News Flash: The current dental insurance system is broken

News Flash: The current dental insurance system is broken

‘Make dentistry great again’. This has been a rallying cry for a lot of dentists over the past few years. Most of you would agree with me on the need to make dentistry great again, but how did dentistry lose its allure, and how can we rectify this situation?

Would you agree with me if I say insurance and PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans are one reason for this decline in dentistry? Dentistry is changing rapidly with lower profitability, causing many issues in this sector, so much so that many dentists are saying that private practice doesn’t have a future in dentistry.

If we can reduce (not lose) our dependency on insurance, maybe we can regain our profitability and greatness again, but how do we do this?

There are several ways in which dentists can practice their profession, and owning your practice is the best way. And if you are doing the right thing, there has been no better time than the present to own your practice.

Components of the insurance system

There are four constituencies within the current insurance system:

  1. Insurance company
  2. Dental practice
  3. Patient who receives dental care
  4. Employer/company that buys insurance policy

Out of these four, only the insurance company wins. The dentist receives dramatically reduced fees; the patient loses due to the limitations and hidden elements within the plan; and the employer loses as they have to pay 50 – 60 percent increased premiums for the coverage. Dental insurance was started in the 1960s by dentists for dentists, and at first it benefited everyone, but things have changed now due to greed, and only the insurer benefits.

Many patients visit their dentist and say they would go ahead with certain treatments only if their insurance pays for them. This is not the way to go about it if you are concerned about your oral health.

Personal experience

In my practice, Life Smiles Dental Care, I found that we were paying the insurance company 38 cents for every dollar we earned. Our practice had 34 PPO plans when I acquired it as a partnership. We gradually managed to reduce this dependency and increase profitability. We now do less work for more income. Cutting down on PPO plans would enable dentists to break out of the ‘hamster in a wheel’ situation and give the best care to their patients while enjoying themselves. Their health and quality of life would also improve.

Want to reduce your insurance dependency and do your bit toward making dentistry great again? Click on and join the Reducing Insurance Dependence Academy to successfully create a less insurance-dependent practice!