Keep your practice running at it’s fullest potential
When devising a comprehensive marketing plan for any business, pricing is one of the key elements. It’s one of the “four P’s”– pricing, product, place and promotion – that form the marketing mix. The importance of a doctor staying on top of his or her fee schedule cannot be stressed enough.
Focus on Your Fees So You Can Focus on Your Patients
Everywhere we turn, costs are on the rise. The goods and services that allow us to provide dentistry are getting more expensive with each passing year. Lab fees are going up. The cost of equipment and supplies is going up. Rent and utility bills continue to increase. Employee benefits are getting more and more expensive. You may not be staying up to date with your fees, but I can guarantee the vendors you rely on to help you run your practice are staying up to date with theirs.
If you want to maintain a healthy business, it’s imperative that you adjust your fees to compensate for your rising operating costs. We’re in this profession to help people and to provide a valuable service to our communities. However, if we don’t take care of the business side of our practices, we won’t be able to provide our services to our patients and communities at the level that they deserve…if we’re able to provide our services to them at all!
Best Practice Methods for Determining Fee Schedules
Keeping your fees up to date is essential; however determining what to base your fee schedule on is not necessarily a simple task. I rely on a variety of schedules available to dentists when setting my fees. The Dental Economics fee schedule is a great resource. I also rely heavily on the UCR table that’s available through Udell Webb Leadership. I think it’s important to use a variety of sources and to check them often.
I’ve found that there are many dentists out there who really aren’t confident about their fees. They worry that they’re pricing themselves too high or that their UCRs are being stifled by the insurance companies. I think that’s a real problem. You need to be confident in your fees. If you’re not, then it’s a sign that you’re not evaluating them often enough.
As dentists we want to reach as many patients in need of dental care as possible. You cannot do this if your practice is not running at the optimum efficiency. Taking the time to evaluate your pricing and having the confidence to make the necessary adjustments will keep everything running smoothly, and ultimately lead to an increased capacity and growth of your practice.