Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Keeping it in House “Out Patient Services”

negotiate

The other day I was talking to my Primary Medical Healthcare Provider about my Primary Dental Healthcare Provider and how changes in delivering healthcare are effecting the patients, clinical operations, and the cost of doing business. Most medical offices in my little corner of the world are part of groups. Those groups have specialists and hospital affiliation for diagnostic testing (economies of scale), but the dental healthcare system does not.

Dental Healthcare … Statistics tell us that dental healthcare professionals make more money than medical professionals at the same level. However, the cost of operations weighs much heavier on the dental community. When I was in Dr. Peter’s (MD) office I noticed his Ritter exam table, Ritter is a Midmark Co. and the exam table probably costs about as much as a Midmark dental chair. But, there was no x-ray, overhead light, high & low speed handpieces, lasers, and you know the rest. Dr. Peter refers to central out-patient services for diagnostic testing and clinical procedures. Your dental office is part of out-patient services, you do same day clinical procedures and in the near future you have to consider being a One Stop Shop.

One Stop Shop … In my opinion, the dental office of the future will need to offer all special services (Endo, OS, Perio, Pedo, Ortho, etc. ). All of these services are individual revenue streams and profit centers. Specialist graduating a dental specialty program today, unless they have a unique situation, will not have their own practices. They will be working for a group or they will be a traveling specialist. With more GP’s doing endo, implants and ortho, the specialist of the future will not be able to justify their own office, considering the cost of operations and relying on referrals. Also, with falling insurance reimbursement rates the general practice will need the added volume to offset the loss of net revenue.

Net Revenue … I have been in the dental industry for over 40 years. I have seen the changes in healthcare over the decades and changes happen in medical about 5-7 years before dental. Everything the dental office deals with today has been effecting medical for years. So why not predict that the future of dentistry will be to provide in-house, all out-patient services. The direction healthcare is talking is insurance based and that means more expense in providing secure digital diagnostic information to insurance carriers. The technology required to comply with all the new formats and diagnostics is a large business investment so maybe it is time to consider “economies of scale”

Economies of Scale … You want that new CBT that does bitewings. The more that machine is used, the more revenue it generates. That $7k implant motor generates revenue every time it is used. Your new Tri-Auto ZX2 endo system adds billable procedure codes to your day. By utilizing specialties the shared cost of operations will benefit the practice as well as the patient.

Out-Patient Services … In a practical sense, a dental office is an out-patient clinic. The quality of the clinic and the services they offer are at the discretion of management, but by offering as much as possible in-house, you will attract new patients and capture a good part of your lost revenue. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.

Total Health

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July 23, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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