On the road with Dr. Levin: Increasing dental practice production by $250,000
Responding to a common question he hears on the lecture circuit, Dr. Levin offers three tips for significantly increasing annual production for dental practices.
I present many seminars throughout the year, and more and more of my seminar attendees are asking, "How can I increase my practice production?" Frankly, this comes as no surprise. The dental industry is more competitive than ever, and doctor incomes have been declining since 2008. The good news is that with the right strategies, you can increase your practice production by a whopping $250,000. Yes, you read that right—$250,000. It’s not out of your reach. Here are three effective strategies to help get you there:
First, get 100% of patients scheduled—or at least 98%.Most practices only have about 75%–80% of their patients scheduled at any given time. When you evaluate this over a 30- to 40-year career, this translates into literally millions of lost dollars. Improve your scheduling systems and you'll see the production impact.
Second, expand your hygiene practice to diagnose all gingival and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an epidemic and it's no surprise. What is surprising is that 71% of dental practices do not probe pockets even once a year. Addressing this area of dental care offers your practice an opportunity to increase practice production while providing optimal care for patients. If only 75% of patients with periodontal disease accept treatment, you're adding millions of dollars to your practice over 30 to 40 years.
Third, increase the number of new patients. Your first contact with new patients almost always happens by phone. So your first priority in increasing your number of new patients is to always answer the phone. Although this sounds obvious, we’ve found that at many dental offices an alarming number of phone calls go to voicemail. These potential new patients don’t leave messages, instead opting to just move on to the next office on their list. Your front desk should also work toward the goal of bringing every new patient caller into the practice. Callers who don’t commit to the practice should be followed up with by text, email, or snail mail.
Increasing annual production by $250,000 can make a significant difference in a doctor's income over the course of his or her career. In an era where doctors are working an average of 10 years longer before reaching financial independence, each of the above strategies becomes a critical part of maximizing production.
Roger P. Levin, DDS,is a third-generation general dentist and the Founder and CEO of Levin Group Inc., a dental management consulting firm that has worked with more than 26,000 dentists. An internationally known speaker on dental practice management, Dr. Levin has written 65 books and more than 4,300 articles. He is also the executive founder of Dental Business Study Clubs, dentistry’s only all-business study clubs amd the next generation of dental business education. Learn more at dbsclubs.com.
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Editor's note:This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions.
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