Compare your Standard Fees to Insurance Fees: Especially in Multiple Location Dental Group Practice

Scale: Compare your fees in mutiple location group dental practice

Compare your Standard Fees to Insurance Fees: Especially in Multiple Location Dental Group Practice

Never assume.

You know what it does.


One assumption that’s easy to make is:

Of course my standard fees are higher than the PPO deScale: Compare your fees in mutiple location group dental practicental insurance fees!

This is not necessarily true. If you are in a multi-location dental group practice, you may be surprised to discover that your fees are all over the board. For the same procedure code, you could have a fee in one office that is far lower than the PPO fee, while in another location it could be double that amount. Until you sit down and compare the fees, you just won’t know what’s going on.

This can be a real issue for a group practice when patients travel between offices. Let’s say a new patient comes to a satellite office of a group practice. The dentist determines that wisdom teeth need to be extracted, but there isn’t a panoramic machine in this satellite location, so the dentist refers to the main office. The well-trained assistant in the satellite location is quick to treatment plan the wisdom teeth extractions and before the patient walks out the door, the front desk team member hands the treatment plan to the patient at his request. Now, when the patient is seen in the main office, the pano is taken and another assistant treatment plans the wisdom teeth according to the dentist who will be doing the surgery. If you have different fees in these two offices, you could end up with a frustrated patient!

Dental Staff Training: Use Dentrix to Compare Fees

For Dentrix users, you can print a range of 5 fee schedules on one page which makes it easy to compare the fees you are charging for each procedure. Once you have this report, grab a highlighter and look for the standard fees that are lower than the PPO fees. You may very well be surprised to find that there are some fees that are substantially lower- this is money you are leaving on the table.

This is a relatively simple fee review – but it only works if you have set up the insurance fees separate in your Dentrix software. The benefit to setting up a fee schedule for each PPO plan you join is that when you charge out these procedures, the standard fee is submitted on the claim but the allowed fee is entered into the patient’s ledger. This saves you time from creating a manual adjustment and it also gives you a more realistic picture of production. For help setting up the insurance fee schedules, check out my report: How to Set Up Dental Insurance Plans in Dentrix. If you haven’t entered your fees in Dentrix, then you can use the fee schedule the PPO insurance plan provides to complete your comparison.

To help you make good decisions on your standard fees, you may also want to run these specific codes through the Fair Health Consumer website. Since you will be increasing the fee for some of your procedures, you don’t want to feel that you are unfairly punishing your out of network or no-insurance patients. So, checking to see how your fees compare with your geographic area helps to put your fees into perspective – are they on the low side? Or high? To learn more about the Fair Consumer Health website and how it can be used to evaluate dental fees, please read: How do your fees compare?

One of the great features of the Fair Health Consumer website is the fact that it provides results based on zip code. For multiple location group dental practices, this helps to avoid setting fees higher than the area will bear.

If you are in a multiple location group dental practice, you may be interested in a case study on increasing profits:

Download the Free Case Study

Managing fees is just one way to run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog. One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 17+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.

AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
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