Baby teeth and health-care reform…

I know a boy with these pesky baby teeth.  They just won’t come out.

The orthodontist recommends removal of these five persistent remnants before placing 5000 dollars worth of braces.

So the next stop is the oral surgeon’s office.

The oral surgeon’s receptionist says it’s cash up front before the procedure.

She looks sad as she asks, “Do you want an estimate?”

A Mom says, “no, I’ll just bring my credit card.”

“Are you sure you don’t want an estimate?”

“No, really it’s ok.”

Exasperated and dumbfounded, the receptionist says, “well, let me just tell you…assuming they are not-complicated baby teeth (is there such a thing), it’s 147 per tooth.

Over 700 dollars cash up front for removal of baby teeth.  Arrgghh.  Frown. That’s about the same as implanting an internal defibrillator, only we have to employ numerous office staff to pre-certify the procedure, code the procedure, collect the monies and all too often, appeal denials of payment.

So how did the doctors of the mouth evade the morass of our health-care delivery system?

As I tell my many teenage friends, “be sure to check the right box on career day.”

JMM