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    Dental Medical Assessment Fee

    Friday morning I received a call from my dentist office reminding me I had an appointment this morning. I confirmed I was aware.

    They then stated I would need to call their office phone when I arrived and wait in the parking lot until they were ready for me. I said no problem.

    They then stated I would have to wear a mask while inside. I said sure.

    They then stated they would give me a medical assessment on the phone then, and scan my temperature upon arrival. Again I said sure.

    Finally they stated there would be a $10 fee for the assessment. To which I said absolutely not!

    They said they would be glad to cancel my appointment. I said no, lets keep this on the books I will discuss with the dentist during the visit.

    This morning I had my visit. I followed all of their protocols (their phones were down, so I had to knock on the window). None of the office staff had mask. I was not asked to put on a mask. The medical assessment as I expected consisted of a temperature gun held to my forehead for 5 seconds and they asked me to gargle with a Listerine / peroxide solution. This was only a cleaning and the hygienist asked if I wanted the dentist to check me or not because they were booked up, and everything looked alright to her. Granted she is not a dentist, but I agreed to declined. This was my first visit that I didn't actually see the dentist.

    When I went to pay, the clerk asked for $10. I asked to speak with the office manager. They said they got rid of the office manager 3 years ago. I asked to speak with the dentist, but he wasn't available and was booked with other patients for the next hour.

    I politely explained to the clerk I would pay the $10 fee, but it would be my last visit to that office after 15 years and before I pulled that trigger I really wanted to speak with someone with authority over the matter. She said she would wave the fee, and would pass my comments along to the dentist. I told her to have him bill me if this was a problem.

    I can appreciate the fact they were hit hard, their office had been shut down for 8 weeks. They have always been professional and have treated me exceedingly well. I just don't think that gives them an excuse to make up a junk fee for a 5 second temperature scan.

    #2
    myrdale - its okay to say no to nonsense. Businesses need good customer feedback to be well run.
    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
    202.468.6043

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by myrdale View Post
      None of the office staff had mask.
      I would have turned around and walked out when I saw this. If a medical/dental office isn't following health care precautions, I'm certainly not letting them care for me.

      The $10 fee is ridiculous too, but the lack of adherence to safety protocols is a far bigger problem.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

      Comment


        #4
        Yep, the $10 PPE is something new. My dentist is doing it too. Insurance does pay for it, but its a scam. My dentist/hygienists have always worn gloves, face shields and gowns. They're now wearing a face mask, thats the new PPE.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by myrdale View Post
          Friday morning I received a call from my dentist office reminding me I had an appointment this morning. I confirmed I was aware.

          They then stated I would need to call their office phone when I arrived and wait in the parking lot until they were ready for me. I said no problem.

          They then stated I would have to wear a mask while inside. I said sure.

          They then stated they would give me a medical assessment on the phone then, and scan my temperature upon arrival. Again I said sure.

          Finally they stated there would be a $10 fee for the assessment. To which I said absolutely not!

          They said they would be glad to cancel my appointment. I said no, lets keep this on the books I will discuss with the dentist during the visit.

          This morning I had my visit. I followed all of their protocols (their phones were down, so I had to knock on the window). None of the office staff had mask. I was not asked to put on a mask. The medical assessment as I expected consisted of a temperature gun held to my forehead for 5 seconds and they asked me to gargle with a Listerine / peroxide solution. This was only a cleaning and the hygienist asked if I wanted the dentist to check me or not because they were booked up, and everything looked alright to her. Granted she is not a dentist, but I agreed to declined. This was my first visit that I didn't actually see the dentist.

          When I went to pay, the clerk asked for $10. I asked to speak with the office manager. They said they got rid of the office manager 3 years ago. I asked to speak with the dentist, but he wasn't available and was booked with other patients for the next hour.

          I politely explained to the clerk I would pay the $10 fee, but it would be my last visit to that office after 15 years and before I pulled that trigger I really wanted to speak with someone with authority over the matter. She said she would wave the fee, and would pass my comments along to the dentist. I told her to have him bill me if this was a problem.

          I can appreciate the fact they were hit hard, their office had been shut down for 8 weeks. They have always been professional and have treated me exceedingly well. I just don't think that gives them an excuse to make up a junk fee for a 5 second temperature scan.
          My dentist does this, too. But, my dentist's office didn't tell me about it in advance. And, they charge $20.00 And, my dental insurance does not cover it.
          Unfortunately for me, I've been to the dentist's office twice since the new procedure has been put in place (with another visit in a couple of weeks).

          What I find fascinating is that all the procedures you described are exactly what my dentist's office does, too. (Only, they all wear PPE--dentist wears mask plus faceshield and hazmat type suit).


          Comment


            #6
            As a doctor myself, I'm well aware of the fact that we're now spending a bunch of money on PPE that we didn't used to spend, but $10 or $20 per patient per visit is ridiculous.

            And myrdale wasn't told it was for PPE but for the health assessment being done, which makes even less sense.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


              #7
              Sounds like a really crappy visit. I don't know that I would have continued with the visit upon walking into their office to find nobody wearing a mask and that they don't enforce compliance for their patients as well.

              I would have been super annoyed if I was there for my scheduled appointment and was told the dentist was too busy to see me. Sure, things do come up, emergency procedures, procedures go long, and a lot of offices only have one dentist. I'd at least want to be assured I wasn't going to be billed for an exam that day.

              The $10 fee isn't such an insult had it been an actual assessment and had the staff been wearing PPE. But the fact that they made such an issue over it nor were they really doing anything to earn the $10 fee, that's not right.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                As a doctor myself, I'm well aware of the fact that we're now spending a bunch of money on PPE that we didn't used to spend, but $10 or $20 per patient per visit is ridiculous.

                And myrdale wasn't told it was for PPE but for the health assessment being done, which makes even less sense.
                That is exactly what burned me the most about it. If they had upped their rates by $10 I probably would have shrugged it off. But to disguise it as a health assessment which was limited to a scan of a forehead thermometer was just bad.

                I discussed this with a coworker who said their dentist charged $15. So it does appear to be wide spread as Like2Plan and the others posted.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by myrdale View Post

                  That is exactly what burned me the most about it. If they had upped their rates by $10 I probably would have shrugged it off.
                  Unfortunately, doctors and dentists don't really have much control over their visit fees. That's all dictated by the government and insurance companies. But they do have control over add-on charges like no-show fees, late fees, form fees, PPE fees, etc.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by myrdale View Post

                    That is exactly what burned me the most about it. If they had upped their rates by $10 I probably would have shrugged it off. But to disguise it as a health assessment which was limited to a scan of a forehead thermometer was just bad.

                    I discussed this with a coworker who said their dentist charged $15. So it does appear to be wide spread as Like2Plan and the others posted.
                    I wondered why they don't just increase the price, too, but maybe there is an insurance component? By this I mean-in cases where they accept assignment of negotiated fees they probably couldn't get anything extra if they rolled that into the price.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      lol wth. so ridiculous.

                      if there's extra cost associated with covid, just disclose up front to the patient before they make the visit. Let them choose. Doing weird backhanded stuff rarely gets you a desired response. Dentist? yes i realize there's additional risks and safety measure to be taken, just tack it onto the cost of the visit.

                      I have zero issues with businesses charging covid related fees as long as it's disclosed up front. Bait and switch type of stuff, such as schools keeping tuition deposits and forcing online classes or attempting to tack surcharges on after the fact does not fly well with me.

                      Comment

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