In this podcast episode, hosts Shawn Zajas and Dr. Allison House discuss the challenges that dentists are facing due to the economy and inflation. They highlight how the rising costs of goods and services are impacting dental practices, especially in the context of insurance and reimbursement rates.
Shawn Zajas begins by noting that inflation has become a noticeable issue for everyone, including dental practices. Despite increasing prices for their services, many consumer goods, like those found on Amazon, are attempting to keep prices low. This has created a disparity in pricing that is challenging for dental professionals to navigate.
Dr. Allison House adds that the challenge is further compounded by the fact that patients and clients are resistant to price increases, even though the inflation rate is significant. Insurance companies have lowered reimbursement rates, putting dental practices in a tough position financially. She also mentions the increase in costs for running a practice, such as labor and shipping expenses.
The hosts delve into the predicament of dental hygienists and employees, who not only wanted higher wages before inflation but now need even more due to the increased cost of living. They discuss how this is affecting dentists’ ability to maintain quality care while also trying to manage their finances.
The conversation shifts to the ongoing struggle between dental practices and insurance companies. Dr. House shares her experience of dropping Delta Dental from her practice and the subsequent loss of patients, which she later managed to regain after building strong patient relationships. They emphasize the need for dentists to carefully evaluate whether to go fee-for-service or remain within insurance networks.
They also discuss the challenge of balancing quality and quantity of work. While some dental practices are taking on a high volume of patients, there’s a concern about maintaining quality care and patient relationships in such a fast-paced environment.
The episode concludes with the acknowledgment that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to these challenges. Both hosts agree that transitioning away from insurance networks might be a viable option for some dentists. However, they recognize that the decision depends on the specific circumstances of each practice and the local market dynamics.
Overall, the podcast episode sheds light on the complexities dental practices face due to the economy, inflation, and insurance systems. It highlights the need for dentists to find a balance between financial sustainability, quality care, and patient relationships in a constantly evolving landscape.
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Connect with Shawn Zajas
Connect with Dr. Allison House