Sometimes, hostile forces can sneak up on your dental practice. That’s been going on for some time – three enormous forces are already impacting your collections, your new patient funnel, and your bottom line. Too many dentists still believe that their livelihoods won’t be affected. Nothing could be further from the truth, and you need to take action now to avoid disaster later. When we come back, I’ll lay out the nature of those forces and the best way to break the siege of your dental practice. Stay tuned.
– I’m Colin Receveur, CEO of SmartBox.
– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.
– I know thousands of dentists, thanks to my line of work.
– I have enormous respect for dentists.
– They’re entrepreneurial types, like me, who are dedicated to making their marks on the communities they serve.
– They’re also dedicated to providing a living for themselves, their families, and their staff – all while giving their patients excellent and appropriate care.
– Dentists take on a great deal of responsibility, and that earns respect.
– But many dentists, for all their positive qualities, tend to have a blind spot.
– That blind spot is in the area of threats to their practices.
– There’s a sort of “head-in-the-sand” mentality that leaves dental practices vulnerable.
– Sometimes the threats are purely local, such as another dentist opening a new practice.
– Some threats operate on a much larger scale, and dentists may not notice them.
– There are 4 dangers to your practice that you absolutely must be aware of and plan for.
– Those 4 dangers are corporate dentistry, new dental school graduates, declining insurance reimbursements, and economic uncertainty.
– Now, let’s be clear: those dangers aren’t currently impacting every dentist in every market.
– That in no way means that they won’t be coming to your door.
– Corporate dentistry may seem like old news, but the fact is that the rate of expansion is increasing.
– Many corporate chains expect to double the number of their locations over the next 3 years.
– If your practice is in a smaller market, even one new competitor can decrease your share of dental prospects.
– Corporate dentistry follows the money, and if there’s money to be made in your market, corporate will be there.
– New dental school graduates pose a 2-pronged threat.
– New dentists are using corporate dentistry to make money while they pay down their debts from dental school.
– Corporate dentistry pays well, and those grads can probably get themselves to a much more comfortable financial place in a few years.
– Once that debt load is reduced or eliminated, those new dentists will join existing practices, open their open practices, or even open a corporate office.
– There are more than 65 dental schools in the U.S., and more are planned.
– You’re looking at some 6,000 new dentists entering the field every year.
– And some dentists continue to delay retirement because their practices haven’t recovered from the Great Recession of 2008.
– At the same time that you’re facing greater competition, you’re facing declining reimbursements from dental insurance.
– Delta Dental seems to be leading the trend toward slashing reimbursements, but you can bet that other insurers will join the movement.
– With less third-party reimbursement, your patients and prospects will have to pay more out of pocket.
– And that leaves them looking for the lowest-cost dentist.
– You don’t want to be the low-price leader in your area.
– You can cut your margins, but you’ll have to see more patients to make up the shortfall in collections.
– You’ll work yourself half to death for less money.
– Whether you know it or not, your dental practice is already under siege.
– And if all that wasn’t enough, there’s another recession coming.
– Oh, maybe not tomorrow – probably not – but another recession will happen.
– The current Administration is continuing to weaken the financial controls put in place to prevent another systemic meltdown.
– There’s no way to tell how bad the next recession will be.
– But when it happens, it will intensify the effects of the other 3 forces – corporate dentistry, new dental school graduates, and declining insurance reimbursements.
– This is not the time to embrace a “head-in-the-sand” approach to business.
– You need to understand what you’re facing and prepare to meet the coming storm.