May 11, 2010
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So it looks like Walmart is not the only one trying to put the 'dent' in dentistry ;)

I read an article in the Sacramento Bee today that talks about brighter.com,
and online company that offers up to 60% discounts on basically all dental procedures for its members.

From what it looks like, they ask members to subscribe to the site and then they have unlimited access to as many procedures as they want? It looks like they are trying to help those who cannot afford dental care and those on Medical, but isn't this going to further drive down profits for dentists?

I guess it depends on what population you want to cater your practice to, but there are too many entities lowering the profits for dentists.
 
Jun 10, 2010
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Dental Student
So it looks like Walmart is not the only one trying to put the 'dent' in dentistry ;)

I read an article in the Sacramento Bee today that talks about brighter.com,
and online company that offers up to 60% discounts on basically all dental procedures for its members.

From what it looks like, they ask members to subscribe to the site and then they have unlimited access to as many procedures as they want? It looks like they are trying to help those who cannot afford dental care and those on Medical, but isn't this going to further drive down profits for dentists?

I guess it depends on what population you want to cater your practice to, but there are too many entities lowering the profits for dentists.

I'm not exactly sure of the details of this discount plan, but I don't think this will take hold. Dentistry is one of the few professions left where the doctor is not required to take any patient that works through the door. I don't see any dentists working for less than the cost of the materials it takes to perform the actual procedure. Do people really think quality dental work is easy to complete? Nah...don't think so. Now I'm all for helping out the less-fortunate and participating in pro-bono work, but providing discount plans will not help the situation of low-income patients if dentists do not accept such plans. This reminds me of the push to expand Medicaid and CHIP to the near-poor population. It doesn't matter how many people are on these programs if it is largely unaccepted by the doctors in their practices.
 

SeattleRDH

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Mar 10, 2010
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The way this website seems to work is they negotiate fees down for what I assume is cash only patients. I looked up offices in my neighborhood and found that the estimated normal fees are what we charge in our office. However, since we have negotiated with certain plans to be a preferred provider we are reimbursed at a lower rate. A rate that compares to this websites "deal."

For example: we charge $110 for a prophy but are reimbursed by one plan at $78. We write off the difference because we have agreed to do so with the insurance company. That's a 29% reduction! Giving the same discount directly to a patient who is guaranteed to pay up front doesn't sound like too bad of a deal.

For those of you who say "I won't be a part of that discount plan" know that if you sign up for a PPO you WILL be discounted. And good luck avoiding the PPO route in any major city.
 
Apr 6, 2011
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This is basically an advertising business model: a modified Groupon for dentistry, if you will. Rather than paying for traditional advertising (newspaper ads, mailers, signage, etc.), dentists agree to be listed on this site and take discounted fees for certain procedures. In turn, they get some ROI of customers coming in through their doors.

Brighter.com turns a buck by taking a cut out of the customer (memberships cost money...all of them except the least discounted, most basic one designed to rope you in) and probably a fee from the dentist as well, maybe based on how many customers Brighter.com can actually deliver. If its "pay for what you get" in that sense, I can see how, in certain cases, this may be more appealing to some providers than traditional advertising.

This, however, is not earth-shattering to dentistry as we know it by any stretch of the imagination. Actually, it's still a BETA and I wouldn't be surprised if it tanks within 6 months. Small businesses are already souring to Groupon (http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/13/why-groupon-is-poised-for-collapse/), and while this isn't exactly the same, it has a lot of the same flaws from the point of view of the small business. On top of that, I find it hard to believe that people are going to be willing to take the same risk on a 50% off crown or bridge as they are on a 50% off coffee or wine-tasting.
 
Last edited:
Jun 10, 2010
141
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Dental Student
This is basically an advertising business model: a modified Groupon for dentistry, if you will. Rather than paying for traditional advertising (newspaper ads, mailers, signage, etc.), dentists agree to be listed on this site and take discounted fees for certain procedures. In turn, they get some ROI of customers coming in through their doors.

Brighter.com turns a buck by taking a cut out of the customer (memberships cost money...all of them except the least discounted, most basic one designed to rope you in) and probably a fee from the dentist as well, maybe based on how many customers Brighter.com can actually deliver. If its "pay for what you get" in that sense, I can see how, in certain cases, this may be more appealing to some providers than traditional advertising.

This, however, is not earth-shattering to dentistry as we know it by any stretch of the imagination. Actually, it's still a BETA and I wouldn't be surprised if it tanks within 6 months. Small businesses are already souring to Groupon (http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/13/why-groupon-is-poised-for-collapse/), and while this isn't exactly the same, it has a lot of the same flaws from the point of view of the small business. On top of that, I find it hard to believe that people are going to be willing to take the same risk on a 50% off crown or bridge as they are on a 50% off coffee or wine-tasting.
Exactly. Especially when this is work that is going to be placed within a human body, and is supposed to be safe and durable for a variable amount of time. I wouldn't take that chance.
 

Quattro DMD

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I'm not exactly sure of the details of this discount plan, but I don't think this will take hold. Dentistry is one of the few professions left where the doctor is not required to take any patient that works through the door. I don't see any dentists working for less than the cost of the materials it takes to perform the actual procedure. Do people really think quality dental work is easy to complete? Nah...don't think so. Now I'm all for helping out the less-fortunate and participating in pro-bono work, but providing discount plans will not help the situation of low-income patients if dentists do not accept such plans. This reminds me of the push to expand Medicaid and CHIP to the near-poor population. It doesn't matter how many people are on these programs if it is largely unaccepted by the doctors in their practices.
I wouldn't compare a government subsidized health care entitlement/benefit to brighter.com. Especially since the Medicaid expansions and SCHIP were targeting children who really needed the services.
 
Jul 11, 2011
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Pre-Dental
Exactly. Especially when this is work that is going to be placed within a human body, and is supposed to be safe and durable for a variable amount of time. I wouldn't take that chance.
Maybe you wouldn't, but as for the >9% of Americans who are without jobs and lacking insurance? I think so!

I checked out the site and it looks like they have a lot of reputable dentists in a lot of areas (especially major metropolitan areas), and the prices listed seem to be way better than anything I've ever been quoted.
 

jay47

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Maybe you wouldn't, but as for the >9% of Americans who are without jobs and lacking insurance? I think so!

I checked out the site and it looks like they have a lot of reputable dentists in a lot of areas (especially major metropolitan areas), and the prices listed seem to be way better than anything I've ever been quoted.
As with anything, let the adage "you get what you pay for" guide your way. And I don't believe these cases are any different. Yes, I understand you may not have a job, but I'm just advising you to be careful.
 
Mar 5, 2010
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Exactly. Especially when this is work that is going to be placed within a human body, and is supposed to be safe and durable for a variable amount of time. I wouldn't take that chance.
You're missing a key point, though. You're assuming that, as a patient, you'll have to go to some random dentist to get work done. What if your own dentist is part of the program?

Groupon works because people are getting exceptional deals on products and places that they (often) already know. I see the same thing here.
 
Jun 9, 2011
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You're missing a key point, though. You're assuming that, as a patient, you'll have to go to some random dentist to get work done. What if your own dentist is part of the program?

Groupon works because people are getting exceptional deals on products and places that they (often) already know. I see the same thing here.
do you think this will have HUGE NEGATIVE effect on dentistry? i'm concerned.
 

BizzyV

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Jul 14, 2009
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Why should we have a problem with an expanding patient pool of cash payers to fill up schedules?
 

yappy

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I talked about this in another thread - but why is it that when dentists write off costs due to ppo, insurance, gov, they dont get a tax deduction? Also do dentists ever get together in an area and figure out what they should charge as a "professional courtesy" - say they fix prices at X cost +/- 20 dollars; that way there are not many downward pressures on wages and dentists are able to make maximum revenue.

But I do agree - if something like this is expanding cash - it seems like a good idea as long as the discounts are not greater than what is a mandatory write off for accepting crappy insurance.
 
Mar 5, 2010
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I talked about this in another thread - but why is it that when dentists write off costs due to ppo, insurance, gov, they dont get a tax deduction? Also do dentists ever get together in an area and figure out what they should charge as a "professional courtesy" - say they fix prices at X cost +/- 20 dollars; that way there are not many downward pressures on wages and dentists are able to make maximum revenue.
Price fixing? That would be a very, very bad idea.

You should spend time talking with physicians about items they aren't allowed to write off on their taxes.
 

yappy

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This post is total spam. You prob are the one that started this new site. This is the second post you've written it in.


I just joined HealthSouk.com (they are competitors to Brighter.com) I heard they launched after they found that these "dental" deal sites were trying to price fix. . .so they started a real-time program...I am a dentist and didn't want to become a victim of yet another "business scheme" started by business people (non-dentists). I signed up with HealthSouk.com and there are no fees for anyone, not the the patients and not the doctors. . .

I saw that HealthSouk was launched and run by a group of doctors so I'm glad they are here to protect the dental profession while still serving patients. . .

Check it out and let me know what you think? HealthSouk.com

<a href="http:/www.healthsouk.com>HealthSouk</a>
 
Apr 9, 2010
356
1
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Pre-Dental
I just joined HealthSouk.com (they are competitors to Brighter.com) I heard they launched after they found that these "dental" deal sites were trying to price fix. . .so they started a real-time program...I am a dentist and didn't want to become a victim of yet another "business scheme" started by business people (non-dentists). I signed up with HealthSouk.com and there are no fees for anyone, not the the patients and not the doctors. . .

I saw that HealthSouk was launched and run by a group of doctors so I'm glad they are here to protect the dental profession while still serving patients. . .

Check it out and let me know what you think? HealthSouk.com

<a href="http:/www.healthsouk.com>HealthSouk</a>
SPAM & horrible company name.