“I Know, I’ll Work Harder!”
I recently signed up for 5 PPO insurance companies in hopes of increasing production and profits. However, I hate what I’ve become since the opposite is happening where collections are down, I’m worker harder and longer than ever, headaches are up, and exhaustion has set in. Where did I go wrong?
Your scenario is very common to the point that many dentists are enticed by the seeming increase in production but forget that the returns on your investing in PPO’s has a negative return rate, financially and physically. I have personally talked with many general dentists who are in your same situation and their stories have a common theme. Oh yes, you will hear from the “experts” that when done properly, you can make PPOs work for you. Sometimes that’s true but it usually requires 2 or 3 dentists working on a tight stressful schedule to the point of exhaustion. But one question they never discuss is, “At what (or whose) expense?” Unfortunately, too many times it’s at the dentist’s expense represented by bankruptcy and poor health, including excessive stress, general anxiety, depression, burnout, and addiction. I have particularly seen this manifest itself in the young dentist who works as an associate or in corporate dentistry that is heavily involved in PPOs and even in the older dentist who can’t retire because of financial situations due to lack of retirement planning or other unforeseen circumstance.
On a lighter note, if you are involved in PPOs and want to find ways to cut costs, CEREC Omnicam can have a positive return on investment if you are efficient with the technology due to cost savings.
A final word of caution: I particularly like the old adage, “Get paid what you are worth or you’ll become worth what you are paid!” PPOs can have a very negative effect, especially on a solo practice, that decreases one’s self esteem and value. You have invested time, finances, and education in your career. YOU are responsible for the future growth of your practice which requires you to do your due diligence to investigate how to make PPOs work in your practice OR change your practice direction to a non-PPO practice or decreased PPO involvement.
Ask for help, set boundaries, evaluate the information, make a plan for change and instigate that change.
(The comments and suggestions from Dr. Bill are not to be construed as professional medical advice or treatment but are to be use as Dr. Bill’s thoughts and opinions. Your comments are encouraged and valued.)