Let’s Get Political

Episode 063

Don’t let this week’s title run you off…we will discuss a proposed bill in the U.S. House of Representatives related to the dental insurance industry. We also take a quick, and easy, look at your practice to make sure you are headed in the right direction for 2017. Thanks for listening to episode 63 of the Business of Dentistry.

More About The Business of Dentistry

In general I’ve avoided talking about politics on this show but today’s episode is different! And the reason it’s different is because of an automated message I received from the American Dental Association via the Tennessee Dental Association about legislation currently before Congress.

And I wanted to talk about to you about this same legislation, HR 372. This bill was introduced in January 2017 and is meant to restore federal anti-trust laws to the business of health insurance in an effort to protect competition and consumers. This act is cited as the Competitive Health insurance Reform Act of 2017. HR 372 includes and specifically mentions the dental industry

Basically this act repeals exemptions for health insurers, including dental insurers, which are currently in place. The automated message from the ADA (via the Tennessee Dental Association) asked me to send a letter to my representative in support of this bill, and I did.

My understanding is that this bill wants to make sure that health insurers, including dental, are subject to the same anti-trust laws and unfair practices that other businesses have to comply with.

I haven’t asked people to do anything political in the past because I believe we all have our different views, but sometimes we have to get involved and take action. Sometimes we have to step up and give our input. So on this episode I’m asking you to educate yourself on HR 372 and go talk to your elected officials about it. Get involved based on your own evaluation of this bill because it’s important we all be aware of it and we act accordingly.

There are people – our lawmakers – who make decisions on how we practice dentistry and how we run our small businesses. And they have no idea what we do, no idea how we’re impacted by health insurance, by Medicare and Medicaid changes, and they have no idea how to run a small business. It’s up to us as a profession to help educate them on how we are impacted.

When people in our state legislative branches and at the federal levels are making decisions that affect the way we practice and make a living, I’m going to give you my 2 cents and them. I encourage you to do the same – get familiar with the bill, reach out to your representatives and let them know what you think.

For the second half of the show I shift focus to the business side of dentistry. I want to know if have you any idea about how you stand in your production and collections in the first two months of this year as compared to January and February of 2016? Do you know if you brought in the same amount, brought in less or produced more versus last year? If so, by how much?

To be transparent, in January of 2016 I was a little more productive and had a bit more collections then I did this January. However, we’ve been much busier this February so overall in these two months of 2017 my collections are up 8% and the practice is up 10% in production. The general trend for the first two months is a growth phase, an important point to know.

Listen in to hear which other months are busiest for me, which are least, how often I check this data and why paying attention to trends in your business is important. You’ll also hear an update about the position of my office manager! Tune in for all of that on today’s Business of Dentistry.

 

Tweetable: “Educate yourself on HR 372 and talk to your elected officials.”

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One thought on “Let’s Get Political

  1. Many dental patients are rejecting elective treatment. According to the Levin Group Data Center™, 81% of all dental appointments are single-tooth treatment. Factor in that fewer patients are presenting for treatment and the result is declining production for the practice. The reason is simple — practices are suffering from a lack of new patients, as well as a lower average production rate per patient among existing patients. Plateauing or declining revenue is the inevitable result.