Recently, we received a phone call from a dental colleague who had two DSO’s open within a mile of his practice. There was considerable anxiety in his voice as he shared his fears regarding the future of his practice. Like others, he was experiencing a decline in reimbursements due to over participation in insurance programs, and a P&L showing a trend in decline in profitability over the past three years.
Let’s face it, in today’s world choices have become more complicated yet critical in our professional journey. Information overload, technology, complex staffing dilemmas and new players influencing the systems of delivering dental care, require doctors to be informed and seek counsel outside their area of expertise.
"Help! All I want to do is my dentistry! How will I survive, let alone thrive?"
Working with hundreds of practice owners throughout our Commonwealth, we encounter practices that range from a healthy state of growing and thriving, to a steady state of decline. What we’ve noticed most over the years is that there are clear differences that separate the “growing and thriving” practices from the barely “surviving” ones. Below are a few of these differences:
1) THRIVING PRACTICE OWNERS SEEK KNOWLEDGE
Owners of thriving practices tend to realize that what they believed to be true as recently as 5 years ago, no longer applies today. Staying informed and engaged in what’s happening (not only in their individual practices but also within the industry) is clearly evident in this group.
2) LEADERS ARE COMMITTED TO GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Leadership teams of growing practices recognize that the skills they started with (following graduation) must be continually developed to a higher level of competency. Example: One client 4 years out of school has placed over 50 implants. Another is 6 years out and has never removed a tooth or written a prescription. One moves forward with opportunity while the other is paralyzed, plagued by dental school “feardontics”.
3) GROWING PRACTICES PRIORITIZE PATIENT NEEDS
Doctors of thriving practices understand that their purpose is to serve and meet the needs of the patient - NOT the insurance companies. Over the past 30 years, there has been a gradual takeover of insurance companies directing and approving standardized treatment, rather than individual treatment plans created by the doctor who knows best. This is a pathway our medical colleagues traveled many years ago. How did that impact our healthcare system today?
You are in the driver's seat. You have a choice!
From graduation to retirement, we are faced with decisions every day. These decisions often need to be made outside of our dental expertise; decisions that impact our professional journey and those of your entire team. DSO's have raised the bar on business management of our practices, on marketing, and the operational acumen required to effectively deliver our dental services
How will you respond to the wave of choices?
Where do I start?
Do something. If this is a new journey for you, it most likely will require a guide by your side who will help to prevent you from getting lost in the weeds. Set aside time on your calendar to focus on your business then seek out the expertise of individuals you trust who will guide you on what will likely be - an exciting journey that also results in "peace of mind".
Leadership by Design works with and helps dentists at all stages of their career. How can we help you?