Jack D Steele DMD Family Dentistry

Jack D Steele DMD Family Dentistry

Office Policies

If you have any questions about our office policies, please call our office during business hours at (717) 485-3015.

Appointments

We appreciate your promptness in arriving for your dental visit. A specific amount of appointment or "chair time" is scheduled according to your dental needs, and for children the level of cooperation. We request that younger children are scheduled early in the day when they are more rested, alert and more receptive to treatment. Please be aware that after school or work appointment times are limited and in high demand. It may be necessary for you or your child to come for their dental appointment during work or school hours. Dental appointments are excused absences from school and we will gladly provide a school excuse for your child. Many employers will grant a segment of leave time for your dental appointment and we will provide you with a work excuse or confirmation of appointment attendance. There are procedures that are lengthy and tedious for the dentist and staff which we schedule at particular times of the day, typically early morning or the first appointment after the lunch break, you will be advised when you are scheduling if your procedure falls within this guideline.

We value your time and will do our best to remain on schedule throughout the day. We do ask that you please remember that each individual patient in our office may require more patience than others. We also experience the occasional "emergency patient" which may cause delays in our scheduling. We ask for your patience and please keep in mind that you or your child may be the next patient needing immediate or emergency attention.

As a courtesy, our office will attempt to contact you by phone to confirm your appointment 2-3 days or more prior to your scheduled appointment. It is important to keep us informed of any phone number changes. We do, however, ask that you assume responsibility for your appointment time if you cannot be reached by phone. IF you find you need to reschedule your appointment please DO NOT wait for your confirmation call, contact us immediately. We make every effort to schedule your appointment at a time that is convenient for you and works with our doctor's or hygienist's schedule. Please mark your appointments clearly on your calendar to avoid scheduling another activity or appointment at the same time. Missed appointments or short term cancellations (without a 24 hour notice) can be costly and unfair to other patients who are in need of appointments. You may be charged a missed appointment fee for any appointment canceled without a 24 hour notice or if you fail to show for a canceled appointment. This fee must be paid prior to scheduling additional appointments. In the event of three (3) missed or failed appointments you will be subject to dismissal from our practice.


Failed or Canceled Appointments

This office requires a 24 hour notice of cancelation for any scheduled appointment.

Current/Active patients of record
For appointments 1 hour in length or more a 48 hour notice of cancelation is requested. This office will assess a $25 fee to your account for any failed or canceled appointments without giving the required notice. This fee must be paid within 10 days of the missed scheduled appointment. If a patient fails to show and/or cancels 3 scheduled appointments without giving the required notice, the patient will be dismissed from our practice and given a "30 day emergency services only" status while services are secured from another dental healthcare provider who can better serve their scheduling needs.

New Patient/Inactive Patient (inactive patients have not been seen in our practice within the past 24 months)
If you fail to show or cancel your scheduled appointment without a prior 24 hour notice an appointment will not be rescheduled in our office.

We do realize extreme emergencies over which you have no control do occur which include but are not limited to hazardous weather and road conditions, car accidents, hospital admissions and contagious illnesses. We make every attempt to confirm your scheduled appointment a few days in advance providing we have a current phone number listed for you, if you know in advance you will be unable to make your scheduled appointment please call immediately, don’t wait until you receive a confirmation call from our office.


Payment Options

Payment is expected at the time services are received in our office. We accept the following as types of payment:

Major Credit Cards

  • Cash
  • Personal checks (no third party)
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Discover
  • CareCredit
  • Online Payment

If you are interested in obtaining more information or applying for participation in the the CareCredit program please visit www.carecredit.com.

*Please be advised that CareCredit is a third party credit card company which covers dental care, vision and medical care provided in a facility that participates with the CareCredit program. This is not a program administered through our office. CareCredit offers payment plans to fit your budget which would enable you to continue your dental treatment.


Financing

We offer CareCredit financing to make dental treatments affordable to our patients. If you have any questions, please call our office during business hours.


Insurance

Our office works with many different insurance carriers and will be happy to complete and submit your dental claim on your behalf.

We participate with and are an "In Network provider" for:

  • Blue Cross Dental
  • Cigna
  • Delta Dental Premier
  • Federal Employees Plan (FEP)
  • Highmark
  • Select Tricare Plans
  • Selected "CHIP" programs for children sponsored by the state of Pennsylvania
  • United Concordia "GRID" Companies
  • United Concordia Plus

We have worked with and accept as an "out-of-network-provider" most other commercial and employer sponsored dental insurance plans. In some instances your insurance carrier reimburses you, the patient. In this event, you will pay our office at the time of service, we will submit your claim on the day of your visit, and your insurance company will issue payment to you.

For those patients who have dental insurance we will complete and submit your claims to your dental insurance carrier on your behalf. In order for us to offer this courtesy, you must provide our office with your dental insurance company name, phone number and mailing address along with your subscriber Identification number and policy or group number. This information is necessary for us to submit your claims to your dental insurance carrier. At the present time we are aware that employers do not always provide the employee with a dental insurance card however you can obtain that information by calling the human resources department at your place of employment or accessing the information through your dental insurance website. Please note that dental insurance is designed to help defray the cost of dental care by paying only a percentage of the total fee, you can expect to pay out of pocket deductibles and co pays to our office. Your dental insurance is a contract between you, your employer and your dental insurance company, our office assists you with filing your claim. We urge you to obtain your employer sponsored dental insurance benefit information from your employer so you are aware of the benefits, stipulations, and limits of your specific policy. We are a third party and typically do not have access to your complete individual contract.

Facts Concerning Dental Insurance

  1. No commercial dental insurance pays 100% of all procedures.
  2. Dental insurance functions as an aid to assist you financially in receiving dental care. Many patients feel that their dental insurance pays 90-100% of all dental fees however this is not accurate. Most plans pay only 50-80% of the total fee, some paying more, some less. Some policies have waiting periods which apply for particular procedures which would be outlined in your policy.

  3. Benefits are determined by your insurance carrier, not our office.
  4. You may notice that sometimes your dental insurer reimbursed at a lower rate than the actual fee. Often the insurer states that reimbursement was reduced due to the UCR (Usual, Customary Reimbursement) used by the insurance company. A statement such as this gives an impression that the fee charged was unreasonable or above what most dentists charge for the service. This can be very misleading and simply not accurate. Insurance companies set their own fee schedule and each uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. They determine this by information from claim processing. The company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call "allowable" UCR fee. Often this data can be in excess of 5 years old and are set so the company can net a profit.

    Unfortunately, insurance companies imply that your dentist is "overcharging" rather than stating that are paying at a rate so they are profitable. Generally the lesser or least expensive policies have a lower UCR rate.

  5. Deductibles and Co-Payments must be considered.
  6. To more completely understand your dental benefits your plan deductibles and co-payment percentages must be considered. Typically a plan has a$25, $50, $100 or more deductible which they apply most often on a yearly basis. This deductible may be applied to preventative, restorative or any other dental procedure. For example: your procedure code has a fee of $150 which your insurance allows as the UCR, your deductible is $50 and the reimbursement rate is 80%. The deductible is applied which leaves a balance of $100. Then plan then applies 80% for the procedure balance or $80. Your out of pocket expense would be $70 which includes the deductible and co pay. HOWEVER if the UCR of your insurance is less than $150 and your plan only pays 20-50% your insurance payment will be significantly lower and your out of pocket expenses higher.

  7. Insurance companies that reimburse the patient.
  8. There are those companies that reimburse the patient or insurance subscriber instead of our office. In this event you will be required to pay at the time of service. After payment is received we will, on your behalf, submit the claim to your insurance carrier provided you have supplied all pertinent information required to process your claim.

  9. Predetermination
  10. Predeterminations are submitted to your insurance company on your behalf to determine what, if any, coverage you have and the "estimated" amount you might expect your insurance carrier to cover and out of pocked "estimated" expense. It is important to understand that the predetermination is an "estimated" amount and, when the procedure is completed and submitted, may be reimbursed at a different rate. Factors affecting this include but are not limited to applied deductibles; amounts used which may exhaust your yearly maximum benefit, or changes in your dental contract.

****Most importantly, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address or a change of employment and or insurance. The insurance company does not reimburse our office to submit your claim. We incur expenses from electronic claim processing or mailing your claim and administrative time preparing your claim, logging payments and submitting statements to you. Additional expenses are incurred if you do not provide us with your current insurance status and information and your denied claim has to be resubmitted. Remember, submitting your claim on your behalf is a courtesy to you administered by our office.****


Emergencies

It is our goal to schedule "emergency" appointments on a same day basis during office hours. To achieve this it may be necessary for you to appoint in either of our 2 office locations at a time that works with the doctor's schedule. The goal of an emergency appointment is to manage pain and provide treatment options. We are often asked when you call if the doctor will "take my tooth out today". If you are in pain the primary goal is to manage the pain and any possible infection which may be causing the pain. You will be rescheduled for the actual treatment after evidence of infection is gone so the dental anesthetics can be most effective.