The PPO Dilemma

A common challenge faced by dental practices over the last few years is how to attract more new patients.  A dentist and team may be doing everything right to attract new patients except for overlooking one thing: the addition of PPO’s.

Just mentioning those three letters can elicit quite a spirited response from dentists, and understandably so.  Who wants to work hard and receive less money in return?  But is the argument quite that cut and dry?

Before the recession, we spent much more time helping dentists remove unwanted PPO plans from their practice; however since 2008 the importance of having some PPO involvement has become a reality for most practices.  Patients are much more price-conscious today.  If you ask dental front office teams why potential new patients fail to schedule it’s often due to the practice not participating in a specific plan.

Therefore, it’s in the best interest of the practice to consider which PPO plans are in use by nearby employers.  Which PPO plans do potential new patients ask about when they call?  Tabulate your list of plans and then contact the insurance companies for their fee schedules.  When you have the PPO fee schedules, you can compare the fees for most common procedures you perform to see how much of a discount you would take.

Also consider how many existing patients have that insurance plan.  Those patients will receive a discount if you become a PPO.

Finally, when you think about the discount remember many of your costs remain in place whether your chairs are half empty or full.  If you can fill some gaps in your schedule with new PPO patients, you are almost always much further ahead than if you allowed the time slot to remain empty.

There are many factors to weigh as you consider if a PPO plan is right for your practice.  Please keep your mind as open as possible to make the best decision for your long-term growth.

Our dental practice consulting can help you through all of the steps of analyzing and potentially adding PPO plans.

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