Christian Loetscher D.D.S., M.S. Complaints

Christian Loetscher D.D.S., M.S. - Unethical Selling Billing Practices

2009-08-29 06:05:59 by John
I needed two implants and this surgeon was referred to me by another dentist (unfortunately). When discussing pricing over the phone with them I found that their prices were more than I wanted to spend. I still needed to at least get the teeth pulled so I went into the office for just that. While there the Dr. (Loetscher) said that he would try and work with the pricing so I would get an implant. He said the price wouldn't go over $2300. They also required me to pay 100% before I left the office- which was another reason I couldn't do all the work requested. I agreed to one implant and before I left the office I paid them $2000. They in turn submitted $3353 to my insurance company. $1353 more than what I thought I was paying 100% of my bill. When I called them about it the Doctor said he felt like he was more than fair. I don't understand how someone can say that when they are predatory billing me without my consent or agreement. I tried in writing and several phone calls to resolve this with them to no avail. This dentist misrepresents services and pricing for them then dismissed it after I found out he over billed me. What is a consumer supposed to do? When you do to the dentist it's not like you get an estimate to sign off on to agree to charges THERE SHOULD BE and I will never get anything done again without it. I would not recommend Dr. Loetscher because of his unbelievably bad ethics.<br />
<br />
Company Information:
Dental Service
Atlanta Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Norcross, Georgia
145 Responses
2009-08-29 06:07:39 by Ron
Reply by Dr. Loetscher:

I felt it necessary to reply to this person’s complaints. They are a misrepresentation of the facts, and not true. In addition what we did was entirely ethical.

This patient came in with many dental needs, and we addressed his most urgent. If you read his letter he was informed his costs would be $2300, and he was required to pay it all. But he also states he paid $2100. He was informed he could pay the additional $200 after his insurance paid, and we could settle up what the difference would be. Basically, he had insurance, and his estimate of out of pocket expenses, including his dental implant would be $2300. This was an estimate. His total fees were $3353 (for placement of an implant, tooth extractions, general anesthesia, x-rays, and an exam), which were explained to him prior to initiating his care. We collected $2100 to cover the majority of his implant cost, and he was well aware he may have additional money owed to us, but we could not predict how much his insurance company would pay for his extractions and other treatment. Therefore, his estimate of $2300 was based on his dental insurance paying approximately 75% of non-implant related fees, and his being responsible for approximately 25%. We also inform all our patients this is just an estimate and they sometimes get a refund, and sometimes owe us additional money, depending upon insurance reimbursement.

This patient received our invoice and wanted us to write off his remaining balance. In addition, we checked on his insurance benefits, and have found out they have sent the patient two checks. One for approximately $900, and another for $738. So basically he has paid only $472 for his extractions and his implant, and has not paid his balance off with us. Given the checks he has received, his total out of pocket is much less than we estimated. In reality, he should be quite happy with his situation, it is much better than what was predicted to him. If his insurance companies had sent their reimbursement to us, he would have received a significant refund.

From an ethical standpoint, we billed him exactly what he was told prior to treatment, and the balance after his insurance paid. He was told ahead of time this was our policy, and signed our financial agreement, which states this. He was informed that we have no control over what his insurance pays, it depends on each person’s policy. In addition, it is both unethical and against the law to provide services for insurance only, which is what this patient wanted us to do. I believe it is unethical of this patient to accuse our office of misrepresenting our financial policy, and misleading him. He is paying much less than we estimated, and unethically, refuses to pay off his balance.

Our practice has an excellent reputation for being honest and ethical. When people come in for procedures, they are given exact cost estimates, and we stick to them. We refund patients quickly when overpayments are made. We make it clear that they may be left with a balance after their insurance pays, and we are obligated to collect the balance. Not to do so is basically insurance fraud, since insurance companies pay a percentage of what is billed, and expect the patient to pay the balance. To provide services for insurance only for marketing and promotional gain is unethical, and against the rules and regulations covering insurance reimbursement.

Renee Fitzgerald,
Office Manager, Atlanta Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, PC
2009-08-29 06:09:12 by David
You are correct, it is unethical and against regulations and exactly what your office did. Your office advised the "total" cost would be NO more than $2300 not that the patient payment after you submitted insurance would be $2300. That right there says that your office escalates cost because people have insurance. Also, many thousands of people go to the doctor/dentist every day and don't have to pay 100% of the bill before they leave so to state that is a complete lie and I was told I would have to pay 100% of the bill no anything about insurance!!

I received no written estimate, in fact your office asked for payment from the verbal agreed amount before the procedure without any documentation. I also did have several things that needed to be done and I chose to do one- not the most URGENT but because your costs were so high which started this whole thing in the first place. Be that as it may, reviews are patient experiences and this was mine and remains my opinion of your office and your practices. I feel that your comments are directly coming from probably the way you should have handled it being the office manager and all. It wasn't you who spoke with me about the cost it was the Doctor so if he would have done his job right maybe you could have done yours-- I don't know. I called your office several times and wrote a letter and no one would discuss it with me except to say tough crap because yes- everyone who steps into your office signs a financial statement for payment before any work is done and is another reason why I wrote my review because they should beware! You can say what you will about how you pride yourselves --experiences speak for themselves.

And to comment on the personal information related to the amounts my insurance paid or didn't pay is another unethical HIPA issue you should check yourself on- that is NOT public information. But thank you as I think they help my case.
2011-04-25 20:08:15 by Susan Stanelle
I find it very difficult to believe the dergatory remarks regarding Christian Loetscher's billing practices, ethic's and integrity.

I have been seeing Dr. Loetscher for at keast seven years. He has completed several implant surgeries for me. His office always filed the procedure cost with my insurance company. If there was an amount owed by me it was presented to me before the surgery. I think one time I did owe a little more than my insurance company paid Dr. Loetscher for his services. Dr. Loetscher did the procedure anyway. I paid my balance over a course of months.

I researched oral surgeons before I had my implant procedure. Dr. Christian Loetscher came highly recommended. I visited his office and talked with him as I did other surgeons before my procedure. Dr. Loetscher is very professional, cautious, concerend about medications a patient may be taking that would affect the surgery or the patient.

Christian Loetscher is above reproach on this subject.
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