Front Desk

Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute: The out-of-network blues for the dental practice

Jan. 14, 2014
Dental offices can keep people who are out of network with great service by Sharyn Weiss by Sharyn Weiss

By Sharyn Weiss, Pride Institute consultant/trainer

You may have a love/hate relationship with insurance, and you may have decided not to be a preferred provider with some or any plans. This can actually strengthen the relationship with your patients because no third party is questioning your treatment recommendations. Unfortunately, this decision also leads new patients and sometimes even loyal patients of record to question why they should see an out-of-network dentist. Your front desk employees are often the ones who have to answer patients’ queries.

Your appointment coordinator needs to sound professional and welcoming without coming across as defensive or arrogant. She may want to tell patients that this question has come up before and many out of network patients still choose to use you as their dentist anyway. Here is a sample script you can use to train your front desk team.

“I’m so glad you asked that question. We work with other patients who are also concerned about what it would mean to go to an out-of-network dentist. What they found is that the fee difference between in-network dentists and us is surprisingly small, while the difference in quality is great. Our dentist made a decision that we would never compromise a patient’s treatment decisions and options because of insurance limits. I would be happy to do a benefits check and see what it would mean for you to come to us.”

My colleague, Dr. Wayne Pernell, has an amazing response for patients of record who bring up this issue. “We have searched and searched and cannot find any insurance company that’s willing to provide our patients with the kind of care they deserve. As a result, we’re committed to helping our patients maximize whatever benefits they have, but we’re not willing to compromise the care we give to our patients for any insurance company. We think patients deserve better and that’s why you came to us in the first place. We’re glad you chose us.”

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Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit, and like them on Facebook!