Setting Your Fees

Episode 011

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!

“Make your fees competitive; don’t sell yourself short!”

Episode Resources

National Dentistry Advisory Service, Wasserman Medical & Dental
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Looking At Expenses

Episode 010

Have you ever considered that by making a few simple changes, you could increase the net profit for your practice? Today on the podcast that’s exactly what I’ll discuss including certain changes you can implement in your dental practice to increase your income.

Specifically I’m sharing two different approaches to help you put more money in your pocket. Get ready to take your practice to the next level on this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast!

Man fingers setting cost button on minimum position. Concept image for illustration of cost management.

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You might get caught up in the day-to-day routine of operating your practice, but being intentional about your finances is an essential component of running a successful dental practice. There are specific strategies you can apply to your practice, some of which are so simple you might be overlooking them. On this episode I’ll spell those out for you and how you can reap the benefits.

First let’s talk about how you can increase your revenue. Some ways you can generate a larger profit are by taking in more patients, performing more procedures, and working more hours.

By increasing your revenue you obviously gain more profit. However, sometimes this isn’t the best option for your particular business model. If that’s the case, there are still ways you can increase your practice’s net profit.

The second method we look at is trimming the fat—this means taking a good look at your expenses and deciding where you can eliminate or reduce costs. This can be anything from administrative costs to supplies.

In order to cut down on your costs, I recommend looking at all of your overhead expenses for the entire year. This will give you a good idea of where your money is actually going, you will have concrete knowledge of where every dollar is being spent. And you’ll know where you can make reductions and what can be eliminated from your overall expenses. Naturally the more you can reduce in terms of expenses the better net profit margin you will have.

I recommend employing both of these strategies in order to put the most money in your pocket. During this show I also give an example from my own practice, explaining how I evaluated my overall cost on a per-patient basis for each procedure, and how I plan to adjust my fees accordingly.

For more tips on making a larger profit from your practice, and improving your business skills, tune in to this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast!

“Understand where your money is being spent.”

 

Episode Resources

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Improving Customer Service

Episode 009

Customer service is vital to any business, and the dental industry is no exception. Every time a patient visits your practice they are measuring the quality of the service they receive. If you want to improve your small business, developing stronger relationships with your patients is a great place to start.

Today on the Business of Dentistry Podcast, I’m talking about effective ways to enhance the customer service in your practice. I’m sharing specific skills, tactics, and tools that can help you better serve your patients, and in turn develop a better reputation for your business.

Customer Service

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One of my biggest pet peeves in customer service is phone etiquette. I don’t like it when the phones in our office to ring endlessly; it is frustrating for a patient to be on the other end of that phone. In my dental practice, we try our best to answer the phone within three rings.

And a person always answers the phones: I don’t want my patients to call our office and be relayed to an automated machine or a voicemail message, I want them to speak with a human being.

Additionally, I have my staff stagger their lunch breaks to ensure that patients are able to reach us during that time. Many patients are only available to speak around lunchtime, and I want them to know their call is important to us.

When our office is closed, our patients are still able to speak to an actual human. We use an answering service that will relay urgent messages between the patient and myself after hours. This allows me to do anything from calling in a prescription, to letting the patient know to come in first thing the next morning.

Using an answering service, in my opinion, is quite inexpensive for the value that it provides. My patients always feel cared for and know that they are my priority, so I am happy to employ an answering service.

The other tool I use to improve patient communication skills in my dental business is an automated appointment reminder system. These systems not only remind a patient about an upcoming appointment, but they are also capable of sending out post-visit surveys.

After a surgery or procedure, we are able to collect information from the patient regarding their visit. The patient can give feedback on their experience, allowing our team to know what we are doing correctly, and what we should strive to improve.

On this episode, I share more easily implemented customer service tips to take your dental business to the next level. I explain the biggest obstacles in customer service, how I get my team on the same page, and much more about cultivating stronger relationships with your patients.

“The small things matter the most.”


Episode Resources

Solution Reach
Lighthouse 360
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“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”- Scott Cook, co-founder Intuit

Oh No, Not Another New Year’s Resolution Episode…

Episode 008

A new year is a great time to not only look ahead to the future, but also to reflect on the previous year. Going into 2016, instead of setting a resolution, I’ve decided to take the time to focus on what made 2015 productive.

Directional 2016 Signs

Directional 2016 Signs

On this episode of the Business of Dentistry podcast, I’m diving deep into what I am grateful for—including aspects from my personal life and from my business. I share how I improved in 2015, and what that improvement has done for my life personally and professionally. Listen in – it should be different!

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I strongly believe in making lists so I decided to write a list of all the things I was grateful for in 2015. And I did this as an exercise in reflection, another thing that is important to me; I believe successful people have a sense of gratitude.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about my success in 2015 is my improved physical fitness. Each morning I start my day by working out in my home gym. I love starting each day with running on the treadmill and doing body weight exercises.

This routine has brought me many benefits, including a healthier body weight, an improved cardiac reserve, and enhanced strength. Being physically fit makes me better, both personally and professionally.

Additionally, I am grateful for my improved mental health in 2015. This includes implementing a meditation practice. Meditation is another part of my morning ritual that allows me to start my day with clarity.

Practicing Jiu-Jitsu also contributes to my mental health. My Jiu-Jitsu practice begins with bowing before I step on the mat. This signifies a separation between the practice and the world. I am fully present during my practice, and am able to leave behind my worries and distractions. Martial arts in general gets me out of my comfort zone and expands my mind.

I find that I am happier and more relaxed when I take the time to focus on my physical and mental health. Taking care of myself makes me a better person, as well as more efficient in my dental practice.

On today’s show I share how I’ve improved my well being, as well as business skills as a dental professional. I also talk about relationships, both the people in my life that I’m thankful for as well as how I’ve ended relationships that were no longer healthy and beneficial. To hear more about my reflection and gratitude check out this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast!

“You have to find a purpose.”

Episode Resources

Podcasting A To Z
Evernote
Headspace
Sealfit
Six Figure Side Gig
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