New 2018 Requirement: Dental Offices Must Disclose Fees for Top 15 Procedures By Jan. 1

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In the age of high-deductible health plans and plans that cover fewer and fewer services, there has been a growing chorus of consumer voices pushing for greater price transparency from healthcare providers. Healthcare price transparency bills have come before the Colorado state legislature for the last several years. In 2017, the Colorado state legislature passed Senate Bill 65, which requires all healthcare providers and facilities to publish a list of cash pay prices. Dentists are specifically included in the scope of this new law, and it appears to apply to dental hygienists as well. Nearly 60 of the 100 state legislators, of all political leanings, co-sponsored this bill. The CDA advocated for a number of reforms to the bill to reduce the burden for dental offices as much as possible. All dental offices must comply with new fee disclosure requirements by Jan. 1, 2018.

Under the new law, a document listing at least the prices for the 15 most common healthcare services provided by the dental office is required to be made available electronically or on the provider’s website, and needs to be updated at least annually. If a practice has six or fewer identically licensed providers (includes both dentists and dental hygienists), the fee disclosure information may be posted in the patient waiting room, as opposed to providing it electronically or on a website.

What You Need to Do:

  • Identify the top 15 codes that your office has billed for the past 12 months using practice management software or a review of your office’s billings.
  • Identify the cash-pay, non-discounted healthcare prices for these 15 services using one of the methodologies suggested below (or a substantially equivalent approach).
  • Compile a single document that lists the 15 codes, a plain-English code description and the associated cash-pay rate as well as required disclosure language.
  • Post this document in a conspicuous place on your website or otherwise make it available electronically (if your office has six or fewer licensed providers of the same license type, you may satisfy posting requirements by making a printed copy of the document available in your patient waiting room).
  • Update this price list at least annually.

The CDA will publish additional detail and resources on how to compile the required list of fees, as well as disclosure and other requirements in coming days (pending approval from attorneys). Stay tuned for more information.