Being a dentist in private practice does not necessarily mean just seeing patients and providing treatment. There are other ways to use your expertise, ones that might also be profitable for you.
Being a dentist doesn't mean you can only be a clinician; you can only do whatever you want to do with your expertise.
I want to focus on dentists in private practice. I was listening recently to a webinar by my friend Doctor Vicki Ratner and she had some really awesome takeaways. I wanted to boil down some of her notes and put my own spin on it with five ways to generate more revenue for you. Now, we all know today there is so much going on that it can be just painful being a physician.
We know how much harder every physician is having to work. I hear more and more physicians are concerned thinking their pay is going to flatten out. They think that they may not want to be in medicine for their career, they might want to transition out at some point. So, what I’d like to do for those of us in private practice or not is think of a few good ways with which to generate more money and assuage those fears.
So, what does that mean, right? It means that you are an expert witness. You are like the expert doctor in the show Law and Order where you come in to testify in a court case how certain evidence works that no one else can explain. And what’s great about it is I’m often talking about being a business owner. What is the number one tax reduction you can have? Be a business owner.
That’s right, that’s what we want to do, and being an expert in medical litigation can allow you to do that. You can charge a huge hourly wage. Actually, I have a client that is a surgeon. His wife is now starting transcription work and I was shocked at what she could earn doing transcription. Just transcription by itself she is charging $75 an hour and it’s 1099 income which means you can take all these great business deductions. And as a physician, you can often charge two times, three times, four times that amount on your own schedule, up to you, when you want to do this. And of course, this isn’t for everybody right, we don’t necessarily want everybody to do this. You have to have a certain personality. Can you handle the counter argument of lawyers on the opposite end?
Now the other caveat here, which Vicki had pointed out and I thought was really really good point, is that you can only do this up to three years after you retire. If you want to transition out of practice you can still do this for up to three years. This makes becoming an expert witness involved in medical litigation a very appealing way to transition out of practice. Still have some interesting stuff to do and charging hundreds of dollars per hour possibly for your time and offer.
Now, I know the AMA is very much against wanting to have conflicts of interest. And absolutely conflict of interest are not ideal and you don’t want to be viewed as someone that is pushing products from a pharmaceutical company. You don’t want to be viewed as the doctor that is unethical and doing things that are not right, you want to put the patient first. However, what I do want you to think about is how can you capture your knowledge. How can you generate more patients? How can you generate more high paying patients? And the number one way to do this is to start being a celebrity.
Let me ask you a question; how hard of a time do you think Dr. Oz has in getting new patients? I bet he would have a huge waiting list, whether or not you agree or disagree with his medicine and methods you have to admit he`s have done an awesome job of being a celebrity. This could be educational materials, this could be a program for weight loss, or it could be adding on warranties, or giving access to hotline for people to reach you. And really what this is all about is helping people to achieve something. Losing weight, looking younger, to stop smoking, to sleep better, to find love, to get fit, to get healthier. What is your passion? What is something that you know that you can help people with? It doesn’t have to be a product, or it could be a product of skin care for example. It could be a cream or some ointment or something like that, but it could just be information. More and more today people are hungry for information. Probably that’s the reason why you are here. So, I`d like you to think about what could you white label? What could you put your stamp on? Because what if you could double the average revenue per patient? How will that change your practice?
What if people came to you without having to have referrals from other physicians which I think that’s one of the biggest issues that we have today. As more and more private practices are getting gobbled, physicians can have their legs cut out from beneath them because they are so dependent on referrals. Having someone to help you with the social media, having someone to position you as a super scientist to sell this information and your information product could help in finding ways to get people in into your doors so they know you, like you, love you and trust you.
Basically what this means, and this is a trend we are seeing with telemedicine and all kinds of areas, is if you look at your business as a profit centre is there something that you are doing right now that a PA or a nurse practitioner could be doing for you? This is for our friends here in private practice. Can you pay less to get the same stuff done and still get good quality of work? What can you delegate in your practice? Think about that; how can you leverage your resources?
In Dr. Vicki Ratner’s original webinar she said that many physicians they have a jar full of reimbursement stuff from insurance companies and follow ups that need to be done. So how can you streamline that with EMRs and all these codes and everything that happens out there? There are some companies, I am going to be doing a podcast with one here shortly, that focus on streamlining your reimbursement process. So rather than having everything be paper as we are used to, making that electronically seamless to increase your cash to increase the speed of receiving your receivables. So, think about those things and get on board with the resources to help make you more profitable now.
Now the other thing that I will like you guys to think about for number four here is to educate, empower and entertain. Number four my focus was on creating products, but in my industry something that financial advisors have done forever to increase their celebrity and increase engagement is having seminars. I don’t know of any physician that hosts seminars. I know very few physicians that write books, that write blogs, that do videos.
So how can you educate, entertain, inform your audience. As a matter of fact, I think if you have several doctors in a practice why wouldn’t you assign each person based on upon their strengths with what’s best for them. Could you have a podcast? Does someone love to write? If so, write a few articles for your practice website. Another idea is to create a workbook, then you create another workbook and the next thing you know you have a full-on book. So, there are a lot of things you can do to position yourself as that empowered teacher people want to listen to.
Another thing that you might want to consider if you have more and more staff is you could have an online membership site where people pay you recurring revenue. So rather than worry about reimbursements you could bill someone`s credit card $20-30 a month to get your latest newsletter, to get your latest tips of some of that contents you are creating. As a matter of fact, you can think of fee versus free. There are some websites out there that will pay you to write for them.
As a matter of fact, there are many healthcare websites that are looking for content, they are starving for content. A lot of those you don’t get paid for but there are some that do. And another thing that is helping many physicians become more noticied is to hold a Ted Talk. This is simply telling stories with just a few key points and possibly less intensive than hosting a full seminar.
So, if you do own your own practice do you have unused office space. What are you doing to get that filled up? And if you don’t own your office space why not buy the real estate to have that additional equity. How much wealthier could everyone be by paying rent to yourself rather than someone else. This way even if the billing doesn’t appreciate, you will walk away with equity. I just want to tell you guys, the best thing you can do is to avoid dumb doctor deals.
You know what am talking about, there are these deals out there that look too good to be true. So, make sure you are consulting with your team, your advisory board to have your team together to help you avoid those deals that can kill you. But overall, the best success I have seen people have is by investing in the places that they work. Investing where they usually go to.
There you go you guys, five different ways with which to generate more income. Number one was being an expect in medical litigation; number two selling products and services; number three leveraging your business; number four educating, empowering, entertaining and number five generating more investment income.
Now, my question for you is; doctor how are you going to position yourself for success? How are you going to help yourself and head against this environment where it’s harder and harder for private practices, where you have to work more and more in order to get the same amount of money.
I’d love to hear from you, I’d love to know how you are positioning yourself for success in this coming year!
Advisory services through Capital Advisory Group Advisory Services LLC and securities through United Planners Financial Services of America, a Limited Partnership. Member FINRA and SIPC. The Capital Advisory Group Advisory Services, LLC (CAG) and United Planners Financial Services are not affiliated.
The views expressed are those of the author and may not reflect the views of United Planners Financial Services. Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Individual needs vary & require consideration of your unique objectives & financial situation