The Dental Business Model Dilemma. So Many Choices…

Setting your Dental business up for success or setting it up for stress are two very real alternatives in today’s uncertain economy.

On the one hand there exists the opportunity of dealing only with patients who seek out and value your services and your skills.

In this environment there is no intermediary.

You perform a procedure. For that procedure you charge a fee. And your client pays you that fee for performing that procedure.

There is no middle man.

There is no intermediary.

There is no third party person telling you what your patient can and cannot be “entitled” to.

There will always be a percentage of the population who will seek out this sort of relationship with which to do business.

This section of the population are so happy with the service that you provide that they consider your fee to be such exceptional value that they have absolutely no desire or care to find out whaHandshaket your competitors are charging.

The other type of Dental business involves the intermediary.

You treat patients based upon what the intermediary says they are entitled to.

Often the intermediary is not a clinician let alone a physician.

The intermediary is a bean counter at best who decides what parameters they [the intermediary] wants to stretch to produce maximum profitability for the intermediary.

With total disregard whatsoever for health.

“F#@%ing HMO Bastard pieces of s#@*”

was I think how Helen Hunt’s character Carol described an insurer so eloquently in the movie “As Good As It Gets”

Of equal importance was Dr. Bettes’ reply…

CAROL: “F#@%ing HMO Bastard pieces of s#@*”… I’m sorry… forgive me”.
DR. BETTES: “No. Actually, I think that’s their technical name.”

This week I had the pleasure of visiting a very nice Dental Office that dealt mainly with insurance patients.

One lady patient was telling the receptionist that her insurance allowed her to have a “deep cleaning” every three years.

Who the heck decides the time frame of three years?

Where on earth does that number come from?

My feeling is that if the lady’s teeth and gums need a “deep cleaning” at all then they’re going to need another one more frequently than every 1095 days.

Otherwise she may as well just sign the paperwork for the full clearance now, because every three years for her would have to be not better than doing as little as nothing.

Sure, it’s a way of doing business….

I get it.

Having an intermediary paying you for treating their members, and constantly sending you a stream of patients who have to be treated by a set of parameters that have little regard for the individual health needs of each patient is a model that some dentists choose.

But, and it’s a big BUT, the intermediary determines the financial remuneration you as the dentist will receive, without any consideration at all of the rent you pay, the salaries you pay or the laboratory costs you incur in providing those treatments.

And now more than ever we’re seeing contracted dental offices being squeezed by the insurers who are not increasing the remunerations but are rather cutting their payments to dentists.

Is that a tough way to do business, being a dentist?

The issue is, that with the oversupply of Dentists now, there will always be dentists willing to work under these relationships.

And the remuneration is so poor that sometimes the dentists are actually treating those insurance patients at a loss.

These dentists are confusing activity with accomplishment.

They’re thinking that it’s better to be doing something for some money, when doing that something is actually at a negative financial reward.

Along with the negative physical reward and the negative emotional reward as well.

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“Sick and tired of dealing with patients who love your work but don’t want to pay what you deserve for it?”

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I heard last month of a Dentist who cut out insurance from his office, with a resultant forty percent drop in collections.

However, his Office experienced a twenty percent increase in profits.

We’ve always got to consider the net of everything.

Both physical net, emotional net as well as financial net.

Believing that as long as there are gross collections there has got to be some net around somewhere is purely and simply fool’s gold.

However, holding out for the ideology that your product is exceptional and everybody should be willing to pay for it what YOU think they should is also foolhardy if practiced in the wrong environment.

Like walking slowly through a lion enclosure at the zoo.

Sometimes it’s not the place to be walking at all.

Whatever you decide, you need to be comfortable that the results you are achieving a worthwhile return on your investment of time, education, effort and expenses.

Working for working’s sake is not a great legacy to leave.

Find your place….”

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The Ultimate Patient Experience (UPE)

This blog post was written by Dr. David Moffet who is the creator of The Ultimate Patient Experience. The Ultimate Patient Experience, or UPE, is a simple set of very specific, “common sense” patient service steps being used by dentists all over the world, to create unique experiences for their patients. These experiences dramatically enhance patient visit values and repeat visits. The UPE is Moffet’s “Secret Weapon” that allowed him personally bill $1,826,445 in services in 2011, his last year of full-time work, working only 4 days a week, for 37½ weeks (while was vacationing all over the world the other 15 weeks!) Moffet has refined and perfected this system over the last 17 years, to the point where it’s as reliable as a Swiss watch — no matter where you’re located or what kind of practice you are running.

 

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