What is a preferred provider?

The term preferred provider refers to a dentist or dental specialist who has signed a commercial contract with a health insurance company. There are various reasons for doing so however the main reason is to increase patient numbers at the practice.

Preferred provider schemes forces the dental provider to provide dental treatment at an agreed fee with the health fund. This fee schedule is usually lower and is determined by the health fund and not the actual provider of the service.

By signing the contract with the health fund the dental practitioner hopes to then get referred the health fund’s patients as the now nominated “preferred” provider. Unfortunately by lowering the fees, the practitioner is forced to see more patients, over-service patients, cost-cut and take shortcuts. Do you want to be on the receiving end of this? The health fund advertises “no out of pocket expenses” or “reduced out of pocket expenses” to patients BUT only if you see one of their “preferred” dentists. This is misleading.

It should be your right as a patient to choose who delivers your dental care. After all, this is one of the key reasons for having private health insurance. Shouldn’t it be your choice to choose to see the best practitioner available as opposed to your health insurance fund?

Dr Kandasamy has not signed up with any preferred provider scheme with any health fund. This allows him to provide high quality care for all of his patients without having to be forced to treat patients in a production-line style practice compromising on the quality and the care delivered to the patients.