One of the best books in print about dental practice management is Michael E. Gerber's "The E-Myth Dentist."
Dr Chris practices orthodontics in both the USA and in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (above).
Written for parents, Dr Chris' book, Your Child's Smile, is also used as a dental school textbook for its thorough, well-researched information.
Great advice for people in every profession can be found in Jim Rohn's "Twelve Pillars."
Another photo of downtown Abu Dhabi, where Dr Chris practices.
A fun fact from Dr Chris: Lucy Hobbs Taylor (1833-1910) was the first female dentist in the USA. Today, slightly more than half of all American dental students are women. Without a doubt, Dr Taylor had no headaches from working with insurance companies!
So how can you enjoy your practice more? How can you begin to take control of the business of your practice? The answer lies in working ON your practice, as well as IN your practice. One place to begin is to wrest control of your income from the insurance companies.
Contemplate the fact that insurance companies in today’s world really function as managers of most of the dental practices into which they are allowed. How can you become the real entrepreneur and manager of your own business?
Remember, as Jim Rohn explains, ”if you don't have a plan for your life, you fall into somebody else's plan.” Know what they have planned for you – taking as much money from your practice as possible.
You’ve got to begin minding your own business. You’ve got to start somewhere. Here’s a suggestion.
Review all insurance companies with whom you work. Categorize them into:
Once your patient has consented to treatment, it is their responsibility to pay on the day of service. It is the responsibility of the dental insurance carrier (a third party) to directly reimburse the patient for the portion of the procedure that is covered. The actual contract is between the patient, usually as an employee and the insurance company.
Even if the patient makes the mistake of believing that the contract is between the dentist and the insurance company, it is not. You must be clear on that and let the patient know your expectations BEFORE treatment is begun. A written contract between you and the patient or parent is recommended.
Assignment of benefits to you costs you a heavy financial and most undesirable burden in your practice, most especially when you multiply it by hundreds of patients.
Outstanding over-the-top dental and orthodontic care, is your privilege, honor, and responsibility. It is based on a relationship between you and the patient, without interference from third parties.
When the payment is made by the patient, it is a clear statement that they are taking an active interest in their dental health, their loyalty is to you, and that they value your service.
Stay out of the relationship between the patient and their insurance carrier and employer. Make your relationship with the patient fantastic, based on outstanding, over-the-top dental and orthodontic care.
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
Text and images
© 2019 Dr Chris Baker