A recent investigative report conducted by the ABC revealed that dentists working for corporate clinics and health insurers are being incentivised to churn through patients and administer so-called “drill and fill” dentistry, according to industry insiders.
Dentistry in Australia is experiencing significant change, unfortunately this is resulting in restrictions on patient freedom of choice for providers and treatment options as health funds are becoming more controlling of their members oral care management. To contain costs and maximise profits, many Health Funds have evolved to a model where they own their own dental practices. This enables them to keep their members in-house through the vertical integration of all dental services. On top of this, nationwide we have an ever-increasing number of corporate chains buying up multiple practices and operating them as corporate entities.
Dentists interviewed by the ABC say that the current situation is leading to unnecessary dental work, or over-servicing. When the ABC contacted the six largest companies in the industry to find out how they pay their dentists, few would give any details and none admitted to setting key performance indicators (KPIs) or quotas.
The largest player, health insurer Bupa, which has more than 200 dental clinics in Australia, said dentists in its clinics were remunerated based on the revenue they generate, consistent with dental industry practices.
There are also concerns within the industry about the practice of corporate-owned clinics setting demanding performance benchmarks, such as KPIs or quotas, for the younger dentists they tend to employ. This environment is creating a high volume, factory line effect for patients and this in turn is impacting on the quality and value of the treatment provided.
Your New Dentist is proud to be independent
With a genuine passion for dentistry and providing a breath of fresh air in dental care, Your New Dentist joined the Independent Dentist Network (IDN) to enable patients to retain freedom of choice of both dentist and their treatment.
As an independent dentist, Practice Principal, Monica O’Malley is “free to educate patients about their specific health needs and save them money in the long term”. She has made it her “personal and professional mission to be part of the rewriting of people’s dental stories”.
Independent Dentist Network (IDN) seeks to unite all independent dental practices nationwide to preserve patient’s freedom of choice and promote better oral health care for all Australians.
Australia wide IDN’s dentists are committed to building and nurturing long term relationships and providing highly personalised treatment and care. As independent private practitioners, IDN dentists work collaboratively with their patients to achieve cost effective long term oral health that is not limited to health fund restrictions but based upon personalised plans that deliver maximum value.
Independent Dentist Network
“Driven by care not profit”
‘Dentists say targets and bonuses leading to unnecessary procedures on patients’