Denplan, the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist, has welcomed George Osborne’s call for clearer dental pricing and treatment plans in HM Treasury’s “A Better Deal” report, which was published this week.
The report stated that pricing for dentistry can be opaque and confusing and that the government wants to ensure that dentist treatment plans and price lists are clear and easily accessible, empowering patients in England to make the best choices.
Roger Matthews, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan said: “Clear communication between dentists and patients is fundamental in every dental practice, especially in regards to treatment plans and pricing. We strongly agree with the Chancellor’s statement in the report that all dental patients should have access to the information they need to make the right decisions about their dental care.
“Denplan encourages all member dental practices to build in enough discussion time with their patients to allow them to explain treatment options and any associated costs. Denplan is also a co-originator and signatory of the BDA Private Dental Plans Code of Practice. The code emphasises the need to provide patients with adequate information about the choices available, work with clear and fair contracts, ensure they understand the payment procedures for each option and, where appropriate, any on-going costs or exclusions, and have in place a system for dealing with complaints and feedback.”
Denplan has a range of support services available to its member dentists and this includes providing regular guidance and materials for practices to use. Roger Matthews continued:
“Denplan member practices are able to access a price list template to ensure they are following the General Dental Council’s standards which requires practices to display their price lists. Through a network of field-based consultants across the UK (supported by an office-based team), Denplan also works continually with member practices to provide business support, which includes helping practices to set their fees fairly.”
In a 2014 Denplan patient survey of over 8,800 patients, 90% said that Denplan allows them to budget for their dental care and treatment*. Roger Matthews added: “We find that patients appreciate the clarity that comes with a dental payment plan as they prefer to know exactly what their dental care is going to cost each month without any unexpected bills.”
“Osborne’s report today should serve as a sharp reminder to all types of practices (NHS or private) on the requirement to provide patients with the most comprehensive information on treatment options and pricing. If greater transparency in this area helps patients make more informed choices about their dental care and oral health it can only be a positive step forward for dentistry.”
*Your Denplan Survey Oct-Dec 2014. Total respondents: 8,802.