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Kevin Henry was formerly the group editorial director for Advanstar Dental Media and has more than 15 years of experience in the dental publications field. You can follow him on Twitter (@kgh23).
Let’s face it. No one likes to talk about how much something is going to cost, and there are times that we all really want something â¦ until we see the price tag.
Dental team members and dental patients feel the exact same way. Those veneers or implants sound great â¦ until the price tag is revealed. So how do you move past “sticker shock” when it comes to your patients? How are the best ways for you to know if you’re charging what you should be charging for a procedure? Here are some ideasâ¦
1. Have an open conversation about costs with your patients. When the issue of cost is brought up early in treatment planning, it sets the tone for the entire meeting.
“Providers are recognizing that there can be a win-win with patients when talking about cost,” said Robin Gelburd, the president of FAIR Health Inc. “By having a conversation with your patient and being honest and upfront about the cost, there won’t be any unpleasant surprises down the road. It will also save your team members time in the future because they won’t have to answer questions about a bill or address complaints from a patient.”
2. Don’t assume that you know exactly what your dental patients want or what they can afford. I once heard an office manager tell the story of an elderly woman who had saved her money for years so she could have a better smile. Did she look like she could afford it? No. Is it something she had wanted for years? Absolutely. Is it something the team even offered to her as an option? No. It was actually the “little old lady” who walked in and said what she wanted after years of being a regular patient.
3. Know the fees in your area. Sure you know how much your office charges for a crown or a root canal, but do you know how those prices line up with other dentists in your city or area?
“Having knowledge about the fees that are commonly charged in their area helps dentists make more informed business decisions,” Gelburd said. “It’s sound practice management. The process of reviewing and evaluating fee schedules is greatly advanced with the addition of robust, objective information.”
Wanting some information on pricing and fees? You can download information on, “Dental Services: Information on Coverage, Payments, and Fee Variation” by clicking on that link or FAIR Health's fee estimator tool by clicking here. You can also get a free fee analyzer from Sikka Software by clicking here.