As a dentist, do you sometimes find yourself with extra time or referring a decent amount of work to specialists such as periodontists or endodontists? While that is great for building professional relationships, that is money you may be able to keep in your own practice if you add a specialty or two to your dental practice plan.
Expanding your range of services is not simple. There are many considerations to evaluate, but it can prove to be a great move for you and your practice if done correctly. General practitioners throughout the country are taking steps to develop their practices.
Providing services such as periodontal surgery, treating sleeping disorders, placing dental implants or offering cosmetic services can be done one of two ways. First, you and/or your staff can get the needed instruction and training needed to perform and sell such services. This can be a timely and expensive endeavor. Or, you could find someone who could perform specialty services in your office for one or two days a week? If you are referring a lot of work, this could work as more and more dentists are willing and wanting to work part-time. If done correctly, this can be a win-win for both of you, but where do you start?
Things to consider when adding services to your practice:
- Ensure your practice can keep a specialist occupied at least one day a week. This person might want a minimum daily fee. You could also tie in a production model in addition to the daily fee.
- Find an attorney with dental practice planning experience who can draw up a contract that states working hours, confidentiality, payment and the like. Don’t go this alone.
- Talk with your malpractice carrier about your plans to discuss the arrangement details. They will provide you with guidance and cautions to follow.
- Talk to your staff about the arrangement and how to work with and support the specialist. Everyone in your office can promote the new specialist and services to both your patients and the public.
While adding special services to your practice can certainly be profitable for you, be prepared that is could hurt some relationships in your local dental community. On the flip side, you may also build some relationships. If you bring in a specialist, it is essential to ensure that person treats your patients the way you treat your patients. Do your due diligence and get to know the person before pulling the trigger. This could take several meetings if it not someone that you are already familiar with.
As with any major decision, it’s important to do your research and discuss with your staff leadership, other dentists and other professionals and advisors. If you’re looking to venture into this new territory, or need assistance with other practice planning issues, we can help you with setting up this type of arrangement.