Why would a dentist want to join a dental insurance network? Dana Moss, founder of PPO Dental Consulting, LLC, tells us there are three main reasons.
1) A dental student graduates college, opens up his own practice, and needs to fill chairs.
2) A stagnant practice that is not growing and is having a hard time keeping its doors open, might want to go in network with dental plans.
3) A dentist, who is about to retire, wants to increase the value of his practice, and be able to fill open chair time.
Now, you noticed in all three a common element. It’s open chair time. Open chair time is why most dentists join dental plans.
“But, let’s not forget the almighty reimbursement of services,” says Moss. Dentists also want to consider area employers and the saturation/competition for patients locally. “If you want to fill chair time, go to the employers in your local area, call their human resource departments, and find out which dental plans they take,” says Moss. “You can market to that employer and go to that insurance company and get a contract.”
Negotiate Fee Schedule
But getting a contract does not necessarily mean that you are going to participate with them. You want to understand their allowables and negotiate the allowables before accepting the plan. One of Dana Moss’s tips is: Don’t accept the first fee schedule they send you.
Although participation in a local employer’s dental benefits plan is a great way to get your name out there, you may already have a lot of competition in your area on the plan. In this case, you’ll need to let the employer’s HR head know you are in-network and competitive.
For more information on how to negotiate a PPO Fee Schedule, click here.
Dana Moss’s video series on Patient Prism provides many more tips so you can make smart business decisions. The series is free for Patient Prism customers.