In order to achieve success with any dental plan, patient education needs to be a continual effort and a shared responsibility among Delta Dental of North Carolina, the employer group, the dental office and the patient.
Delta Dental's Role
Responsibility for educating plan subscribers begins with Delta Dental. Delta Dental works closely with employer groups and dental offices to maintain ongoing communication of dental benefit information to subscribers.
Communication efforts to employer groups include benefit booklets, oral health tips, ID cards and customer service interaction.
The Employer Group's Role
The employer groups fulfill an important role in ensuring that the employees and their dependents understand their dental plan. Employer groups have a responsibility to read and understand the group contract, the employee dental benefit booklet, and Delta Dental's policies and procedures.
Equipped with this information, they in turn provide information for their employees, assist employees when questions arise, and promote oral health awareness and disease prevention.
The Dental Office's Role
The ability to speak face-to-face with patients places dentists and their office staff in an advantageous position to guide and educate patients on their oral health. When patients come to your office with additional questions about their benefits coverage, encourage them to call Delta Dental's Customer Service Department. Delta Dental has well-trained customer service associates who answer questions on coverage and are up to date on all of Delta Dental's products and programs.
The Patient's Role
Acting as informed consumers is one way patients can ensure they are getting the most appropriate and cost-effective care - and help hold down rising health care costs. Research shows the more informed patients are, the more they participate in decisions about health care, which results in better health care overall.
Asking questions is an integral part of the learning process for people of all ages. Invite your patients to talk with you and ask questions about the procedures and the recommended course of treatment. Patients can also call Delta Dental's Customer Service Department with any benefit questions they may have.
Also, advise your patients to keep benefit information in an accessible location and refer to it before each dental appointment. Finally, remind them to bring their ID card and benefit booklet with them to the dental office.
Patient Education is a Team Effort
Patient education is a responsibility shared by Delta Dental, dentists, groups, and patients. The goal is worthwhile - more satisfied, healthier patients who take charge of their own oral health.