Dental hygiene is an important part of our lives that we need to pay attention to. That is why dental hygienists are revered in today’s society. We need dental hygienists to make sure that our sparkling whites remain like that. But just because they are experts doesn’t mean that they can’t lie or be part of something fraudulent. We read about medical scams every day in the newspapers. It has become a lucrative business for everyone involved, except for the victims. According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, Americans are believed to lose almost 68 million dollars to health care frauds every year. These numbers are staggering. And this number includes the dental scams as well. The dental hygiene industry is a booming medical industry and would continue to be so as long as people are concerned about the condition of their teeth. Thus, it becomes very easy for corrupt doctors in the business to cheat people and thrive.
How can a dentist cheat us? Well, they can. And unfortunately, some of them are cheating us in big ways. The way this works is very subtle which is why people don’t often realize how they are being taken for a ride by their dentists. And there are many ways in which a dental hygienist can be fraudulent. Some of those ways have been discussed in detail below.
Billing Insurance Companies Wrongly
When we have health insurance, we tend to pay lesser attention to how people are cheating us in a medical setup. And that is exactly what allows some doctors to cheat their patients. There have been many cases in which dental hygienists have billed insurance companies much more than what the procedure had really costed. There are a lot of things that people are not aware of when it comes to the medical field. That is why doctors and their associates can take advantage by billing the insurance companies more. This is known as ‘upcoding’ in the insurance business, which is nothing but charging the insurance companies for a much more expensive procedure than the simple one that was actually performed.
Lying About Procedures
Doctors can sometimes wrongly use their power to manipulate their patients into believing a web of lies about their ailments and the procedures required. Sometimes, when you go to a doctor with a tiny problem, the doctor can take advantage of your condition to create a moneymaking opportunity for himself or herself. Your problem might be very small that may be cured with some simple procedures and medicines. But instead of doing that, the doctor might ask you to get a bunch of unnecessary things done just to fill his or her pockets. And since patients are unaware of the subtle differences between the procedures, they give in to their fears and agree to do whatever their doctors ask them to do.
3. Breaking Down Procedures
Another ingenious way of conning unsuspecting patients with problems is to allow them to believe that tiny steps of one comprehensive procedure are individual medical components and then charge them for each one of those steps. For example, a root canal is one extensive procedure but sometimes doctors can break the procedure down to its basic steps and charge people for the individual steps. Patients in this case are in no place of authority to question their doctors and hence, have no other option than to get cheated.
Measures That Can Safeguard You
There are certain things that you can do to reduce your chances of being cheated by a doctor. After you have been asked to undergo a procedure; ask your doctor for all the details about the procedure and complete cost of it. Ask him or her to give you the breakup cost of the procedure as well. This way you will have all the important knowledge you need. You can also ask around to find out if your doctor is charging you more or less than others in the business.