groundhog

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I know that pediatricians are almost looked upon as "GP's for kids" in the medical field. Most, if not all, health care plans allow folks to self refer to pediatricians who are considered to be primary care physicains. Is it the same in the dental world?
 

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groundhog said:
I know that pediatricians are almost looked upon as "GP's for kids" in the medical field. Most, if not all, health care plans allow folks to self refer to pediatricians who are considered to be primary care physicains. Is it the same in the dental world?
A pedo I worked for over a 3 year time span got 5% of patients from referrals from GPs...the most he got was through word of mouth.
 
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scalpel2008

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From what I've heard, the new source to tap for referrals, are the pediatricians. I know at the children's hospitals here, the pediatricians are becoming increasingly aware of oral health and making it a standard part of the physical examination.
 

unlvdmd

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The thing about pedo is that now-a-days people know "pediatric dentists" exist. They will go straight to the phone book and call one up for their rug rat. Most people don't think "oh, I have some perio disease... and flip to the periodontist section." So you rely LESS on GP referal vs something like perio.
 

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scalpel2008 said:
From what I've heard, the new source to tap for referrals, are the pediatricians. I know at the children's hospitals here, the pediatricians are becoming increasingly aware of oral health and making it a standard part of the physical examination.
Not trying to be sarcastic for once but...I thought that this was an older way of getting referrals and not a new source? (besides gps, etc)
 

Lesley

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groundhog said:
I know that pediatricians are almost looked upon as "GP's for kids" in the medical field. Most, if not all, health care plans allow folks to self refer to pediatricians who are considered to be primary care physicains. Is it the same in the dental world?

In my opinion, pedodontics is the speciality that relies on GP referral the least.

Many parents want their children to see a pedodontist, even when they have a family dentist they trust. Often, when a young family moves into a town, they find a dentist for their children before they find a GP for themselves. We have a very child centered culture.

I find that we see a lot less pedo in our practice than we did 20 years ago. I don't mind doing pedo, but personally, I like this trend. I'd much rather do endo and crown and bridge than ss crowns.

Word of mouth and a yellow page ad is generally all pedodontists need. I don't see pedodontists advertising too much. Patients many times make their choice based on other patient's recommendations and location. Orthodontists advertise much more than Pedo.

Many parents are very willing to pay the difference between their insurance coverage and what their pedodontist charges, even when their pedodontist does not participate with their plan. This is different than medicine where there is a strong reluctance to go out of network. To my knowledge, a patient is not required to be referred to a pedodontist from a GP.

I was recently told by a neighbor, with two young children, that her pedodontist takes payment in full, at time of service. The patient then waits for any insurance reimbursment. She did not feel that this was unusual for dentistry and feels it's becoming the norm. I do not know if this is the norm, but this practice has been gaining some steam, even with GP's.
 

ItsGavinC

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Lesley said:
I was recently told by a neighbor, with two young children, that her pedodontist takes payment in full, at time of service. The patient then waits for any insurance reimbursment. She did not feel that this was unusual for dentistry and feels it's becoming the norm. I do not know if this is the norm, but this practice has been gaining some steam, even with GP's.
Interesting stuff, and I've heard of this happening more and more. I'm still in school, and this is actually the exact way that our school clinic operates. We accept no insurance, but are happy to give the patients the paperwork for them to submit for reimbursement.
 

unlvdmd

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ItsGavinC said:
We accept no insurance, but are happy to give the patients the paperwork for them to submit for reimbursement.
Same with UNLV. And I have found that when they know they can get nearly 3x as much work for their yearly maxiumum, they are more than willing to fill out their own paperwork.
 

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Lesley said:
I was recently told by a neighbor, with two young children, that her pedodontist takes payment in full, at time of service. The patient then waits for any insurance reimbursment. She did not feel that this was unusual for dentistry and feels it's becoming the norm. I do not know if this is the norm, but this practice has been gaining some steam, even with GP's.
Only 1 of the 8 or so pedo practices in the area I will practice takes assignment of benefits. The rest make the patients pay up front 100% and deal w/ insurance on their own. This was surprising...I always thought that part of my responsibility as a dentist was to file insurance because it can be difficult for parents. With that said, it's gotten to the point that you have to pay a staff member simply to deal with it. If the local market will allow it, I guess it's the thing to do.

Another change I've noticed is that a lot more offices allow parents in the back during treatment. I personally have no problem with it. It's a reflection of the changes in attitude of parents of what is acceptable and what isn't when treating their children. The range of what is acceptable has been shifting lately...many parents are much more hesitant towards papoosing now versus maybe the last few decades, etc.
 
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