One of the most important aspects of running your business, and any business for that matter, is setting your fees. Today I’ll specifically share what I’ve learned over the years, mistakes I’ve made and insights on how to successfully set your procedural fees in your dental practice.
Whether you’re brand new to the business of dentistry or you’ve been in practice for decades there is something for you on this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast.
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Right after my residency I opened my practice. In the 14 years since then I’ve learned a great deal but starting out I knew nothing about running a small business. Naturally I was overwhelmed at the beginning but to set my fees I decided I would ask some of my local dentists what they were charging.
Some of them were extremely helpful and fully shared their rates, even going so far as to fax a copy of their fee schedule to me. But other dentists weren’t as open and didn’t want to talk about their fee structure at all.
I took what information I could find from the local market and basically set my fees out of thin air! It’s not a strategy I recommend, but I took action to open my practice and learn as I went. To help you avoid taking the same approach I created this episode.
There’s one resource in particular I found that has been immensely helpful when setting my fees and navigating the overall sales process. It’s called the National Dentistry Advisory Service from Wasserman Medical & Dental, and there’s a link in the Resources section below where you can pick up your own copy.
When you check the link you’ll see there are three options under their main dental page: first is the national standard version, the second is the national standard version with an additional upgrade option that compares a particular zip code to the US average and the third is the developer’s option.
I highly recommend the national standard version with the upgrade.
The upgrade is worth the money because you can see what the average is in your area for various fees, and you can compare those fees with the national average. It also allows you to customize reports based on ADA codes you use or don’t use. Overall it gives you a reference point to know what others are charging in your area and on a broader national level.
This resource has also been instrumental when working with insurance companies. I regularly review what we’re doing with different insurance companies, what our contracts stipulate and whether or not we want to continue working with them.
One of the most important aspects of running your practice and operating as a small business is knowing your profit margins. You want to be sure you are turning a profit, if you don’t you can’t stay in business. You won’t be doing anyone any good when you’re out of business! So review your contracts regularly and don’t be afraid to renegotiate your fees with these companies.
On today’s show I share how I specifically negotiate the sales process, what companies have been amenable to doing so with me, and whether or not I think discounts are ever a good idea. It’s all here on this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast!