WHY HAVE WE CHOSEN NOT TO BE PREFERRED PROVIDERS?
Because we believe private health funds should not dictate your treatment plan.
At TDC, we believe that private health funds should not influence your right to choose the dental practice providing your care.
Rather, you should choose a practice that you are comfortable with and be sure that your dentist is recommending the best treatment available, not one that meets a health fund’s pre-set terms and conditions.
Preferred providers are contracted dentists who provide treatment at an agreed fee with the private health fund. Health funds then advertise “higher rebates” or “no out of pocket expenses” but only if you visit one of their dentists.
At TDC we decided not to join the “preferred provider” scheme due to the implications contracted dentistry will have on the quality of dental care available to Australian families.
1. The Australian Dental Association does not support ‘preferred provider’ contracts and believes that maintaining patient choice is a crucial element to maintaining high standards of dental care in Australia. The ADA believes that contracted dentistry may cause “tiered’ levels of care and that its implementation has not been successful anywhere else in the world.
2. Preferred providers are not chosen based on their ability but rather because they meet the fee criteria of the health funds and have agreed to their contract terms. Standards of practice are not the private health funds’ top priority.
3. Under a contract with a Private Health Fund, dentists are not allowed to increase their fees in line with practice cost increases. In this case, the quality of dental care may suffer due to resorting to cheaper alternatives. At TDC, we take great pride in working with only the highest quality dental labs, using state-of- the-art equipment and the highest quality materials. We are not willing to trade our standards for cost cuts.
4. Contracted dentists are not allowed to reduce their fees, as we may do with certain conditions, because their contract stipulates so. This may lead to overcharging the patient to meet the customary private health fund fees.
5. Private Health Fund members pay the same premiums and should, therefore, get the same rebates regardless of their dental provider. It is morally wrong for patients who wish to exercise their freedom of choice to get lower rebates. If these patients are getting a lesser rebate they should be paying a lesser premium.
For more information: www.myhealthcareer.com.au/dentistry/preferred-supplier-dental-practices