The Practice Support Team tracks trends in data collected from practices throughout the year.
In 2019, we learned average office fees continue to be low, in the 59th percentile for their respective zip code. Inflation, as measured by the CPI (Consumer Price Index), increased by 1.7% in 2019. Chances are, your overhead has also increased. In light of this, Practice Booster and McGill Advisory both recommended an annual fee increase of 3% for 2020.
While inflation increased at a rate of 1.7% in 2019, the dental sector continues to face a tight labor market with rising staff compensation packages. Practice owners will also continue to need to stay current with new technology that is becoming commonplace among dental practices.
Realize an Immediate and Substantial Impact!
Let’s run through the math to fully understand the impact of moving your fees to a healthy percentile. Keep in mind, if you are not currently in the 80th percentile, your overhead will appear higher than the accepted healthy range as well. The higher your fees, the lower your percentage of overhead will be, relative to your total collections. A change from the 60th to the 80th percentile may mean only a small difference to the patient. However, when you multiply the frequency of each code used in your practice, you will quickly see the potential impact even a small increase can have.
What would happen if ALL your fees were optimized AND increased each year?
Now, take a look at the long-term impact of this small change*:
These incremental increases, along with the power of compounding, have a tremendous impact on your practice profitability – $9 million dollars over 30 years, if you commit to an annual 3% increase.
Bust the Myth:
You may think you can’t realize these profits due to your participation with managed care plans. Banish those thoughts with this positive perspective:
- You have private pay patients in your practice (conservatively 20%).
- You have out-of-network patients.
- 87% of the population consist of dual-income families, leading to more dual-coverage opportunities (prb.org).
- Well positioned fees fuel your negotiating power with managed care companies.
- Annual increases will raise the fee profile of your area, increasing the chances of higher reimbursements in the future.
- Healthy fees make your practice more attractive during transitions.
Plan to adjust your fees now. Burkhart’s Practice Support Team welcomes the opportunity to support your healthy business in 2020 and beyond. We are committed to your practice’s business success.
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