Unlike medical practices, the dental community has experienced a slower infiltration of managed care plans over the years.
As consumer demand for dental insurance continues to increase, you will most likely find yourself in the position of having to evaluate yet another new managed care contract for your practice.
The premise appears simple at first, as you are offered access to more patients in return for discounted fees. If you are a new dentist or trying to grow your current practice, joining a network seems like a good idea, as your practice will be listed in directories for patients who are in the market for dental services. However, not all plans are created equal and some are more administratively burdensome than others.
Many view the insurance companies as the wolf in sheep’s clothing, but they are not all bad as they can increase the volume of patients in your office. The critical step moving forward is to make sure you carefully evaluate each plan as it is presented and do not take the approach that you must be in network with all payors. In the early days of physician managed care market penetration; there were a large number of practices who signed up with as many plans as possible not fully understanding the future impact it would have on their practices.
Fast forward to today and you will find many dissatisfied physicians who feel as though they have lost control over the way they practice medicine and how they get paid. The key is to be informed and in control of which networks you decide to join now and in the future.
If you are unsure how your payor fee schedules compare to one another or need a strategy for re-negotiating your managed care contracts, now is the time for our Managed Care Reimbursement Analysis. Contact Cheri Brown at 704-216-3161 or via email for more information.
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