) (on average, $50) is subtracted, leaving $100.00. The plan then pays 80% for this particular procedure. The insurance company will then pay 80% of $100.00, or $80.00. Out of a $150.00 fee they will pay an estimated $80.00 leaving a remaining portion of $70.00 (to be paid by the patient). Of course, if the UCR is less than $150.00 or your plan pays only at 50%, then the insurance benefits will also be significantly less.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.
Your estimated portion is due at the time of service, and payments can be made via cash, check, and most major credit or debit cards, and payment plans are available through CareCredit.com. We understand that unexpected medical and dental bills can sometimes cause financial strain. If such a situation does arise, please contact our administrative team at (240) 349-5000. As long as you keep the lines of communication open, our staff is willing and able to arrange an acceptable payment agreement.