Mission Possible: Insurance independence
As consistent readers of your publication and sporadic letter contributors, we thought you should be aware of the positive impact your journal has had on our private fee-for-service general dental practice. We are a husband-and-wife dental team that has been practicing together for 18 years. We have incorporated many ideas and found support for changes within Dental Economics articles that have given us the means to guide our practice to its current success.
This letter is, in a way, a thank-you to Dental Economics. This letter also acts as a message to all dentists that they, too, can become insurance-independent (or pretty darn close) and be happy practicing the dentistry they and their patients deserve.
We phased out insurance processing in our office over a few years, and now, our insurance payments are less than 20 percent of collections. Collections are 100 percent of production each month. We still process some insurance, but have reduced it significantly. We also dropped Delta Dental 11/2 years ago — and we're still in business! We are doing even better than when we were with Delta. It was scary at first, but we are so pleased to be free from the biggest PPO there is. We don't take any capitation, DMOs, or PPOs, and we process very few third-party insurance claims. We primarily have patients pay for their treatment and then have them seek reimbursement directly from their insurance companies. We help them do this by providing them the paperwork in a stamped envelope that is ready to drop in the mail.
We continue to read and incorporate ideas from Dental Economics articles and this has proven to be an invaluable tool to our practice success. Thank you for the vast spectrum of information.
Insurance is not getting any better, so dentists must distance themselves and their practices from insurance now to preserve the integrity of dentistry, and allow themselves to enjoy dentistry once again while providing the best dentistry their patients deserve. We did it, so can you!
Dr. Ginny Murtaugh
Dr. Jim Murtaugh
Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Dental Economics a guiding light
I have been practicing close to 25 years now and have enjoyed every single day. My practice is limited to implants and lasers. While I have been reading 12-20 journals a month, I would like to say that if I would be forced or allowed to read only one, it would be Dental Economics.
Thanks to you guys and gals, I've had the good fortune to place and restore many thousands of implants in a country battling for physical and economical survival where the average family income is probably about $15,000 per year. Case acceptance is 99 to 100 percent! And that is with many thanks through the assistance of your amazing guidance allowing my wonderful staff and I to incorporate the many masters and giants such as L.D. Pankey, Gordon Christensen, Omer Reed, Dick Barnes, Linda Miles, Cathy Jameson, Jennifer de St. Georges, Tom Orent, and so many others.
I can't thank you enough and I look forward to another amazing 25 years of servicing my fellow man and woman, and I plan on doing so with your wonderful journal as a guiding light. Thank you.
Gedaliah Mordechai Stern, DDS