Second dental opinion and auction portals
The essentials in brief:
- Every insured person has the right to a second opinion. There are no costs.
- Health insurance companies offer support, and the dentist community has had the second opinion model since 2005.
- Auction portals can be helpful, but they say nothing about the quality of the dentist and the final price.
When is there a right to a second opinion??
Patients have the right to a free choice of doctor and clinic and, in principle, always have the opportunity to have a second opinion. If there is any doubt about the proposed therapy, each insured person can see a different doctor to get a second opinion. Because dental treatments are often associated with a high own contribution, a second cost estimate makes sense here.
How do I get a second opinion?
Patients can go directly to another dentist or take advantage of offers from the health insurance companies, some of which offer second medical opinions with their own doctors or cooperating centers.
The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (KZV) and Dental Association did that in 2005 "Second Opinion Model" introduced. Specially trained dental prosthesis experts check the type of therapy proposed, for example whether an implant is better than a bridge, and take a close look at the costs. These dentist patient advice centers help with questions about new treatment methods, treatment alternatives, risks and costs. They can be reached differently depending on the KZV. Private initiatives also offer a second opinion service, for example "Better Doc" or "Ask the professor", but some are chargeable.
How helpful are auction portals?
On various internet portals, patients can upload their dentist’s healing and cost plan and receive counter offers from registered dentists by auction? often much cheaper.
From the point of view of the professional organizations, this is dubious because the dentist offering the offer did not see the patient personally and because these portals "Dumping prices and a bargain-hunter mentality" promoted what was tricky in medical interventions. However, the Federal Court of Justice ruled in 2010 that medical auctions are compatible with applicable standards of competition and professional law. The Stiftung Warentest reviewed such sites in 2006 and praised the advantages of the emerging competition. However, depending on the provider, it is quite complicated to correctly enter the data of the healing and cost plan.
If a patient opts for an offer, this new dentist must draw up their own treatment and cost plan. Deviations from the auction offer are possible. If planning is more expensive than the first offer, you should ask for a reason, according to Stiftung Warentest. An auction price comparison can also be a good basis for price negotiations with your own dentist.
More on the subject:
Dental patient advice from the Federal Chamber of Dentists (BZÄK) and Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (KZBV)
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