Dentist Mystery Charge on Bill (141 Oral Hygiene Instruction)

Went to my normal dentist yesterday for a regular check-up and clean. Everything went smoothly, I have no tooth issues, and the dentist didn't find any either.
After I paid my bill and walked out, I read my receipt and saw a line item on the bill: 141 - Dental Hygiene Instruction - $35, no benefit paid by my health insurance. I have never seen this on my bill before (though its possible I didn't check 100%). (for reference, other items on the bill were Remove Calculus $136, Topical Agent $37, Examination $67)

I called the reception on my way home and queried item 141, they were defensive and said it was just a standard change for Dental Hygiene Instruction. I explained that I didn't ask for or receive any dental hygiene advice, and therefore why was I charged it? She reiterated it was "just a standard charge and that they always charge that on every bill". I asked if I don't want hygiene advice did I need to specify up front? She said they could put a note on the system for next time, but normally health funds cover it and it was out of their hands if my health fund didn't (again very defensive). I said yes put a note, as I didn't ask for it and I didn't receive it - that was the end of the conversation.

I later googled it and asked a dental hygienist I knew - both sources indicated it was probably not legitimate in those circumstances. I stewed on this obviously - so I went back today to ask that the charge be refunded. The receptionist refused and again reiterated it was "just a standard charge they charge everybody, it's an allowed item number and they are entitled to charge it". I asked her to confirm that they charge this to everybody regardless of is the service was performed or not, and she confirmed yes. She said they've never had any complaints before. The only resolution I got was that she said she would raise it with the dentist.

I later got a text from the clinic containing the following: "the fee of $35 is a standard fee that we charge with item 141 inclusive for the professional services of a hygienist visit and time allocated. The total fee would be the same, even if we did not use this item. We use this item now as some funds pay back a little bit on it, but that depends on your fund and your level of cover. If you are not happy with our fees and service we provide, we are more than happy to send your records to another dentist that you will be satisfied with."

Question: should I just accept that this is a legitimate cost recovery strategy of the dentist, and stop being petty, If I don't like it move to a new dentist. OR should I reject the proposition that this is standard charge listed under a service item that was not provided or authorised, and do a credit card charge back under "goods not as described"?

Thanks all.

Poll Options expired

  • 36
    Accept the charge and stop being petty
  • 282
    Do a credit card charge back

Comments

  • +1 vote

    It's the dental equivalent of "engine flush" at the car dealership

    •  

      That's legitimate if they used an engine flush though?

      I always use it when servicing my own cars.

      • +2 votes

        Depends on the car and age of it I guess.

        When I was at Toyota the Service Manager had us put Engine Flush, Fuel Injector Cleaner and Oil Stabiliser (The Triple Pack!) into cars coming in for their first 6 monthly service (and any other service).

        It was a $30 pack that cost around $10 and the Service Manager got $5 commission at a time that techs were on $10/hr. It was a busy 12 mech dealership. I'd guess he was pocketing at least $500/week just from Triple Packs.

        My car has 200k on it and I've never used engine flush and don't have sludging issues but I also don't prefill oil filters or pour a litre of oil through the engine with the sump plug out so according to a lot of people I haven't a clue.

        There are some engines out there that could probably benefit from engine flush but they could also benefit from oil changes more often, less short trips and higher detergent oils.

  • +2 votes

    probably find a good health fund and provider that offers no out of pocket for 6monthly general check out and clean… no issues then

    generally if you just do check up and clean and have the basic extras cover you make money as the benefits exceed the premium

    •  

      It's unlikely this item would be covered under no gap dental.

      •  

        correct but the ones who offer no gap dental wouldn't charge it either and if they do, they will waive it when it comes to the bill

        I've had out of pocket costs at the dentist for regular services for no gap dental, but they waive it

  •  

    Looking at a receipt from my recent dentist visit that was about $700 in total for various things I needed fixed. Of the list of items, there is no 141 charge, and the person at the counter explained clearly to me each item on the receipt and which the dentist also explained before he commenced. The dentist also did give me plenty of advice, but it was not something separately itemised on the receipt.

    As others here have mentioned, it does however sound like they might have been trying to maximise your health fund claim. That becomes a moral question if you're comfortable with your dentist being a bit dodgy in the interest of saving you some out of pockets.

    Based on the information you received, I would contest it/charge back and find another dentist.

  • +2 votes

    I used to work for a private health insurer and a huge part of my job was calling dentists and questioning these types of fees.

    There is a huge set of dental item codes that are standardized and while they usually keep to these standard codes they have no incentive not to charge $40 for the so ludicrously basic its insane item codes like your dental instruction one. In the end it's tough to tell if Dentists are actually being fraudulent or just extremely bold with the things they'll charge for. Usually when I'd call them and question basic things like this they would matter of factly confirm "yep. I did charge for that".

    Even the big health insurers have very little in the way of recourse unless the item invoiced is obviously fraudulent (ie. a fee for a cleaning on a specific tooth and and a fee for the removal of the same tooth). In the end the dentist has the negotiating power and the ability to invoice for whatever they want the customer unfortunately has to consent to this when they walk in.

    I would try the chargeback only because dentists earn so much that I doubt they would consider the time required to fight it just to get the extra $37, but if you were actually to go to arbitration or court I wouldn't necessarily expect it to be an easy win.

    •  

      ie. a fee for a cleaning on a specific tooth and and a fee for the removal of the same tooth

      "Eww you expect me to touch a dirty tooth?" - The Dentist

  •  

    I hate dentists. Most people go when they have a problem and are in a poor negotiating position.

    Even when I go for a regular visit to my regular i have no idea what the costs are.

  • +6 votes

    It's not about the $35 - fight this out of principle.

    Think of it as your responsibility to society.

    If everyone just lets it slide all the time then scamming becomes normalised.

  • +1 vote

    Send a report to the Dental board with a copy to them.

    Ring them each week and let them know you are still pursuing this.

    Fraud is reportable to the Police, file a police report and send them a copy.

    Put a review on google and send them a copy.

    Just do it each week, it will only take a min for you, stay calm and let them follow it up each week.

    •  

      Banks recently got in trouble for fee for no service at a Royal commission. The commissioner came close to referring the matter to the police. In the end no referral was made. I think that was because larger penalties were extracted through the ACCC and the banks returned the feed paid. Despite the opinion of the commissioner, I believe many bank customers went to the police over much larger amounts than $35, without action taken against the banks that were clearly criminal in their behaviour. I think they would take a complaint, but not pursue an investigation.

      I think the charge back would be the best way to proceed. I would also write to the dentist and advise them that this time the attempted fraud had not been reported to police.

      •  

        Yes, I do not want to think of the amount that I have been overcharged by banks in fees. They returned a fraction of what they took and I estimate that I would still be owed tens of thousands… trying not to think about it. At least it's not ongoing.

    •  

      Yeah I can just imagine the police sending in the swat team to get your $39 fml

  • +1 vote

    https://www.ada.org.au/Dental-Professionals/Publications/Schedule-and-Glossary/The-Australian-Schedule-of-Dental-Services-and-(1)

    141 Oral hygiene instruction
    Instruction in techniques for the removal of bacterial plaque. Advice of appropriate toothpaste and medicaments may be included.

    If they didn't provide this service I would go back to them and let them know it's not a "standard charge" it's an item number that relates to a particular service that you did not receive. As you didn't receive the service you'd like a refund.

  • +2 votes

    "the fee of $35 is a standard fee that we charge with item 141 inclusive for the professional services of a hygienist visit and time allocated.

    In other words, "We do it because we do it. $35."

    My friend was charged $55 to have the junior dental assistant tell him how to hold a toothbrush while brushing his teeth. 1 minute of words and holding a brush, $55.

  •  

    So which dental practise is this?

  •  

    Before this gets too out of hand I would definitely ring up the industry body and check with them if it's a legitimate charge to be charging to all patients, and your feelings on the matter as well the interaction /response with the dentist in question .

    From there you can proceed as you wish.

    Do keep us updated though.

  • +3 votes

    As a dentist, here is my opinion:

    I can’t say whether or not it should have been charged as I wasn’t there listening in on the appointment.

    There are two situations. With or without a Healthfund agreement

    Health funds specify that item numbers charged must reflect the services performed during the appointment. Dentists cannot add in item numbers to inflate the bill as a cost recovery measure. If they carried out instruction, you have no leg to stand on except request it is not done next time. If they, didn’t this is health insurance fraud (Although the HF didn’t pay anyway)

    Keep in mind, many dentists charge based on an hourly rate, not on item codes or procedures done. If this was not through a HF, they can charge what they like. In this situation, item codes are more for record keeping on their system. They could take off the 141 but increase the cost elsewhere by $35 for example

    • -2 votes

      Dentists cannot add in item numbers to inflate the bill as a cost recovery measure.

      They can, and they do. Not insinuating that you do it, but as a previous PHI and AHPRA Investigator, it happens a lot more than people realise.

      • +2 votes

        I think you are misunderstanding me.

        They can do anything. They may not. If you read further, I said its HF fraud

    • +2 votes

      Any rando extra charge like this is scammy as.

      Even if there was some kind of 'oral hygiene instruction' actually given the customer - it needs to be made clear that this will instruction will cost $35 before you give it.

      "If you like, for an extra $35, I can give you some oral hygiene instruction. Are you happy to go ahead with that?"

      • +1 vote

        & for me to explain about the $35 charge , it will incur a cost of $50, happy ?

        .;

  •  

    I feel there are alot of shifty dentists out there, but there conduct is hard to catch, so they get away with it

  • +2 votes

    I have worked as an investigator for a Private Health Insurance company in Perth as well as an Investigator for AHPRA in Perth.

    You will find that many dentists will charge these type of things to pad the bill either for the patient or for themselves.

    Put everything you have in writing and submit an notification (complaint) to AHPRA.

    My cynical side thinks it's interesting that the receptionist was so defensive and obtuse, which could indicate she put it on there and kept the money for herself.

    Good luck.

  • +3 votes

    Remove Calculus $136

    Differential or Integral?

    •  

      That's the wrong book! I was thinking vesical, still the wrong book…

  • +2 votes

    I'd say a lot of dentists play games to extract as much money from the health funds as possible.

    I once saw a dentist who had nearly finished scaling my teeth, took out their digital-camera-on-a-stick and took a photo behind my lower front teeth (I could see the photo on the screen, everything would have been visible WITHOUT this photo)… proceeded to scale it for another 5 seconds and finished up. Was billed $15 for the photo but my health fund didn't pay anything.

    I thought it was ok for them to try claiming it on the health fund but would have appreciated if it was deleted when the claim was declined.

  •  

    seen 141 Oral Hygiene Instruction before, the "instruction" was "use this pick-its / dental floss" oh we also sell those here buy a packet

    Mine was part of a package deal so I didnt care, but ye, it the dentist telling you how to clean your teeth, bit of a rort if you ask me

  •  

    They probably added the fee because they know you are a nuisance customer and are hoping you won't come back.

  • -2 votes

    A side note on oral hygiene advice from a previous reply:

    Really depends. Personally, I dont charge the 141 code, but it is reasonable to.

    If a dentist is worth roughly $500 an hour (Anywhere between $400-1000 actually), $35 is 4.2 minutes of their time. If that 5 minutes is spent demonstrating brushing technique and location, using plaque disclosing dyes to visualise, and discussion about etiology of oral disease (gingivitis) for example, then that is reasonable. If that $35, 5 minute chat, prevents 1 hole (Up to $500 for a filling, or even $3000 for a root canal + crown) every 5 years from forming, then it was a worthwhile investment.

    One thing I would like to point out is, it is amazing how many of the general population have very little knowledge regarding where oral disease comes from, what they are doing that is worsening the situation etc. The amount of money that would be saved if every dentist gave this advice and people actually listened, is huge.

    • +3 votes

      I think it is amazing is how few dentists are (as far as reasonably practicable) upfront with what they charge.

      •  

        It is good practice to provide a full itemised estimate (Not quote) after the initial exam :)

        As I can see from one of your previous posts, you "hate dentists". That's cool. Sorry for the experiences that you have had, and hope you can find one that you trust in the future.

        • -2 votes

          Settle petal. Hate was a throwaway line. The experience is what matters.

          Gladly bet you a tenner that my described experience represents at least 70% of customers.

          • -2 votes

            @Vote for Pedro: Seems like you are the one who lets emotion dictate what you say and write then.

    • +4 votes

      It's not about it being a 'worthwhile investment' - it is about informing the customer about this extra charge and letting them decide if they want to 'invest'.

      No reasonable person is going to expect to be charged extra for some rando advice the dentist gives out while he's descaling your teeth.

      •  

        And thats the thing. It shouldn’t be charged for “random advice”.

        On the once in a month time I charge it, it is with a kid that had poor oral hygiene, that I spend an extra 20minutes with on top of the clean and exam. Going through diagrams, disclosing agents, dietary analysis and demonstrations.

        Some kids need the extra time

        The thing is, rather than having the fee built in, I’d rather it itemised out so that it is only charged when needed. In these cases, an extended consultation rather than an consultation is charged. 015 instead of 014. 141 is still not used as it is misunderstood

  • +4 votes

    My gf once got a $60 aftercare advice fee. The advice? Take 2 panadols and rinse mouth with salt water. It's disgusting how in any other industry businesses would be fined over such blatant attempts at ripping customers off. And it's not like the people ripping you off are scraping by either e.g. the hospitality industry.

    • +1 vote

      Not defending this particular situation but, do consider that doctors charge consultation fees at every appointment no? It is just that they bulk bill it to medicare so you don't see the bill.

      • +3 votes

        Doctors tell you the fee upfront. At least the one i go to that don’t bulk bill. They actually tell you their costs at time of making an appointment.

        • +1 vote

          Would you be able to give a stat regarding how many doctors tell you the fee up front? You seem to be able to pull them out of the top of your head.

          I can give you a statistic that is true. 86.2% of all GP visits are bulk billed. Unlikely for them to tell you the fee. Your experience describes the minority 13.8%. In some areas like Chifley, 96.1% of visits are bulk billed.

          PS: I fully agree costs with dentist should be upfront regarding the initial exam: Xrays, exam should be quoted and accurate. Other things can vary and may only be an estimate. For e.g. A tooth that looks simple on the xray to remove, may actually turn into a surgical extraction, essentially doubling or tripling the cost. In these situations, a range can be given before hands

          • +3 votes

            @Tech5: There should be no surprises, surprises are scammy.

            A reasonable person would be expecting to pay more for a surgical extraction, but not for some random oral hygiene advice.

            •  

              @trapper: But if I give someone a price of $200 for a service, does it really matter what codes are on the bill provided it's still $200?

              It very much sounds like the practice OP visited has piss poor communication, from the front desk to the clinic owner and the hygienist who performed the service, but not like they're outright scamming them.

          • +1 vote

            @Tech5: Did this post hurt your feelings?

            •  

              @Vote for Pedro: Not really, just putting out some general information. People are entitled to their opinions. But you do seem very combative though.

              I’m glad I dont know you in RL as you seem like an unpleasant person

              • -2 votes

                @Tech5: I love it. Someone disagrees with your opinion and you start calling people names. I wonder who the unpleasant person really is.

                •  

                  @Vote for Pedro: Not disagree, just being immature.

                  • -1 vote

                    @Tech5: Immaturity is your whataboutism on doctors to try and distract from the OP discussion about dentists and pricing practices.

                    You bringing in medicare and bulk billing has nothing to do with this discussion. A tested distraction technique.

                    Godwin was right.

                    Hitler… but hey look over there, stalin.

                    •  

                      @Vote for Pedro: Doctors bill for all consults due to their time taken. Their time is not free

                      Bringing it up is very relevant

                      But anyway, it is pretty clear you have it in for Dentists. Empathy with you does not seem to work, neither does logic. It’s like talking to a brick wall. Have fun at your next dental visit lol. Hope its not too painful hey

                      • +2 votes

                        @Tech5: No, it’s whataboutism. Why not focus on pricing transparency for the topic.

                        I agree that time is money and dentists are allowed to charge whatever they want so long as there is transparency in pricing.

                        Its a shame you want to talk about everything except the problem people are experiencing

      • +1 vote

        This was after a tooth extraction and not any prior consultation. I also one time had a dentist charge my gf twice for an oral exam ($50). Originally she was supposed to get a dental clean and some fillings but because the dentist was busy that day they had to reschedule the clean. I asked the dentist why I had to pay twice for something out of my control and he got very confrontational and told me with a straight face that is how dental clinics operate and that even if he got nothing done that day he could charge me for an oral exam. Afaik it's pretty normal to be charged for an oral exam each visit but I thought it was bs that I was charged for something twice when I had originally planned to have it done in one go. I think the dental industry could use some regulation from the consumer's side.

        • +2 votes

          Wow that is so not cool.

  •  

    There fact they offered to send your records to another dentist….says to me they don't care for your business. Adios Amigo would be my reply.

    Gee and us plumbers get hassled for over charging.

    • +1 vote

      Yes now they are because the OP has caught them out on their crooked game and in their view they don't want such argumentative and troublesome customer. Smarter thing would have been just to apologize and refund and hope for no negative feedback. Now they will get the negative feedback and cc charge back.

  • +1 vote

    Just send a charge back - product not delivered / incorrectly advertised.

    They have to prove otherwise.

  •  

    We all pay for this…private health insurance is out of controk

  • +6 votes

    Hi OP,
    Im a dentist, so my 2 cents,
    1. I see where the dentist is coming from i.e putting it in the total charge so the patient gets some dollars back from the fund (as long as they do OH). Some may and some may not. I have probably charged a 141 maybe twice in my life where i get a patient back for just hygiene education only. Same as my regular patient comes in with a broken restoration, I charge through an 013 which is a limited exam. Now i do one as per the law, but i build it into the bill that way the patient gets a little extra from the fund.
    2. Absolutely should see another dentist. That is poor customer service in my opinion. They could of advised you that is what they are trying to do and refund that portion. And just say we wont put through next visit but this is our general fee. But to be treated like that is very poor. When things go a little out of the norm, refund and part ways or refund and come back with a better xp is how it usually goes with us. (rare but it does happen).

    Just poor form on the dental clinic. As i learnt back working with hoyts, a good patient referral you get 3 per patient, a bad word of mouth spreads to 10 people.

    Best of luck finding a new denitst, if you like, DM me an area you live in and if i know someone good to recommend you to.

    •  

      Reference to point 1:
      Given the general tone of the correspondence OP had with the clinic in general, I am strongly disinclined to think that they had his interest at heart.

      Point 2:
      Agree 100%!

      Kudos on the offer too, now that's service!
      Would absolutely go with you, if you were in the same state, and if I didn't already have a good dentist.

  • +1 vote

    Considering how much dentists already make, a bit disappointed to see they are trying to make even more. No wonder some say if you want to make money pick dentistry over becoming a doctor. Shame that medicine and money are so involved together :(. It should always be that people only get into those careers to help people first and foremost.

  • -1 vote

    I feel you, OP. It hurts being charged something that you believed you did not receive. But, I realised these little things are not worth stressing about. As you are not getting angry over the charge but more so the principle. Your dentist is already cheap as chips.

    The Dentist could either do a 141 or jack up the price elsewhere. They are just being transparent. I think next time, just ask the dentist to not include the 141, but instead charge an "admin fee". Probably make you feel better.

    I have nothing against people charging for their time or for the admin staff. It's like doctors charging $35 dollars to write a report or the lawyer charging $40 to open and read my email or the mechanic Charing $15 to throw my oil away.

    • +1 vote

      They are definitely NOT being transparent when they add a service that was not provided without even discussing that with the client. The receptionist might have been naively transparent when confirming the fraud, but nothing else was transparent in this situation. If the managers need a scapegoat, the receptionist might be perfect for that.

      • -1 vote

        There are always two sides to the story. I understand OP gave us along winded story. So you're saying the dentist or hygienist did not give any instruction? It's at their discretion whether they charge a 141. This time they decided to do so. Tbh, I never been to a dentist that never spoke to me…that doesn't make sense.

        Front staff did the wrong by making up weird excuses when it was something as simple as we told you this…therefore we charge.

        As I said, how is this different to a lawyer charging 10 bucks to pick up the phone and then giving you a bill for it later. If they nice, they don't. But it's their choice. Unless, I ask for a fixed quote.

        Every professional has the right to charge for anything as long as the service has been rendered.
        I'm sure on the hygienist notes, it would say patient instructed to….

        • +2 votes

          I don’t think anyone is arguing the right to charge whatever prices they want for the service they provide. The only catch is, you should be aware of pricing and what your consult (service) will generally include.

          It’s unreasonable to just get a random bill at the end that includes things you may not have agreed to.

  •  

    It's fraud, isn't?

    It's like going to my GP and pay for a procedure that didn't happen.
    Or taking my car to the mechanic and being charged for something like "brake fluid replacement" when it was not replaced.
    Things like this are one of the reasons why premiums go up…

    To be honest, I think you should not only get your money back, but report them to ADA. The receptionist basically said that every single bill is frauded with one (or more) items that don't actually happen. They get the money from private insurance, so most clients don't notice and/or don't bother. I wonder if they write in the files that the "instruction" was provided, and if they charge it only from those who have private insurance.

  • +2 votes

    At my practice, 141 comes up as $0. It’s what the practice charges and is reflective of what the health fund pays. As a result I don’t even put it as items to charge even though I do it with all my checkups.

  •  

    Finding a good dentists is like trying to find a "good" lawyer/mechanic, they are there to make $$ by F******** every1 up, I remembered visiting the dentist when I was younger after the consultation she said "here have some lollies" ;)

  • -2 votes

    Most dentists are horrible. Don’t know why they don’t have any ethnic on money making. Similar to some GP too ( fortunately there are very very few of them). I encountered once a GP which was my first and last consultation with him. His clinic is very near to where I live, and so somehow I plundered to his clinic for my hypertension prescriptions.In the clinic he began to talk to me about his medical career and the harm of hypertension could cause to me. I just sat down and listened impatiently ( I did not want to hurt him by telling him I was not interested to listen his story. Let say I gave face to him). After more than half an hour I was released from ( no one was in the lobby) him, the receptionist asked me to sign a form on which I saw long consultation fees of some over $100.00 ). Before I signed off the receptionist assured me that I did not have to pay anything.She said the doctor also wanted to see me another by giving me another booking date. I left but promised to myself I won’t come back to this clinic anymore, There are other clinics everywhere.

  • -1 vote

    Dentists, Physios, (Bulk Bill) Drs are all the same these days, just scams - out there to make a quick buck and live in a multi-million mansion.

    Here are my PERSONAL experiences of the above 3 professional visits

    Physio
    Me: Hi, I am here for my Physio session, i've done stretches, exercises. I use the resistance red and black bands and performed everything you told me last week
    Physio: (proceeds to chit-chat for 20mins of the 35min session about the body, muscles, and various other tripe) then 10min massage.
    Reception: Thanks, that's $85

    Dentist
    Me: Hi I'm here for my annual clean-up
    Dentist: Sure
    Me: Looking at invoice: Pre-check-up, Xray Images, Clean, Fluoride Treatment, Dental Instructions and advice,
    Me: Hi I didnt request the Xray images, these were $70
    Reception: Yes the Dentist needs it to check your teeth

    Dr
    Me: Hi Ive had high fever, all day, sore throat, feeling nauseous etc
    Dr: Open mouth, uses stethoscop, checks ears, ok take Augmentin Antibiotics 5 days
    Me: Wait is this a Viral Infection or Bacteria,
    Dr: Not sure, think it's Bacteria, anyway use the antibiotics and come back in 5 days to see how you are.

    The industry is rubbish, full of these fraudsters, health minister is a dudd - we need a royal commission.
    None of this is free unless you're a dole bludger

    • +2 votes

      You walked into all three right? The physio, the dentist, the doctor, right? You asked them for their professional services and you got it right? You didn't have to go into the physio/dentist/GP if you didn't want to, but you chose to, thus a fee is charged for services rendered.

      The issue would be, the physio normally outline fees upfront (financial consent), the GP if not bulk billing outline fees upfront, or during the consultation to obtain the financial consent. The dentist rarely does that, and in OP's case, they didn't do that, and randomly made stuff up, and got caught out.

  • +2 votes

    Was this a no gap dental place? Some places I heard put a lot of other items on your bill to cover the gap that you would of had to pay.

    For example, if the dental procedure were to cost $200 and your health fund reimburses 50% then you would need to pay the gap ($100). However if they were to over itemise with x-rays (or “instructions” in your case) to reach a total $400 to be claimed through your health fund then they would get reimbursed back $200 completely from the health fund (resulting to you not needing to pay the gap of $100).

    • +1 vote

      nope, no private cover - upfront full paying.

      Just wanted a teeth clean and some fluoride treatment., they proceeded with xray without my request and some dental advice rubbish

      •  

        So why did you let them take the x-rays instead of raising it with the dentist at the time?

  • +3 votes

    Many years ago my wife got this, questioned it and they removed it.
    A couple of year later, they charged me for it too, I think because I asked a question about whether they thought tongue scrapers were effective or not.
    That's the last time I went to that dentist. We swapped dentists and have never been charged it since…

  • +1 vote

    Report them to AHPRA. They either charged you for something they didn't do or they did something you didn't consent to. Both are professional misconduct

  • +2 votes

    I have made a report to the Australian Dental Board previously. In my case the dentist was called before the board to give an explanation (uncommon except for serious matters). My experience is that every opportunity will be given to the dentist to justify his/her actions and avoid controversy for the industry. Even in serious matters the complainant will not be present and you will have no opportunity to dispute any lies or untruths presented to the board by the dentist - nor will a copy of the proceedings be provided to you.

    If I witnessed systemic fraud and was to do it again and based on my personal experience:

    1. Write to the health minister regarding the abuse of the Health Insurance System. (include complaint to ADB and evidence)
    2. Write to Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) Australian's private health insurance industry's peak body
    3. Write to your Health Fund
    4. Write to your Dentist
    5. Make a complaint to ACCC for services not provided and failure to provide financial consent.

    If your dentist considers their time at $500-$1000 per hour - this would be the most expensive 'easy $35.00' your dentist ever charged.

  •  

    I work for a PHI company and get these queries on rare occasions. Its simply dentist trying to get something more out of your usual scale and clean appointment. The usual Scale and clean are claimable item codes (includes consultation / scale / fluoride treatment / sometimes xrays (if you are going first time to a dentist) . if they have put this without clarification prior then i would suggest as well to contact the Dental association. This is just like they did a filling for you and you just went for a simple check and clean. Go for it.

    •  

      Don’t contact the “dental association” (ie the ADA).

      The ADA is basically the dentists union ie they advocate for dentists.

      See elixe post above for who to complain to

  •  

    like how dentists charge you $90 for the OPG, but if you mention that you'd rather go to a radiology clinic then it becomes free. also have been charged a "consultation fee" which was them me asking if i need a filling and them saying yes. they carried out the filling work and xray and still tried to charge me that.

    • -1 vote

      Yeah. That’s a good one too.

      Pro tip if you need an opg get your gp (or any medical doctor really) to request it and ask them to write “please bulk bill” or similar on the request. It’s highly likely it will be done at no cost to you

  • +1 vote

    And this is why I'm so cynical of the Australian health system. Ever since a GP visit a while back where they were clearly stalling to charge the more expensive time block. The dentist who who decided a few x-rays were suddenly necessary (the first time perhaps, the next time was just outright suss).

    Definitely just bail and switch. If they are so ready to charge BS items (and admit to it at that!) then hate to stick around and see what else they'll try throwing in.

  • +3 votes

    Wife had surgery and received a second doctors bill from some random she'd never seen or heard of. Rang our doctor only to be told he was a training assistant during the surgery and that it was fully covered by our insurance so don't worry about it. We were never told there was to be an 'assistant' doctor. Rang the insurance company and they didn't seem to care. Any wonder why medical insurance is so expensive.

  • +1 vote

    Many years ago at a dental appointment, the dentist gave me a "how to brush your teeth" talk, which taught me nothing new and it was nothing more than what they teach you in kindy. I thought it was just something he wanted to talk about and had no idea it was a separate chargeable service or I would have stopped him. I was shocked when I got the bill, a bit patronising as well. Never went back.
    My current dentist is fantastic, lucky to have found him.

  •  

    Hahaha $35 showing you how to brush your teeth - up and down, hahahaha

  • -1 vote

    What it looks like they are saying is 'the visit is worth $102 ($67+$35)'
    Separating the $102 into 2 line items may get you more back from your private insurance provider as 'inspection' and 'advice' lines can both be claimed to a certain amount ($70 for inspection, $40 advice (claim number caps maybe?)).
    Most providers will pay both items instead of leaving you out of pocket $32 ($102-$70), but your provider doesn't cover this cost, so OOP is $35.
    If you have no private insurance then next visit your bill will be 'inspection fee $102'. I can see they have tried to help you, and others) by splitting the labour component to cover more of the cost, but the naming of line items has caused the confusion.