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Why would a dental practice want to join a dental insurance network? Dana Moss, founder of PPO Dental Consulting, LLC, tells us there are three main reasons why owners and managers of dental practices and dental service organizations (DSOs) consider going in-network with dental plans. But there is a fourth reason.


Reasons Dental Practices Go In-Network

Open chair time drives dental practice owners and managers to seriously consider adding one or more dental plans, and here is why.

  1. A dental student graduates with a doctoral degree, opens his own practice or becomes associated with a new DSO location, and needs to fill dental chairs.
  2. A stagnant practice that is not growing and is having a hard time keeping its doors open, needs to revive the practice with many new patients. Both the Hygiene and Restorative parts of the business need customers now.
  3. A dentist, who is about to retire, wants to increase the value of his or her practice by demonstrating the schedule is full. Similarly, a DSO preparing for an equity event wants to demonstrate the stability of full schedules in all its locations.
  4. But let’s not forget the almighty power of reimbursement of services. There is income to be had in many communities with the addition of specific plans.


Which Plans to Consider

Have your receptionist monitor the insurance inquiries you receive. Do a lot of callers ask about a specific plan? 

You will want to consider area employers. Go to the employers in your local area, call their human resource departments, and find out which dental plans they take. You can market to that employer and go to that insurance company and get a contract. 


Negotiate Fee Schedule

Seeking a contract does not necessarily mean that you are going to participate with a plan. You want to understand their allowables and negotiate the allowables before accepting the plan. 

My #1 tip is don’t accept the first fee schedule they send you. You can negotiate until they will not go higher.

Although participation in a local employer’s dental benefits plan is a great way to get your name out there, you may already have a lot of competition in your area on the plan. In this case, you’ll need to let the employer’s HR head know you are in-network and competitive in your fee structure.

Dana Moss’s video series on Patient Prism provides many more tips so you can make smart business decisions. The series is free for Patient Prism customers. For more information on how to negotiate a PPO Fee Schedule, click here.


More Patient Prism Resources

Throughout our Patient Prism blog and in Patient Prism Academy, you can find additional information and tips related to dental insurance credentialing and fee negotiation in videos featuring some of the dental industry’s top insurance experts who advise individual dental practices and DSOs.

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