Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, dental offices are increasing infection control standards. The American Dental Association (ADA) has issued recommendations to control the transmission of infection, which closely align with the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. As a result of the new infection guidelines and the need for additional personal protective equipment, dental offices are negotiating dental fees in order to cover the cost of care increase.
Negotiating with each benefit provider for increases in fees should be done by each dentist individually. Be prepared to do your homework to have the most accurate information from everything, from a list of the strengths of your practice to which procedure codes used by your practice generate the most revenue. Be sure to be prepared to quote the exact date of the last time you negotiated dental fees with your insurance carriers and your special circumstances for re-negotiation.
Most dentists do not think of raising fees very often. However, if you never negotiate for a raise in dental fees, you cannot make the necessary improvements to allow your practice to grow and thrive. You must keep making investments to keep your current patient base and attract more patients in order to remain profitable. If fees are never increased, this limits the success of your practice. This will also begin to hurt your overall patient experience.
The result of raising fees at a reasonable rate enables you to:
- continue to invest in training
- invest in technology
- invest in upgrades to your dental practice
Developing a fee schedule and negotiating dental fees periodically is key to the success of your practice. When fees are raised, ensure the amount is across the board for all fees. The American Dental Association offers a survey of dental fees to assist you.
No matter how successful your dental practice becomes, there is always room for improvement. Your patients expect you to provide excellent service and care. A good way to continue experiencing practice growth is to keep your website current and credible. The internet is used by practically every consumer, and they need to be able to find your practice.
Another idea is to implement a patient reminder system to confirm and/or reschedule appointments. Most patients are familiar with a text-based reminder system to engage them in a familiar manner. You may want to ask each patient how they would like to receive a reminder of their next appointment. Consider new opportunities to connect with your patients and promote your office advances to them. This will make them confident in your care and build your credibility with them.
Dental offices, like any other type of service-oriented business, have to make a profit to remain open. Not only do you want to remain in business, but you also want to employ talented dental professionals. Also, to stay up-to-date on the latest treatments and technology. There has to be an acceptable balance between profitability and patient well-being. In order for your practice to employ successful hygienists and provide the kind of quality care the patient expects, negotiating dental fees must be done in a knowledgeable way to create a profitable practice.
Things to consider are basic overhead such as rent, team member salaries, equipment costs, and insurance. Other things to consider are not so tangible, such as office production, dentist production, patient education, hygiene percentages, preventive percentages, and restorative percentages. These considerations should always be at the forefront when negotiating dental fees to maintain the appropriate balance between numbers and patient care. To achieve this balance, you must offer the patients care through education and prevention, which will in turn, guide them to their needed treatment plan.
As you build relationships with patients and educate them on the appropriate treatments, you build mutual trust. This adds value to the dental practice and will positively impact your patients. There are many ways to increase dental practice revenue. You as the dentist must be in the driver’s seat and have a current understanding of where your dental practice stands in regard to location, patient data, team member data, and overhead expenses in order to negotiate dental fees with providers that will continue to sustain a thriving dental practice.
One way to remain on top of the game when it comes to negotiating dental fees and “level the playing field,” so to speak, is to hire a professional to take your information and negotiate the fees on your behalf. The team at PPO Negotiation Solutions are experts in their field and have been negotiating dental fees for 30 years. They have an impeccable reputation and have the negotiation process down to a science. It will save you precious time you can devote to your patients and their care. Check out their complimentary assessment and schedule your consultation today!