Guide to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule



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Examples of informed consent


The following examples are of appointments with an ongoing conversation around treatment, cost and consent that would comply with all the provider requirements for obtaining and recording informed financial consent under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

Conversations on treatment, cost and consent will vary. It is the responsibility of the billing/claiming dentist to ensure information provided to the patient and consent provided by the patient is sufficient to ensure the patient can appropriately consider signing the consent form.


Example of an appointment with Bulk Billed Services





Process

Example conversation

On arriving at a practice for the first time, a new patient is informed by the receptionist/dental assistant that they will undergo an initial examination, which costs $X and will be bulk billed under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. The receptionist/assistant informs the patient that this exam may lead to the dentist recommending other treatment.

Receptionist: “…the check-up costs $x and if the dentist finds anything that needs treatment, she’ll let you know. We bulk bill, which means you will not be charged for services as long as you have money left in your benefit cap.”

The patient verbally consents to the exam and the associated cost.

Patient: “That’s fine.”

In the chair, the dentist does the exam and advises that further x-rays should be done. The dentist explains what the x-rays are and that they would cost around $X and be bulk billed. The dentist informs the patient that the x-rays might indicate that further treatment is required.

Dentist: “There’s something wrong with this tooth – I’ll need to x-ray it and then I might need to do a filling. The x-ray costs about $x but we bulk bill.”

The patient verbally consents to the x-rays and the associated cost.

Patient: “Okay.”

Based on the x-rays, the dentist considers that some restorative services are required. The dentist explains what those services are (e.g. fillings etc.) and advises that this costs around $X and will be bulk billed.

Dentist: “It turns out that the tooth does need a filling, which will cost $x but we’ll bulk bill you.”

The patient verbally consents to the restorative treatment and cost.

Patient: “I understand – let’s do it.”

The patient returns to reception after all services are completed for that visit then reads and signs a single Bulk Billing Patient Consent Form, which confirms that they have understood and agreed to the services, charges and billing arrangements for that visit.

Receptionist: “So as we discussed, we bulk bill and you won’t need to pay anything. Please read and sign this patient consent form to show that you agree/d to the treatment and associated costs so we can bulk bill you.”

Patient: “No problem.”



Signs the consent form.

Example of an appointment with Non-Bulk Billed (privately billed) services


Process

Example conversation

On arriving at a practice for the first time, a new patient is informed by the receptionist/dental assistant that they will undergo an initial examination. The practice charges the same as the available benefit under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. The receptionist/assistant informs the patient that this exam may lead to the dentist recommending other treatment.

Receptionist: “…the check-up costs $x, which is fully covered by the Child Dental Benefits Schedule benefit. If the dentist finds anything that needs treatment during the check-up, she’ll let you know about any additional costs.”

The patient verbally consents to the exam and the associated cost.

Patient: “That’s fine.”

In the chair, the dentist does the exam and advises that further x-rays should be done. The dentist explains what the x-rays are and that the practice charges $X, which is the same as the available benefit under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. The dentist informs the patient that the x-rays might indicate that further treatment is required.

Dentist: “There’s something wrong with this tooth – I’ll need to x-ray it and then I might need to do a filling. The x-ray costs $X, which is covered by the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. I’ll talk to you about any further treatment and costs once I have a look at the x-ray.

The patient verbally consents to the x-rays and the associated cost.

Patient: “Okay.”

Based on the x-rays, the dentist considers that some restorative services are required. The dentist explains what those services are (e.g. fillings etc.) and advises that the practice charges $X, which is more than the available benefit under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, meaning the patient will have to pay an out-of-pocket.

Dentist: “It turns out that the tooth does need a filling, which will cost $X. The benefit under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule is $Y. This means that you will have to pay an out-of-pocket of $Z for the filling.”

The patient verbally consents to the restorative treatment and cost.

Patient: “I understand – let’s do it.”

The patient returns to reception after all services are completed for that visit and signs a single Non-Bulk Billing Patient Consent Form, which confirms that they have understood and agreed to the services, charges and billing arrangements for that visit.

Receptionist: “So as we discussed, we charge more than the benefits available under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule for some services, this means you will have to pay an out-of-pocket. Please read and sign this patient consent form to show that you agree/d to the treatment and associated costs so we can bill you.”

Patient: “No problem.”

Signs the consent form.

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