SPEA Hosts Dental Contracts & Insurance Event
On Monday, February 10, the Student Professionalism & Ethics Association (SPEA) welcomed speakers Drs. Jack and Daniel Bottner and Ms. Lexi Haney to speak about their experiences with dental associate contracts and dental insurance.
The speakers began by providing students with an overview of the four most common government plans a dentist may expect to encounter: Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, Non-Insured Health Benefits for First Nations and Unit, and Healthy Smiles Ontario. The speakers explained that each program has its own specific coverage and restrictions with regards to billings for services, and the guidelines for these restrictions can change. They found having a strong relationship with a knowledgeable office manager, who is often an expert in this area, was helpful.
Dr. Jack Bottner emphasized the obligation of the dentist to always provide multiple options, both when presenting treatments and when making referrals. He finished by reminding students “you are a professional first and a business second.”
Following the dental insurance presentation was a talk on associate contracts; the overarching message was to ensure you work with a lawyer who is experienced in the dental field and dental contracts when making agreements. Common areas to look for in the contracts included: restrictions regarding locations you can work and hours you will be offered; ownership of equipment; ownership of patient charts; trial/probation periods; and ensuring the patient pool is evenly distributed among colleagues.
Overall, students found the event to be informative and a good way to ask specific questions about dental insurance and associate contracts.