Reply To Patient Billing Question
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Dear Mr. Patient:
My bookkeeper gave me the letter you sent with your concerns, and I have looked into the billing. I’m still not sure where the confusion came from, as four teeth were marked as needing restorations at the check-up appointment, and four were done at the filling appointment. The only thing I can think of is that we said that three of them were cavities (the fourth was a broken filling but not decayed), or that three of them were in the same lower right area (a fourth was on the upper area).
I apologize for any misunderstanding. Although I can find no problem with what was billed, I have instructed my bookkeeper to credit your account for one of the fillings as a gesture of goodwill.
I asked my bookkeeper about your insurance coverage and she informed me that the plan you have is one of the lowest-coverage dental plans of the hundreds she works with. I would certainly encourage you to comment on this to your dental benefits coordinator. If enough people let them know their discouragement with their benefits, they might improve the plan.
I have no future plans to become a preferred provider for this particular insurance company. This is for the same reasons that many other dentists have not either—very simply, it encourages a lower level of care for the patients to save money. I am not willing to lower my standards. I am very proud of the quality of care my patients receive at our office, and plan to continue to maintain this standard.
My fees are right in line with the dental fees in the Seattle area, and I feel they are very fair, especially given the quality we provide. If the cost of your dental care is your primary concern, then going to a Preferred Provider would be beneficial to you. If high quality of care is just as important, or more important, then I encourage you to examine all aspects of your dental insurance plan carefully.
Feel free to call me if you have any other questions.
Randy Otterholt, DDS