Managed care will cripple your dental practice.
But, there’s an alternative. By providing strategic management and leadership to your existing dental practice, you don’t have to shortchange business growth. As THE DENTAL COACH© dentists come to me with problems regarding their practice profitability, growth and management. Many dentists get into trouble because they do not realize the negative financial impact that these third-party managed care plans have on a practice’s bottom line. I solve that problem.
Using sound, proven business management principles, along with my experience as a Dental CEO, I identified two alternatives: 1) provide the same level of high quality dental care at a drastically lower fee or, 2) reduce participation in the “alphabet soup” of the many managed care programs.
This is not an overnight success, but neither was launching your dental practice to begin with. This solution-oriented approach will help fix the dilemma that managed care brings to your dental practice. As you are going through each of these steps, concentrate your mind-set, energy and intensity on the transition from managed care to a managed practice.
Read below for a list of my top five recommendations to help reduce managed care in your dental practice:
- Create your list of Core Values and a Practice Vision. Your Core Values will provide the critical guiding principles around which you make all professional decisions. Articulate this to your team and get them on board. I suggest that you place these on a bulletin board in the break room.
- Examine each and every managed care contractwhile comparing side-by-side to your Core Values and Practice Vision. What fits? What doesn’t?
- Develop a Financial Profileyour dental practice. Work with your CPA or financial advisor for this. Integrate the Financial Profile with the demographics of the existing client base.
- Evaluate current plansto determine which ones to terminate. Determine the order to drop them and develop a timeline.
- Implement effective management techniquesthat will reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase profitability. Examples: develop annual marketing plan, expand service offerings, improve case presentation, integrate a new financial option for patients, adjust fee schedules, and provide additional training for the entire team.
The most important thing is to: Revise, re-measure, re-measure and re-measure and remember the vision. As dentists, we sometimes forget to think, act and behave like a CEO. Making this change in 2012 could mean all the difference to your practice.