Metro Area: More Metro practices said Production was up this year (56% vs. 40% last year). Collections were up at 53% of the practices (vs. 48%). However, only 28% of practices saw New Patients increase vs. 34% last year. 43% of Metro Area practices have or are planning to give raises to their team this year.
Outstate Practices: 62% of the practices reported that Production was up this year (vs. 46% last year) and 62% had increased Collections (vs. 48% last year). New Patients were up too (48% of the practices saw an increase in New Patients vs. 41% last year). 68% of Outstate practices have or are planning to give raises.
So all in all, the balance of the Dental Economy is on the plus side.
Trends in Technology:
Well, we are the home of Patterson and it shows with 28% of respondents saying they have a Cerec machine (3% E4D).
For the first time this year, we surveyed “Online Bill Payment” – 18% of offices now have it. Patient Registration Online – 27% and Digital Impressions Scanner -11%.
56% of offices now claim to be chartless. 36% offer Invisalign (or like). 11% of reporting practices said they had a Cone Beam Imager.
83% of practices now have Digital Radiography but that still leaves 17% to make the transition. This number had been stuck around 70% for a couple of years so the hold outs are finally upgrading.
Eaglesoft continues to be the dominant player in our area with 32% of the market (vs. 30% last year). Dentrix is still holding its own at 21%. Softdent is holding at 18% with PEB XL Dent closing in at about 17%.
We hear a lot of talk about Open Dental but it is still less than 5% of our regional market according to our survey respondents. Dentrix, Open Dental and EZ Dental (an old system surprisingly) have the highest ratings by their users.
Delta Premier (the “regular” Delta) participation is holding at 86%. Delta PPO has made a slight increase from 30% to 33% of reporting Doctors. Delta 216 has gone from 33% to 40%. (216 fees are better than they need to be). Health Partners is gaining providers from 43% last year to 46% this year. Premier PPOs (a collection of over 25 various dental insurances) has 42% participation of the providers reporting.
11% of Dentists said they dropped a PPO in the past year and 7% are planning to leave one this year. 9% have joined a PPO.
If you are considering joining or leaving a PPO, please get in touch with us. We have helped many Doctors make smart “PPO Plays” which can add $1,000's to the bottom line or save a loss of $1,000's.
There is no blanket statement on this. It really is a matter of each practice’s situation and too complex a subject to go into much detail here. I almost hate to say it but the average Collection percentage in our area now is about 85%. That low a percentage would have been unthinkable 15 years ago. However, if you are collecting less than 80%, chances are you are deeper into PPOs than you need to be. If you haven’t given this a serious look, do!