The end of the year is an opportune time to examine the business side of your dental practice, and evaluating your fees needs to be a priority.
Everywhere we turn, costs are on the rise. The goods and services that allow us to provide dentistry are getting more expensive with each passing year. Lab fees are going up. The cost of equipment and supplies is going up. Rent and utility bills continue to increase.
Employee benefits are getting more and more expensive. You may not be staying up-to-date with your fees, but I can guarantee you the vendors you rely on to help you run your practice are staying up to date with theirs.
Raising fees is a delicate process. There’s always the fear that if you raise your fees, your patients are going to go elsewhere. And it’s a valid fear. It’s a balancing act, and it’s easiest if you stay on top of your fee schedule.
If your fees are far lower than they should be and you raise them dramatically, you can bet that your patients are going to notice and complain. But if you raise your fees slowly over time and in keeping with local trends, it’s unlikely that anyone will even notice and, if they do, they’ll just chalk it up to inflation rather than blaming you for the fee increase.
In order to maintain a healthy business in 2015, it’s imperative that you adjust your fees to compensate for your rising operating costs. We are in this profession to help people and to provide a valuable service to our communities. However, if we don’t take care of the business side of our practices, we won’t be able to provide our services to our patients and communities at the level that they deserve.