If only everything was as easy as an orthodontic visit:
I recently went to see an orthopedic surgeon for an ankle problem. Once I arrived at the office I filled out the usual lengthy patient forms, signed a bunch of insurance consents, and went through a long questionnaire regarding my specific injury.
After a 20 minute wait I was brought into an examination room where the assistant doctor reviewed my file and asked some general questions about my ankle problem. He recommended x-rays and I was instructed to go to a different floor, at an outside x-ray laboratory to take them. After filling out new insurance paperwork and waiting another 30 minutes in the x-ray lab’s waiting room, I finally managed to obtain the required x-rays. I went back up to the doctor’s office with x-rays in hands, waited another 15 minutes until the head doctor finally came for the actual examination of my ankle, which took less than 10 minutes.
Fortunately my injury wasn’t too serious and I was told to return as needed. On my way out of the office I was told to expect a bill in the mail. Since insurances vary in coverage I was never given an actual accurate estimate. The bill did eventually arrive in the mail with lots of different charges and a balance I wasn’t expecting. That’s when I realized how complicated and frustrating this entire experience was. Long waiting time, several back and forth trips to get the needed x-rays, no real accurate diagnosis, no financial estimate for the services rendered, a long bill with confusing charges delivered a month later, and no payment plans. And the sad part of it all is that this is a common experience in many healthcare offices.
I compared this exhaustive experience to what happens when a new patient comes to our office for an orthodontic evaluation. Forms can be filled out on line prior to the appointment, waiting time is short, x-rays if needed are taken on the spot, an accurate diagnosis is made right away, the orthodontic treatment plan clearly laid out, the all-inclusive fee and insurance coverage clearly explained, no “wait and see what your owe us” bill once you get home, and a simple affordable payment plan. On top of that braces can even be placed on the same day if the patient choses to do so. Now only if everything in the healthcare field was as simple, straightforward, and easy of a process….
Dr. Salmassian is a Board Certified Orthodontist and specializes in orthodontics for children and adults. For any questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary evaluation please contact Salmassian Orthodontics at 661-222-7444