PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. Our office works with all types of PPO insurances, which allow patients the freedom to choose providers regardless of their network affiliation. An HMO or DMO plan requires that you choose a dentist from an insurance participation list. Patients with PPO insurances can see a specialist without a referral, while patients with HMO’s must obtain a referral before seeing a specialist. HMO dentists receive a check each month based on the number of patients who are assigned to him or her and are expected to perform services for a deeply discounted rate or at no charge, while PPO dentists only receive money from the insurance company if services are rendered. Usually patients who have an HMO or DMO plan will notice their choices of dentists are very limited, and their access to quality care including elective and cosmetic services are compromised. However, their out of pocket costs are generally lower than PPO plans, and have fixed copayments. Having a PPO plan allows patients access to a larger number of dentists providing better quality care at a greater out-of-pocket cost.