Being a dental coach all over the world, I constantly get asked “How do I drop my PPO’s?”
With the high costs and inflation that the pandemic caused, it is lowering the profit for dentists all over the world. I get their concern and you are not alone. For many dentists, it is a constant battle with keeping overhead under control. Coach Heidi Mount believes that have a clear business plan prevents business owners from making costly mistakes. She also says, “Your write offs is a marketing expense.” So which is it? Is it good to stay a preferred provider or is it just another part of running your dental practice? Well, as a dental consultant, I believe it’s all about the amount you want to collect for your services and how much profit you want to make! #ReachingYourGoals
Some dental consultants teach to make a decision, become fee for service and drop all of them. That may work in a practice that has over 5000 active patients with a schedule booked 6 months and more patients banging down the door to be seen, but for most, this will fail.
Then you have the fears that dentist worry about…
- “How do I know which ones to drop?”
- “What if I loose all my patients on that insurance plan?”
- “What if I go broke, loose money, loose profit or can’t financially survive?”
- “What if I go under or my business fails?”
I can understand the angst that a dentist may go through. This is why nothing is a quick or flip it decision when it comes to having a clear business plan. A business coach who specializes in reaching your long term goals is important when you need to make better decisions for your life.
The rising costs during the pandemic makes this a no brainer that we just can’t afford to work for less. We should not tolerate taking a pay cut or loose profit. After all, your shipping, your accountant, your groceries, your payroll expenses, PPE, and everything is costing more.
If your write offs are about 40% of every dollar you bill, doesn’t it seem like you could afford to loose a lot of patients and charge 100% FFS and still come out ahead? However, we must have a plan in place. You shouldn’t listen to dentists online or in Facebook groups stating “Just get over the fear and do it!”
These decisions and coming up with a plan depend on …
- How many patients you have?
- How far out you are scheduled?
- How many providers you have?
- What your marketing and conversion rate is?
- What your case acceptance rate is?
Look into these questions and let me know how I can help you level up your dental practice?
Next, take these steps:
- Know who your IDEAL patients are and which insurance companies are attached to their file.
- Run a report and see which insurance companies have the biggest write offs?
- Run a report to see which patients are attached to those ‘lousy’ plans?
- Pick which plans to drop…have a plan to dropping the lowest ones right away.
- The insurance plans that have the largest write offs and the smallest amount of patients attached to it are quickly dropped. Send a letter to those patients that you are no longer participating in their insurance. You contractually may have a couple months to continue care. Make a nice letter that explains what you value and the wonderful care you provide for them.
- For the larger amount of patients on the PPOs that you plan to drop will take time. Inform your patients during their recare visits and let them know what you do for your patients and why you decided to drop their low paying insurance plan. Encourage them to go to their human resource department to choose a higher paying dental insurance plan. Let them know they can continue to see you and the insurance will still pay a portion of their dental care. You want to let them know BEFORE the dental insurance sends them a letter to encourage them to see a preferred provider and that it will be much cheaper to see a PPO dentist on their plan.
- Do your best to give your patients 6 months notice.
- The key is to create value of why they should pick you to be their dentist. Train your team on the verbal skills necessary and how to provide an ultimate patient experience. #Loyalty #Referrals
- Have your marketing plan ALREADY in place to attract your IDEAL patients.
Coach Heidi Mount and team