How are appointments scheduled?
Our office attempts to schedule appointments convenient to you. 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 that same reason. While dental appointments are an excused absence, missing school can be kept to a minimum with continuous dental care.
Since appointed times are reserved exclusively for each patient, we ask that you please notify our office 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you are unable to keep your appointment. This allows us sufficient time to schedule another patient needing care. We realize that unexpected events occur, but we ask for your assistance in this regard. We do charge a $50.00 no-show fee for missed operative appointments.
Do I stay with my child during the visit?
You are permitted to accompany your child at the initial “New Patient” appointment. However, at all subsequent recare and restorative visits, parents are required to stay in the waiting room until their child’s dental work is completed. At the end of the appointment, parents will be called into the operatory to speak with Dr. Perkins or Dr. Musgrave. 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. We have tried to design our office so that it is warm, friendly, pleasant, and inviting to our patients and their parents and we are delighted for you to see any part of it.
What about finances?
Payment for professional services is due at the time dental treatment is provided. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan suitable to your timetable and budget, and gives your child the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards and most major credit cards. We do charge a $40.00 fee on all returned checks.
Because your smile is important to us, we also offer CareCredit, a healthcare credit card specifically designed to pay for your entire family’s healthcare needs. CareCredit allows you to pay over time with convenient low monthly payments. There is no down payment, no annual fee, and no prepayment penalties. The application is quick and easy and can be done in our office, online at carecredit.com or by phone at 800-365-8295. You receive a credit decision almost instantly.
Dr. Perkins and Dr. Musgrave are proud to provide discounts for active military, police and firemen.
Our Office Policy Regarding Dental Insurance
Dr. Perkins and Dr. Musgrave accept Chips, Medicaid and most private insurances.
If we have your insurance information on the day of the appointment, we will be happy to file your claim for you. You must be familiar with your insurance benefits, as we will collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay. By law your insurance company is required to pay each claim within 30 days of receipt. We file all insurance electronically, so your insurance company will receive each claim within days of the treatment. You are responsible for any balance on your account after 30 days, whether insurance has paid or not. If you have not paid your balance within 60 days, a re-billing fee of 1.5% will be added to your account each month until paid. We will send a refund to you if your insurance pays us. If you do not provide your insurance information at the time of the appointment, you will be considered self pay.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND that we file dental insurance as a courtesy to our patients. We do not have a contract with your insurance company, only you do. We are not responsible for how your insurance company handles its claims or for what benefits they pay on a claim. We can only assist you in estimating your portion of the cost of treatment. We at no time guarantee the amount your insurance will or will not pay on each claim. We also can not be responsible for any errors in filing your insurance. Once again, we file claims as a courtesy to you. Payment for procedures not covered by your insurance (example-nitrous oxide) will be due on the date of service.
If your insurance company pays you directly, you will be required to pay your account in full on the date of service. If you have more than one insurance and your primary insurance pays you directly, you will be required to leave a post dated check for the entire amount and we will hold it for 30 days or until you send us the check and EOB from the primary insurance. Some of the insurance companies that pay the patient directly are BCBS Federal, Delta Dental AR, Delta Dental MO, and Delta Dental PA.
Fact 1 - NO INSURANCE PAYS 100% OF ALL PROCEDURES
Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in receiving 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 has 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 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 determine 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). 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.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.