What Would Dayna Do ... about the ethics of waiving copayments in the dental practice?

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Recently, Dayna Johnson of sat down with Teresa Duncan, the insurance editor for Dental Products Report, to talk about a subject that seems to be coming up more and more for speakers around the country: What to do about insurance write-offs.

Dental practices may be often asked by their patients to just bill them for whatever insurance charges and to write the rest of the treatment off. It seems like a growing trend, according to Duncan.

“It’s definitely becoming a problem in our industry. It’s definitely a problem where there is a lot of competition and lot of PPO coverage like Southern California, southern Florida, and New York City. In these places, you will hear this question a lot,” Duncan said. “The bottom line is this … it’s unethical to waive a copayment. It’s unethical to tell someone to send all of your friends to the practice because you will only charge what insurance charges you. The problem is that I hear it all of the time.”

Hear Duncan talk about how she would handle a patient with dual PPO plans

It’s also becoming a problem because some dental practices are using this as a way to get ahead in their ultra-competitive area.

“I’ve had practices tell me that they can’t get ahead because they can’t compete against the practice down the street that is doing this,” Duncan said.

If you’re working in a dental practice that is waiving co-payments, Duncan has a very stern warning for you.

“What you’re doing is not only unethical, it’s also illegal,” she said. “Not only will the ADA not like it, your insurance company won’t like it as well. You’re setting yourself and your practice up for an audit if word was to ever get out about this.”

To hear more about the subject, as well as more of Duncan’s thoughts, please watch the video below.