We have established the urgency to remove your dependence from Insurance Companies. This doesn’t mean you can’t use them as strategy and a means to help your patients.
In fact, one of the most valuable times in a practice lifecycle is when you remove insurance, because it gives you opportunity to solidify your differentiation from other commodity based practices and to really secure your relationship with your patient base.
You are either in network with a lot, a little or not at all. There is no other option, obviously. So the question we have been asking and answering over the past couple weeks is; how much is insurance impacting your practice and your patients decisions?
This is determined by the metrics I gave you.
What is your average visit value?
What is your average new patient treatment plan and acceptance?
What is your percentage of insurance reimbursement versus patient cash?
These three of course all link together. If you want to be really effective you will track your diagnosis for every patient and you will track case acceptance on that diagnosis.
This seems basic but most doctors have no idea what it actually is – what their key stats are. As if a baseball player would ever not know his at bats, hits, strike outs, RBIs, and so on.
The metrics you should pay attention to are those that create your collections and production; not just those at the end that tell you nothing about what is really going on, how well you and your team are performing, and if insurance is beating you down or not.
Some Doctors have become so ingrained in insurance that they don’t even realize that they are diagnosing based on what insurance pays and not even looking at (nor presenting) full mouth comprehensive treatment plans.
You may not be that bad but you can still soften or shrink your diagnosis because of your expectations as to what the patient will say or what will be covered.
So, by now you’re wondering… what are the keys to being insurance independent and the battle plan necessary to overcome all obstacles and barriers to making it a reality in your practice today?
Before we go there, let’s first focus on the principles that matter.
First, you want a health-based practice.
This means that patients are not making an insurance or a money decision, they are making a decision in alignment with your clinical philosophy of care, health and dentistry.
This is done through education, awareness and expectation along other tools. It is not done by accident.
Second, you want a consistent flow of qualified patients.
This is about a strategic method of growth from existing patients, referrals and of course your methods of getting new patients coming in to your practice for reasons that match up with and are congruent with the first point.
Real business people are concerned about this. They have to be. It’s the oxygen of the practice. You must keep your existing patients as the highest priority but you also need new inflows.
Third, you want to have the skill set to serve your patient comprehensively.
This is linking back to our original points and discussion. You have to see the big picture in the patients’ mouths for their optimal health based on your philosophy.
No one said you force the patient to do it or anything else but you have to be able and willing to tell the patients the truth about their mouths.
Rest assured, patients’ health and money or anything else is your practice’s plateau – ever. The greatest plateau is always your diagnostic prowess and ability to influence patients to make decisions for their long term best interest.
I want this to sink in really deeply for you over the next week. I would challenge you to have a discussion with yourself first and your team second about how these concepts link directly to your ability to succeed, keep growing and being profitable.
All three of these must be in place. Otherwise you are fighting volume.
You absolutely know of the ways to grow a business, any business (more customers, more frequent purchases or larger transaction sizes).
There is only one that directly feeds your profit and gives you ultimate leverage – that is transaction sizes. Meaning that you are capturing more bundled treatment from you patients over and above insurance.
However, every one of these ideas is captured within my structure…
More patients are about retention, marketing and referrals.
More frequency is about comprehensive diagnosis and retention.
Larger transaction size is about complete and comprehensive case acceptance and bundled treatment with full investment made.
You want to be focus on all of these and firing on all cylinders.
Next week, we’ll dive into how. Some are good at one or part of one. Very few (and I mean very very few), are great at all of the above all at the same time.
Onward and upward to your potential we go.