Every dental business wants growth that is measured by new patients, performing more high-end procedures, and being paid for services and products at a fee that is fair for services rendered.
If your practice isn’t experiencing at least 15% growth per year (an industry benchmark), it is past time to look at the systems that are affecting practice success. Statistics tell us the average practice may lose as much as 10% of its patient base through normal process of attrition. People move, change insurance, lose employment, etc. True growth is not just raising your fees; it is acquiring and keeping new patients who purchase services.
eAssist Dental Solutions, dentalbilling.com, was founded because of a need to help my dental practices grow and show a profit. One thing holding me back was cash flow from insurance and patient billings. When eAssist produced success for my practices, I offered it to dentists that I knew to help them also. I had no idea the demand for our billing services would cause growth at such an amazing rate.
In the last three years, eAssist Dental Solutions has made the Inc. 5000 List of the Fastest Growing Businesses in the United States. Inc. Magazine ranked eAssist Dental Solutions No. 1133 on its 2018 list. eAssist is honored to be recognized nationally for its rapid growth and success by the Inc. 500 & 5000 list three years in a row – including No. 337 and No. 427 in 2016 and 2017.
In order to allow this growth, we had to move faster than the company was growing to keep on top of things. In a dental practice, as in any business, you either recognize and allow growth to happen, or you grab onto comfort and long-held beliefs and continue to struggle or flounder. When a business is in accelerated growth, it is essential to have someone focused directly on the operations of the business. Usually that is the dentist or a qualified, experienced business professional. In a dental practice, this is particularly important around the processes that directly affect patients, infrastructure and quality of care.
Here are four means to rev up your revenue:
1. Attract and retain new patients who believe in quality care and total health. Take the time to get to know your patients and find out what they seek in healthcare and dental care. Don’t look at new patients as just a number on a report – give them the best customer service they have ever experienced. The right marketing is an investment that answers the question in the potential patient's mind: "Why should I have care here?" If your marketing doesn't answer that question, it will not be successful.
2. Improve your ability and capacity to perform more dentistry. Would you like to take courses to learn new skills or perfect skills? If you don’t improve your skills to stay in the game, then hire someone who will fulfill that role for you. Meet the demands of your patients or they will go elsewhere. Having sound business and clinical systems makes it clear how things should be done and keeps your team accountable. Get your team to “buy-in” to the business and give them rewards based on the performance of the business. When your team sees the business as “theirs” they will run the practice for you.
3. Increase your number of high-profit procedures. Dentists are no different than other business owners in that we can get into a comfort zone and don’t open ourselves up to challenge or change. This can signal the end of growth if we don’t continue to educate, offer and demonstrate to our patients how good quality dentistry can improve the function and esthetics of their lives.
4. Improve systems to increase your case acceptance rate. Look at how you are presenting treatment to patients now. Is it standing at the desk with the phones ringing and other patients walking in and out? This is fine for basic procedures, but not for major procedures or multi-disciplinary treatment. Get a designated space with privacy to show you are serious about providing quality care.
Your case acceptance will go way up when you and your team connect with the patient on an emotional level and stop trying to teach them dentistry. Patients are consumers, they buy what they “want” not necessarily what they “need”. With improved systems for doing everything, you become more efficient – and efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce overhead because it increases production per hour.
You can have more quality patients and more case revenue if you make the commitment to rev up your practice now.
If you would like additional help, email Dr. Anderson at email@example.com