On April 4th, Washington Dental Service announced they were lowering the fees for all Premier and PPO programs. As many WDS member dentists have reported, the fee decrease is an average of 15 percent of their existing filed fees. WDS explains in a letter to members that the decision was necessary due to the challenges they are experiencing with increased competition from their competitors, particularly “low cost insurers.” In order to reduce the cost of their premiums, they had to reduce the fees paid to providers. On their web page, in the frequently asked questions section for providers, they state it is unlikely that provider compensation will go up again.
Quality, Comprehensive, Conservative, Beautiful…this is the kind of dentistry that I would want for my family, my friends, my patients, my self. These are the things I would like to emphasize to my valued patients. I truly believe that if you care for people and take the time to listen to patients, they will place their trust in your care and not the care of a third party insurance company. The problem in the last few years has been the volume of patients that need to be seen for sufficient reimbursement to occur. When the volume is high, the relationship between the doctor and patient is sacrificed and the trust quickly declines. Patients begin to question treatment, dentists begin to work on strangers and the quality of dentistry and communication goes down. I am embracing the changes that WDS is making as an opportunity to spend more time with my health centered patients and less time trying to get reimbursed from insurance.
-Kelley Fisher DDS