This post was prompted by an e-mail from Dr. Jeffrey Segal, the CEO of Medical Justice Services, not by a visitor question. But the topic is very relevant for many of our visitors, and that is, what is the impact on the dentist of your asking for a refund for dental work when you’ve had a problem? So I wanted to post this.
One of the reasons dentists don’t want to give refunds is that refunds can go on their record at the National Practitioner Data Bank. They want to avoid this. I recommend giving the dentist an easy way to give you a refund.
Oh, and you need to know that most dentists aren’t aware of these rules, so it may help you to educate them as to the latest rules. If you want to go to the original source for this information, see Dr. Segal’s article on refunds to dental patients.
If your demand for a refund is oral and not written, and if the dentist makes the refund himself or herself, rather than going to their insurance company or the corporation the dentist works for, then the refund does not have to be reported. If the demand is written, it needs to be reported. If the corporate entity writes the check, then it also has to be reported.
If I were asking for a refund, and I were getting some resistance from the dentist, I would say something like, “Look, I’m willing to make this easy for you. I’m making this request orally, which means you do not have to report this to the National Practitioner Data Bank. I don’t want to have to go to a formal request or go to a lawyer and make this messy. Let’s just keep it simple.”
- Dr. Hall