100 Sparks Valley Road, Suite C, Hunt Valley, MD 21152
Phone: 410-771-8200 | FAX: 410-771-8201


Office Policies page art for Pediatric Dentist Dr. Shari Kohn

OFFICE POLICIES

Mother and son

Appointments

Our office attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Preschool children should be seen in the morning because they are fresher and we can work more slowly with them for their comfort. School children with a lot of work to be done should be seen in the morning for the same reason. Dental appointments are an excused absence. Missing school can be kept to a minimum when regular dental care is continued.

If you cannot keep your scheduled appointment we ask for at least 24 hours notice.  A $25.00 fee will be charged for a second failed appointment.  Multiple failed appointments will result in discharge from our care.  Any failed appointment on school holidays will result in a $50.00 charge per appointment.

Do I Stay with My Child During the Visit?

We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination.  For subsequent appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension. However, if you choose, you may come with your child to the treatment room but you must be a “silent observer.” It is extremely important that your child pay close attention to our instructions and that they are not distracted at all by your presence.  For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.  Remember our motto, “all unsupervised children will be given an espresso and a free puppy!”

Treatment of Minors

Policy for Patients 18 years of age and older

What About Finances?

Full payment for professional services is due at the time dental treatment is provided. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan which fits your timetable and budget, and gives your child the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards and most major credit cards.

Insurances with which we participate:

We are happy to help you in receiving dental benefits through the following companies:

Careington Network
Delta Dental- PPO
Delta Dental- Premiere
Maryland Healthy Smiles- Not taking new patients at this time.

*Please take the time to read the information below regarding payments and fees associated with dental benefits.

What if you do not participate with my Insurance Company?

While we may not participate with your particular insurance plan, we are happy to submit a claim on your behalf to your insurance company. However, you may have higher out of network co-pay since we are a non-participating provider.

Our Office Policy Regarding Dental Insurance

If you have any questions regarding your dental insurance or any billing questions, please contact our office manager, Christine Bartholomey, by phone 410-771-8200 or email at sparksvalleydental@hotmail.com.

Your dental insurance policy is an agreement between you and your insurance company. Please be aware that some, if not all, of the services provided may be non-covered services and, therefore, are your responsibility. If your insurance company has not paid your claim within 45 days, the balance will automatically be billed to you. You and not your insurance company are responsible for your account. You are expected to pay your estimated portion at the time of service. Any balance will be billed to you and payment is expected within 30 days. If your insurance company has not paid your claim within 30 days, the balance will automatically be billed to you. In the event of an account overpayment, we will refund the difference to you.

Accounts are considered past due after 30 days. Past due accounts will be charged a Rebilling/ Finance Charge of $5.00 per month. Checks returned by your bank will be subject to a return check fee. Accounts turned over to our collection agency or attorney, and sent to court, will be subject to reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.

Insurance Facts

Fact 1 - NO INSURANCE PAYS 100% OF ALL PROCEDURES
Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in obtaining dental care. Many patients think that their insurance pays 90%-100% of all dental fees. This is not true!  Most plans only pay between 50%-80% of the average total fee. Some pay more, some pay less. The percentage paid is usually determined by how much you or your employer have paid for coverage, or the type of contract your employer has set up with the insurance company.

Fact 2 - BENEFITS ARE NOT DETERMINED BY OUR OFFICE
You may have noticed that sometimes your dental insurer reimburses you or the dentist at a lower rate than the dentist's actual fee. Frequently, insurance companies state that the reimbursement was reduced because your dentist's fee has exceeded the usual, customary, or reasonable fee ("UCR") used by the company.

A statement such as this gives the impression that any fee greater than the amount paid by the insurance company is unreasonable, or well above what most dentists in the area charge for a certain service. This can be very misleading and simply is not accurate.

Insurance companies set their own schedules, and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. These allowable fees may vary widely, because each company collects fee information from claims it processes. The insurance company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call the "allowable" UCR Fee. Frequently, this data can be three to five years old and these "allowable" fees are set by the insurance company so they can make a net 20%-30% profit.

Unfortunately, insurance companies imply that your dentist is "overcharging", rather than say that they are "underpaying", or that their benefits are low. In general, the less expensive insurance policy will use a lower usual, customary, or reasonable (UCR) figure.

Fact 3 - DEDUCTIBLES & CO-PAYMENTS MUST BE CONSIDERED
When estimating dental benefits, deductibles copays and percentages must be considered. To illustrate, assume the fee for service is $150.00. Assuming that the insurance company allows $150.00 as its usual and customary (UCR) fee, we can figure out what benefits will be paid. First a deductible (paid by you), on average $50, is subtracted, leaving $100.00. The plan then pays 80% for this particular procedure. The insurance company will then pay 80% of $100.00, or $80.00. Out of a $150.00 fee they will pay an estimated $80.00 leaving a remaining portion of $70.00 to be paid by the patient/parent. Of course, if the UCR is less than $150.00 or your plan pays only at 50% then the insurance benefits will also be significantly less.

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