The following is a email sent to the Gentle Dental Offices:
I must cancel all further appointments.
REASON: I requested an appointment on 07/27/2012 via email. I received a phone call from Paige Gatton (Patient Services Team) to confirm the appointment and receive new patient registration forms. I was sure to ask if Gentle Dental accepted my Insurance, She said she would call the number I gave her and get back to me. She called back and informed me that Gentle Dental did accept my Insurance. On my emergency appointment August 1st., I was charged $25.00 (not a deal breaker) for a routine visit, my bridge was removed, inspected and given a prescription for antibiotics and a pain reliever (which should have been covered by my Insurance, I inquired about charges and was told there was a 25% discount?) and referred to a Oral Surgeon. I was never told I was NOT covered. August 6th. the tooth was removed and the charge was $255.00 ( extractions
are covered by my Insurance also). As I sat in the Doctors chair, waiting for the Novocain to take affect, an assistant came in with a bill,clipboard,and a pen and inquired how was I going to pay, cash, credit, or debit. Confused,and in severe pain, I thought I was covered by Insurance, I said debit and reached for my billfold/credit card. I was NOT previously informed I was NOT covered.
AS TACTFUL AS A FLYING BRICK, She said it would be easier to pay before surgery than after; as if I were going under for a major operation. She returned to ask about a PIN number or could they run it as credit. Luckily my mouth was numb, I felt as if I had been slapped in the face. Returning again so I could sign the bill, all this before the Novocain took full affect!
I called my Insurance and no claim was filed and that Gentle Dental is not a Provider with my Insurance. I fell I was duped by the person I spoke with that told me I was covered by my Insurance and the Office Staff was aware of that when I was treated on August 1st and August 6th hence the Tactful way of asking for the payment before services rendered and pointing out that my next visit would be $83.00.
Further, the day after,(8am), my bridge was removed I was experiencing severe pain and requested a stronger pain reliever, I was told the Doctor was not in but they would contact him and I had to pick up the prescription in person. I told the office I didnt have access to a vehicle and CALL ME when the prescription was ready to be picked up. After a few hours,(11am),.. NO CALL, I call back, talked to another person, and was told the doctor that was in could sign the prescription but he was seeing patients at the moment, I asked this person to CALL ME when the prescription was signed. At 3:30 pm...NO CALL, I called back and was informed I could pick up the prescription. I arranged a ride to the Gentle Dental Office to pick up my prescription,
much to my chagrin and dismay the prescription still was not signed when I arrived at the office. Perhaps the Terribly Efficient assistance with the bill, clipboard and the pin would have been a better choice to handle the Prescription Issue.
All that aside, the Physicians are TOP NOTCH! Im 63 years old, I have never had a Physician give me a follow- up-call the day after a treatment...NEVER. Both Doctors Dr. Zylbering and Dr. Seider call the day after my procedures and inquired as to my condition and if I required any thing( I complained about the Insurance issue). Above and Beyond, Extraordinary comes to mind. Both Top Notch. My conundrum is, stay with TOP NOTCH Physicians and endure Boiler Room bill collectors and Misinformation or change Dental offices. Meanwhile, to date, I am $ 280.00 out of pocket,( that should have been covered by my Insurance) and must try to recoup in some way. Reasons for Cancellation/Termination:
1)Borderline deceptive Practices (Tell the patient what they want to hear/get them in the door; we can extract the money)
2)Myopic Business Policies ( get the money now, some will not be back)
3)Boiler Room Bill Collection Tactics (get the payment BEFORE services rendered and at all cost)
After days of negotiations with Gentle Dental they, of course, they except no responseability for this debacle content to lay it on my Insurance Company, which by the way is culpable as well. That said, it does not excuse the "Boiler Room Collection" tactics.
Is shoving a bill under the nose of a Patient, while seated in a dentist chair, in pain, and partially sedated Standard Operating Procedure?