This is a common phone call question that arrives to every dental practice in the country on a weekly if not daily basis. The answer 99 times out of 100 is “no” as less than 1% of US dentists are involved with the Medicare insurance system. These patient calls are a sure sign of enormous patient demand. The most recent official count from the Kaiser Foundation and CMS shows that there were 59.8 million recipients as of 2018; a 30% increase in less than ten years from 45.8 million in 2010!
During the national shutdown for CV19, nearly 500,000 new recipients entered the system! This march of millions annually coming into the system will continue unabated until, courtesy of the boomers, we hit 80 million by 2030! Millions of them are also looking for Medicare dental implant services.
Most of the “do you take Medicare?” phone calls involve patients looking for general dentistry or basic services and perhaps 1 out of 200 providers accept Medicare dental patients. The fact these patients call offices at random is also a sign of confusion about benefits. Few Original Part B recipients know what their benefits can and can’t do for them and they have no idea who to call. Few dentists know that indirectly Medicare can subsidize dental implant treatment depending on the type of infection present in osseous. Is it any wonder that patients have no idea whether dental implants and Medicare are somehow connected via medical necessity oral surgery?
Others are calling related to Medicare dentures or Medicare dental implants but the odds are against them randomly selecting a practice that understands the system or who provides these surgical services. As a result, Medicare dental implant treatment that could be performed to benefit a patient’s health doesn’t happen. There are millions of patients in these two categories (those needing Medicare dentures or Medicare dental implants) who could benefit from a Medicare credentialed dentist whose services include major oral surgery, bone grafting, dental implants, and dentures.
Recipients who have evidence of osseous infection beyond the tooth apices could have a multi-thousand-dollar Medicare medical necessity oral claim resulting in a reduction of total out of pocket cost for a tooth replacement solution by at least 25%. Indirectly these patients may pursue Medicare dental implant treatment as part of that medical necessity oral surgery claim having been paid. If 25-50% of the out of pocket costs is reduced by a Medicare medical necessity claim payment, affordability becomes more of a reality for millions of Medicare dental implant patients.
A patient in this situation would be as likely to ‘win big’ on a random pull of a slot machine then to randomly place a call to the right clinical practice that understands their problem, can treat their problem, can restore them to function, and who is credentialed and billing Medicare medical necessity oral surgery claims in the system.
Now, for those billing Medicare medical necessity oral surgery services today, you already know that you could help these patients who need dental implants but the catch is they have no idea how to find you. For most of you reading this, you also have no idea how to find that patient even though you intuitively know they are out there all around your practice.
The first good news here is that, by way of direct to consumer Medicare oral surgery and Medicare dental implant advertising, it is a straightforward matter to predictably connect the dots between you as a dental provider performing medical necessity oral surgery services and these Medicare recipients including Medicare dental implant patients. The only caveat is that you have to agree with the reality that to reach these patients consistently and to reach hundreds or even thousands of them in a year, Medicare oral surgery or Medicare dental implant advertising is mandatory.
The second good news is that, courtesy of accumulated years of national TV advertising from ClearChoice dental implant centres plus hundreds of independent practices throughout the US, patient awareness is at all-time high related to treatment solutions for full arches of problems including dental implant solutions such as All-on-4, Teeth Tomorrow, Teeth Xpress, Hybridge, etc. Those practices tying Medicare benefits to this awareness have an abundance of patients coming for Medicare dental implant evaluations and Medicare oral surgery and Medicare dental implant treatment.
If you are a credentialed Medicare provider, skilled at treating these cases, and, you acknowledge the reality that advertising is a requirement to find these patients, then your next step to an abundance of Medicare medical necessity oral surgery patients and Medicare dental implant patients who need your assistance and to whom you can change their lives for the better is to decide it’s time to embrace Medicare oral surgery advertising and Medicare dental implant advertising for and to these patients and to take your message to the public.
If you are not a credentialed Medicare provider and you perform major dental oral surgery that involves infection removal from osseous tissue, bone grafting, and dental implant treatment and you understand to reach this or any elective service audience requires specialty dental implant advertising, then your first step is to apply for and gain a provider credential and to seek out competent assistance in billing and compliance services. Past that, the next move is to Medicare oral surgery and Medicare dental implant advertising to open the door to these patients and your office.
If you choose to embrace what’s required, be it with getting a credential or entering the advertising arena, you can routinely join others who now treat 3-6 full arch dental implant case patients every month as part of leveraging Medicare medical necessity oral surgery benefits for these patients’ benefit.
Patients, once informed you exist and you can help them with their Part B benefits, will choose you over competitors who can’t submit claims on their behalf nor reduce their out of pocket costs.