While you strive to provide the best possible dental care to your patients, it’s important to keep your bottom line in mind and your cash flow healthy. It’s not uncommon for dentists and other medical professionals to unknowingly leave money on the table that could otherwise be recovered with money-saving tactics that widen your practice’s profit margins.
Such tactics can include saving on utility costs, managing wastefulness, controlling labor costs, negotiating PPO fees, offering in-house subscription plans for patients, and taking advantage of medical group discounts and free quote comparisons to save on dentists’ car insurance.
#1 – Offer In-House Subscriptions for Patients
An in-house subscription plan is a payment method for patients that lets them directly pay your office for treatments rendered. This occurs on a pre-negotiated payment plan per treatment that makes the practice’s monthly cash flow more predictable.
Keep in mind that you should take time to calculate correct pricing. Taking into account employee labor costs, supply costs, and how much time your hygienists spend with their patients on average.
This earns you more in the long run than what you would collect from an insurance company. As your self-insurance plan can include patient deductibles with lower monthly charges without sacrificing coverage and dealing with decreased reimbursement rates from insurance companies due to increased dependency.
Dentophobia and Its Effects on Your Bottom Line
Dentophobia is an anxiety disorder that elicits great fear in going to see a dentist. Some practices offer sedation dentistry to make procedures more comfortable for patients.
However, most dental insurance plans don’t cover sedation dentistry for those with dentophobia despite the costs sometimes being the same as those of regular treatment. Most plans deem sedation dentistry as “non-essential treatment,” and therefore don’t cover it despite the similar costs.
As a result, sedation dentistry is often an out-of-pocket expense for the patient. There are few exceptions to this, one of which is if the patient has a preexisting medical condition that requires sedation for effective dental treatment.
This means that, should you choose to treat a patient with sedation dentistry and their procedure is not covered by their insurance, you run the risk of trying to recover bad debt.
Avoid Bad Debt with Personalized Payment Plans
Since most insurance companies won’t cover dentophobia in patients, you don’t have to worry about decreased reimbursements. An in-house payment plan may be your only option.
If a patient with dentophobia comes into your office and explains their situation to you, you and your dental team should work with them to find alternative payment options, work out a payment plan, or discuss financing options to build your practice’s public reputation and keep a healthy bottom line. A healthy reputation is key to obtaining new business and saving money.
#2 – Take Advantage of Bulk Purchasing Discounts on Supplies
It’s common for dentists to order supplies weekly (and even daily) when supplies are running low in the office. But the less you order bulk supplies, the more money you’ll save in the long run.
Many dental supply companies offer year-round promotions and discounts. Keep tabs on these and time your bulk supply purchases accordingly. You should also devise some sort of inventory management system that keeps regular track of how many supplies you have coming in versus how much is going out.
Each time you order new supplies in bulk, take the time to check and make sure you got what you paid for. Match each invoice exactly to what is in each box. It’s not uncommon for dental supplies to ship with a few things missing, so doing this will help your practice save money by reducing wasteful expenses.
Usually, saving your practice money involves keeping highly accurate, written track of expenses and profits. Utilizing the aforementioned inventory management system alongside an organized ordering system. That leverages discounts on bulk supplies will sharpen your investing dollars and improve your bottom line
#3 – Be Mindful of Your Practice’s Interior Design
Some simple money-saving habits can be found in your practice’s interior design. Going with a modern, minimalist industrial look can create more open space and save money on furniture and other unnecessary additions.
Larger, more open spaces that somewhat “hide” the dental office feel can be more welcoming to your patients and ease dental anxiety.
Make full use of minimalism while keeping your lobby areas practical to help your practice save more money on simplistic and affordable interior design.
#4 – Drop from 60-Minute Appointments to 50
Time is money in the world of dentistry. The 60-minute hygiene appointment is commonplace. But some practices are moving to 50-minute appointments. To create more time in the working day for at least two more appointments.
Since the average hygiene appointment generates anywhere between $150 and $200. Transitioning to 50-minute appointments can generate over $75,000 more in annual revenue per year.
This ties in with keeping track of how much time your hygienists spend with their patients on average. If you’re finding that they’re consistently finishing early. This reduction in appointment time can help you take on more daily patients. And help your practice save money and grow profits.
#5 – Negotiate PPO Fees
Decreasing reimbursement rates from insurance providers arise from increased dependency. An ongoing debate in the dentistry world is the issue of working harder for less pay and lower collections.
To solve this and save money in the long run, the first simple step is to ask. You have the option of negotiating your PPO fees with your insurance representative. Either by yourself or by hiring a third party.
Should you choose the DIY method. Pick a consistent time each year to call your insurance rep and request a fee review. Know what your office’s most used procedure codes are and focus exclusively on these to keep negotiations simple and fair. You can develop a negotiation strategy that you can use and improve every year.
However, it may be best to hire a third-party PPO negotiating company that has market data on common reimbursement rates and tactics used by insurance companies. This information gives your practice leverage at the negotiation table and increases your chances of lowering your PPO fees, saving your practice more money.
#6 – Save on Your Dentists’ Car Insurance with Smarter Driving
It’s common for dentists and other medical professionals to pay higher car insurance premiums due to the income brackets they fall under. You can save money on your dentists’ car insurance by using free quote comparison tools for medical professionals to discover discounts and other savings offered by auto insurance providers.
You can also save on your car insurance by driving older vehicles more frequently than newer ones. Since longer commuting time adds percentage points to how much you pay for car insurance out of your salary. Driving an older vehicle to work every day can offset this increased cost.
If your commute to work is shorter, you can save even more money.