Earlier in the year one of my clients was telling me about a dentist friend of his who severed ties with all dental insurance and became a true Fee For Service only [FFS] office.
So by doing this the dentist was able to see and treat patients as he saw fit, without the intervention of a third party telling him or the patient what they could and could not have as treatment.
Dentistry at its purest form.
A relationship only between the provider of the service and the receiver of the service.
No third party to determine or steer the treatment away from what is best for the patient.
My client reported that his dentist friend had taken a significant reduction in Dental Office collections as a result of his brave or brazen move to remove the provision of insurance from his office.
The dentist in question reported that as a result of his decision to sever ties with all insurance companies, his Dental Office collections were reduced by forty percent overall.
That meant that 40% of the income that he had previously received as a result of treating these insurance plan patients was gone.
Now you’d think that a hit of this amount to a business’s collections would be catastrophic….
But in this dentist’s case it was not.
In fact, in the case of the dentist concerned, he reported that despite the fact that his collections were reduced significantly by 40%, his own business profits had risen to the tune of being up twenty percent [20% increase] on the profits of the previous year.
So he was making more money [profit] from lower collections.
What this proved was simple.
He proved that the fees paid by insurance were less than the costs incurred by his business to produce those services he provided to those patients under those insurance plans.
What this meant was this:
That by treating those insurance patients her was really writing a cheque from his own money and paying it to those patients each and every time that he treated them.
And this monetary donation was independent of the donation of sweat equity, heart muscle, stomach lining, and brain tissue that he was also donating as a result of participating in those plans.
This dentist would have been emotionally better off writing a cheque to Cunard and spending all that time cruising the world, as opposed to traumatizing his mind and his body and participating in those plans.
The trouble is that the plans rely on the premise that doing “something” for “some money” has to be better than doing nothing for zero money.
When the contraire is true.
And of course, while ever he was treating an insurance patient, his office would have been turning away any full paying fee for service patients who may have needed to see him, because he would have been busy working on the unprofitable patient.
Meanwhile, a young dentist I know has just ventured along the same pathway.
With a young family, and his heart in his hand, he has decided that the burnout that he is feeling while treating insurance patients day in day out is not good for his health.
So here’s what he has done:
He’s scheduled a day a week where he is not available to treat insurance patients.
On this day the Dental Office only sees full paying fee for service patients.
And the office has seen an immediate benefit in working this way.
1. The days have been productive.
Daily goal has been reached already on this day after only three weeks.
2. The days have been way less stressful.
The office has seen fewer patients, but because these patients are full paying, these days have been more profitable.
3. The patients seen on those days are benefiting from the extra time the dentist and team members are able to spend with them.
Not only is the office able to provide treatment in a more relaxing environment, the extra time allows the office to explain fully to the patient what they are having done and what they are needing regarding future visits.
This is a simple win-win for the patients and the office.
This young dentist is already looking ahead now at how he can drop more insurance with a goal of becoming a true fee for service dental office only.
Because in the previous month, the collections of the office were forty percent insurance and sixty percent fee for service.
And I’ll hazard a guess that the cost to the office of producing that forty percent insurance income was probably more than the cash collected for providing that service.
The key to this story is this:
Simply, to be able to sustain a profitable fee for service only dental office the practice needs to be providing something more than dentistry.
The Dental office needs to be providing a tangible Customer Service Experience each and every time that the patient visits that office that leaves each patient gasping:
“Wow! This place is different.”
Because, people will pay for a tangible difference.
It’s the reason why people will fine dine rather than eat burgers.
It’s the reason why people will purchase fancy cars instead of base model A to B vehicles.
It’s the same reason why people choose to holiday at a Ritz Carlton or a Four Seasons.
To be able to practice dentistry in that “rarified air” is a truly magical experience.
And it can be done.
I know it.
The choice is yours…
Do you have the intestinal fortitude required to make it happen?
Or are you happy to keep writing emotional and physical cheques to your insurance patients?
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The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
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