One of the biggest concerns relative to dental “insurance”, has less to do with reimbursement levels than it does with the negative influence it can have on the nature of the Doctor-Patient relationships.
We can counter low insurance reimbursement levels via innovative cost-cutting and increased efficiencies, but we can not easily counter the demand for less interpersonal time with patients that these greater “efficiencies” naturally create as a side-affect.
Greater efficiency is thus easily traded for less interpersonal effectiveness in the name of “progress”. And less interpersonal effectiveness leads to more dependent and co-dependent relationships, where interpersonal boundaries are both poorly defined and poorly developed.
Dependent and Co-dependent relationships cause us to non-verbally agree to maintain a relationship where one person assumes a role of taking care of the other, while “the other” agrees to let themselves be taken care of.
The design of this type of relationship is fixed, and it’s rigidly defined roles impair growth. Consequently, it perpetuates the status quo rather than facilitating the moving-on to a higher level of health and functioning. And worse, co-dependent relationships are full of unspoken assumptions about responsibility and accountability which -when violated- erupt into conflict.
Co-discovery is the pathway to transitioning patients from co-dependency to inter-dependency, as it moves decision-making and goal-setting from being individually executed / imposed toward becoming a shared responsibility.
Hence, Co-discovery is all about collaboration. Collaboration begets synergy, and synergy creates a level of positive change and growth unachievable by functioning alone.
And as Three Dog Night sang, “One is the loneliest number”.
Paul A. Henny, DDS