I had a dentist appointment yesterday to get a tooth filled. This is a medical group office with three dentists and a dozen support assistants. So when I pulled in at 7:50 for my 8 am appointment the parking lot was pretty empty. I was figuring that I must have gotten the time wrong. But sure enough they were open.
My simple filling turned out to be a ceramic inlay with 2 surfaces. My share was $395 with insurance. They are up front with the costs, you pay first and then they do the work. I balked at the price (choked is a better description). I pointed out that I had already spent $1200 on one root canal and two crowns so far this year. The secretary doing the financing dropped the price down to $250 and let me use a $100 dollar off coupon they had sent me. Between me and my insurance, they got about $450 (the insurance paid $300).
So they "owned" me for two hours. During that time only one other patient came in to my area (there are 4 stations), and that was for an estimate. It was just me, the Doc and three hygienists. After they finished, I got up and went into the outer office and noticed that there were only two people waiting in the lounge. It saddened me, the lounge use to be full of people.
I should have guessed what was happening when I called for an appointment and they wanted to schedule it the next day (I need at least a week to mentally prepare for dental work). People are cutting back. It is all very invisible; you won’t read about it in the morning paper, but you will read it here. Save a dentist and "stimulate" the economy, go get that tooth filled.