Setting Your ODS Fees

If you want to maximize the increase of your ODS fees to keep your dental practice healthy, make sure you have the right strategy from the start.  Your first fee submission to ODS needs to “fail” in order for you to maximize your success.  Let me explain.

Dentists who participate in the ODS Premier program have an opportunity to adjust their fees every six months.  Since you can submit your proposed fee increase online, you get instant feedback regarding which fee increases were accepted.

Assuming your goal is to keep your fees at the upper end of the range allowed by ODS, you need to establish their “ceiling.”  This means most of your proposed new fees should get rejected by ODS on the first submission.  Then you can gradually decrease your proposed fees over the next few attempts until everything is accepted.

If, however, most of your fees are accepted on the first submission, you did not aim high enough.  It is difficult to keep pace with overhead costs unless you keep your fees competitive with what ODS allows.

If you keep a fee-for-service schedule that is updated at least annually, that fee schedule is typically 5 – 10% higher than ODS.  Therefore, most practices submit their fee-for-service fees to ODS on the first attempt, knowing that most will get rejected.  Again, this “failure” quickly helps you back into an appropriate fee adjustment that will get accepted.

Setting your new ODS fees takes some finesse.  The key is to understand how to make your first ODS fee submission work in your favor.

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