October 6, 2009

Dear Dr. Cina

In the beginning of August I received a bill for $105 from Brianna's orthodontist. This was above and beyond the $9000 we have already paid for her work. After a few phone calls I was told that this was a monthly service fee to be charged to all patients who still had their braces on after the allotted time.

For the last year, Brianna and I have been asking the Dr. when she would be getting her braces off as Kaitlin's were off in 18 months time. He repeatedly told us that she has one tooth that just is not going anywhere. We asked over and over was there something else we should be doing. His reply each time was that sometimes it just takes longer.

Needless to say, I was quite upset at receiving this bill. Below you can read my response.

August 9, 2009

Dear Rhonda,

I am writing in reference to your message, in response to my call, regarding the bill for Brianna’s braces. If I am to understand you correctly, this bill is part of your standard policy for children who have had their braces for more than 2 ½ years. I am in agreement that this is a necessary course of action as an incentive for patients to follow the rules and recommendations set forth by Dr. Cina in regards to their checkups, rubber bands and other devices.

However, I would like you to consult with Dr. Cina before we must go down an unpleasant path. He will clearly tell you that Brianna has done all that he instructed. As her mother, I will tell you she has been faithful in wearing her rubber bands 24/7. She has maintained careful brushing and flossing as well as her regular check ups with Dr. Mohmassani.

It is my opinion, and that of my husband’s, that if there is a penalty to be paid, that it should be at the expense of Dr. Cina. If we have done all we are supposed to do and her teeth aren’t finished yet, then perhaps it is his fault. We have made no complaints, nor have any hard feelings against Dr. Cina, but you must see the reasoning.

We understand that sometimes it just takes longer. We have paid a hefty fee, and paid it in advance, in good faith that Dr. Cina would get the job done. Should Dr. Cina therefore be paying me for time and gas to continue bringing Brianna for monthly checkups?

We request that you consider reversing this fee.

We would also like you to consider that this is the third set of teeth we have brought to your practice, and per Dr. Mohmassani there will likely be 5 more to follow. We would like to continue our well established 20 year relationship with Dr. Cina. However, if this fee can not be disregarded than we will have to strongly consider taking our children’s teeth elsewhere.

Furthermore, this price is exorbitant for the amount of time spent with her at each visit. I would rather have her braces removed than to put out money that would be a large financial strain on our family budget in these difficult financial times.

Yours Truly,

Kathleen Wachter

After receiving my letter, Allen spoke with the office manager who informed him the fee would be waived.

11 comments :

  1. Nice letter ... wish I could word things that effectively. And that it would actually get the job done!

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  2. you go, girlfriend! that's a little ridiculous and I'm glad they waived the charge for you!

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  3. I tell you, if we don't speak up, we'll be taken advantage of at times. Good for you for handling that with such grace and persistence. You absolutely deserved to have the fee reversed.

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  4. Good for you Kat. I have found too that sometimes we just have to find our backbone when it comes to dealing with other...especially Doctors. I always figured they knew better than me...I have learned the hard way. So glad they didn't continue with the fee.

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  5. Kat,

    Why is it that insurance companies and doctor's offices are trying to nickel and dime there way into people's lives and take it all? I just got three bills for Caitlyn's ER visit and still trying to figure out just where all the money is going and why it is costing so much.

    Glad that yours worked out in the end.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  6. What a great letter! I wish I had more tact when I am presented with situations such as these. Unfortunately, I am nonconfrontational, so that when I feel I am being treated unfairly to the point that I need to talk to someone about it, I lose ALL tact, and more often than not make matters worse. I am glad that the desired results were achieved!!! If ever I am in one of those situations again, I think I will email you to help me out! lol

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  7. Good for you!! My son's orthodontist charges a flat fee and we finished the pay off two months ago, yipee!! Sorry about your daughter's stubborn tooth.

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  8. You did the right thing!
    In Italy we say "Quando ci vuole, ci vuole!", that means "When it's necessary, it's necessary! no regrets!"

    Welcome back!
    Manuela

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  9. WOO HOO! You go, girl! :> )

    No wonder so many people go without proper dental care!

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  10. Nicely put. And it sounds like your letter was well-received. I think it's just one more indication that a reasonable complaint is often listened to :)

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  11. I love the "taking our children's teeth elsewhere part!" Funny and effective! Great idea to send a letter rather than having a confrontation on the phone!

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