Ever Have One Of Those Days At Work? Part 1 of 2
I don't usually post about our patients. What if someone who takes their child to our office reads this, I always think. In this case though, I couldn't care less. Let the *!#%^ read this (lol, I guess you know where this post is heading!)
A few weeks ago we saw a new patient who needed a lot of treatment, like crowns and extractions. I told mom that I'd be happy to file a pre-authorization for her before we got started. That way, her insurance company would let her know how much she would need to pay out-of-pocket for the procedures. So, I filed it and made the next appointment for a few weeks out.
Following up several days before the appointment, I realized that we still hadn't heard back from her insurance company. On mom's behalf, I called her insurance and spent FOREVER (if you've ever tried to call an insurance company, you'll know that this really isn't much of an exaggeration) getting through their automated system to get to a real, live person, then spent another FOREVER convincing them to give me the estimate over the phone, as they "didn't have a fax machine" (yeah right!) or the ability to email the pre-authorization (pffft!). I broke down the information from the insurance company in an easy, straightforward way to understand and mailed it to the child's parents, with more than enough time for it to be received before the appointment.
Fast forward to the day of the appointment. Before going back for treatment, we remind mom what we'll be doing today and go over the insurance estimate. The assistant comes up and explains everything to mom, including that the dentist wants her child to take Penicillin (see #10 on this post) and why it's important. I go over the copay in detail AGAIN, as mom seems to have forgotten everything that was said to her half an hour ago. We schedule the next appointment and they leave.
First, I get a call from dad. He says that the treatment that was performed was a surprise to him and his wife. That's funny since, in addition to talking about it over and over and over with mom, the dentist had her actually look into her child's mouth at the first appointment and acknowledge that she sees the extensive decay. Funny too that the treatment "we never told them about" was on the pre-authorization, which had been mailed to them. And, what a surprise, the receipt that I sent mom home with at the first appointment, which detailed exactly what treatment we planned to do, had been lost. I finally got dad off the phone after over 20 minutes. Then, the patient's grandmother called to go over the exact same thing! Oh, and they were not going to give the child any Penicillin.
Hey, Dad and Grandma. If you're so damn worried, maybe you should have come to one of the appointments! You don't trust the information mom tells you? Maybe you shouldn't be sending her with the child alone!