Working in dental you deal with PPO’s. It’s a given. Working with third parties can get draining. Ask any dental office manager. What if you DIDN’T have to work with PPO’s and third parties?! Can this be done, you may ask. Why, yes, yes it can. Your dental practice can still also thrive.
Why it doesn’t make sense to work with PPO’s – Third parties do not care as much about your practice as you do. Third parties could decide to decrease payouts to your practice, deny, or even reject claims.Then WHAT? Needless to say, this becomes very stressful.
Working with insurance companies – insurance companies have total control over the foundation of your practice, which is money and cash flow. Not all insurance I believe is bad, but I believe strongly that the industry needs to become less reliant on insurance companies to build their patient bases. Dental practices need to become more self-reliant.
When it is entirely up to you and your staff to grow your practice, things will begin to change. Quality will be considered more, and you’ll actually sit down and look at your marketing strategies to learn what works best for you and what doesn’t. You’ll understand how to work your “machine.”
Tips to drop PPOs
Many dentists think they can just “turn off” the PPO “light switch” and all will be good. Some practices have done this and survived, but it is a very risky move. Here are some strategies for dropping a PPO the correct way.
1. You have more power than you think
No-one is helpless, and there is no need to sign up for every PPO that exists. Patients do not come to you based solely on the PPO you’re signed with. Build relationships and influence people, and this will give you a better chance toward becoming self-reliant.
2. Finding a balance
Find the right balance of PPO participation. When a dental practice has complete control over their fees, it is essential to have balance so the fees are not too high or too low. In-house membership programs can be helpful to a practice looking to become more fee-for-service oriented.
3. Trimming back on PPOs
Cutting all PPOs at once can be dangerous. Instead trim back a little and market your new membership program to your internal and potential patient base. After you’ve done this successfully, cut more PPOs as you feel comfortable and established with your in-house membership.
Building a membership program to become self-reliant
One of your best tools to reduce your dependence on PPOs and to build self-reliance is an in-house membership program. When you offer a membership program your patients pay the practice a set monthly or yearly fee to access certain benefits and discounts that you offer.
When you have a base of patients enrolled in your membership program, they become more loyal and easier to manage through dental membership software. Instead of dealing with insurance companies rejecting and delaying claims.
Predictable recurring revenue is another benefit of creating a membership program. Your practice will become:
-Valued at a higher price point because of your predictability.
-When you have steady predictable cash flow, it makes your practices more enjoyable to manage.
Renegotiating PPO fees
Renegotiating your existing PPO fees is a great strategy for your dental practice. A practice can gain back hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if it just takes the time to negotiate PPO fees. Negotiating fees is an art, and is definitely a strategy practices should consider to help become more self-reliant.
If any of these thoughts have sounded familiar to you, your practice will become more profitable and easier to manage. Check out our ebook for more tips on a dental membership plan and how it can work for your practice. Visit BoomCloud if you have any questions about quitting PPOs and becoming self-reliant.