The American Dental Association has tried to help all of us during this pandemic, and they have done a fantastic job. Yet, so many of you have slapped them in the face because of your ignorance in business. Believe me when I say I’m one of the first to call out the ADA when they do dumb things, but many of you have exceeded the dental insurance companies’ expectations of stupidity, and they know it. It was 1985, the letter came, I was accepted to UOP School of Dentistry. I was to report for the first day of school in July [...]
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The ability to differentiate products and procedures has not always existed in dentistry. The explosion in dental technology has allowed this to evolve. The question is often asked, “But will insurance companies allow you to do this?” For Heaven’s sake people, why do we as health care providers continually ask this question? Remember these words: VALUE ADDED SERVICE. When you differentiate a product or service, it is either a cosmetic or a value-added service. These costs are between you and your patient; they are not covered by insurance because they are “created” codes, not covered codes. [...]
It was July of 2017 when a 43-year-old male patient came to my office complaining of pain in #27. Much to my surprise he was missing all lower molars and bicuspids, with an RPD anchoring on both mandibular canines. He also had a full maxillary denture that flopped around like a fish out of water. The remaining lower mandibular teeth, 22 through 27, were not in the best condition and would need removal. Sounds like the typical story “my hygiene was never the greatest," right? After further examination, it was obvious his alveolar ridges were atrophied, resorbed, nearly non-existent, and [...]
For years I’ve given this topic a lot of thought. It’s a subject that, not until now, I had any answer to. First, let’s define the word “dichotomy”. di·chot·o·my /dīˈkädəmē/ noun: a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different. synonyms: contrast, difference, polarity, conflict; gulf, chasm, division, separation, split; "the great dichotomy between theory and practice" Now let’s discuss the typical background of the dental office personnel: The Doctor: This person has typically gone through four years of undergraduate school, and four years of doctoral training at an accredited dental school. Very few dentists have received any [...]
Each year in January many dental practices adjust their Fee-for-Service (FFS) fee schedule to help cover rising expenses in their dental business, and to hopefully generate higher profit margins. There have been many approaches throughout the years I have seen dental practices use to determine these new fees: There is the “across the board” approach where practices increase fees between 3% and 7% for all services. This works great if your practice is predominantly a fee-for-service practice. But if your practice is PPO insurance driven, this approach really doesn’t work that well because it doesn’t increase revenues from work done on [...]
In the State of Utah our Dental Association puts out a publication every two months called the UDA Action. In the January February 2019 publication Dr. Chamberlain, our UDA President, shared some fantastic stats on dentistry here in Utah. If you live in another state, listening to this podcast, you might want to take note on my comments to this article, as it may have some cross-over where you practice. Last September, Marco Vujicic, an economist and head of the ADA’s Health Policy Institute (HPI), came to the Roseman Dental School, located in South Jordan, Utah, and presented information to the [...]
Oh my, where do I even begin? Many years ago, I lectured on digital imaging and radiography. Trying to help practices understand the benefits of this technology was difficult back then, and now it’s the norm for most practices. However, how many offices still use analog radiographs today? With the constant changes in dental technology, it’s not healthy to embrace the status quo. Most of you have heard the phrase, “change or die”. We hear that phrase in business classes or seminars, yet I don’t think that is entirely correct. There are many techniques and materials I learned about in [...]
I’m finally getting around to looking at my first quarter results in my dental practice. Sound familiar? I was shocked to see our profits were down. How could this be? The number of patients seen and procedures worked were both up. But, profits were down for the first time in years. It was time to dig a little deeper and learn why. We discovered several things that have changed incrementally over the last several years: Several of the major insurance players have been decreasing reimbursements on our primary procedures by a few dollars each year. Our lab fees have increased [...]
The other day we got a phone call from a new dental insurance company attempting to build their panel of dentists in the Salt Lake area. My office manager asked them to send us their fee schedule and we would consider joining. The fee schedule came, and we made a close observation to see if they cover our top forty codes we use the most. We noticed they had fees associated with them, but the real question was this, “do you pay out on all the fees you are showing on your contracted fee schedule”? The representative engaged in conversation [...]
We’ve all seen them, the dirty little tricks insurance companies do to make our lives a living hell, right? At My Practice My Business our dental consulting helps practices deal with this “hell” head on with our Clinical Business of Dentistry Training. However, here is a small list of typical insurance tricks they use to torment us, and how to deal with them. -Baked in codes: This is one of my favorites. It’s where they tell you to include the build-up code with your crown code, therefore, giving away the build-up. If you look at your contracted fees, you will see the CDT [...]