#AskT-Bone – Ep17 – Transitioning to Payment Plans and Determining Your Fee for Implants

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Welcome to another edition of Ask T-Bone!

 

Today we’re going to answer two questions on this particular episode, as some of the answers are going to be a little bit shorter this time.

 

We received a question:

 

I just listened to the podcast about Insurance Independence, loved it -thank you very much- I have always loved your credit card payment plan idea but haven’t been able to put it together. have you ever thought of putting together a bullet point web page of PowerPoint on it? Make it idiot and resistant front desk proof, maybe you’ve covered it in your podcast. I haven’t listened yet, sorry. Anyway I have one specific question from the podcast, when you have patients who will finance the whole amount, $800 in this case, I guarantee you that my patients that have done work before, will balk at setting up an arrangement for the whole amount. They will ask why can’t we just do half now, or even finance the half now.

 

So I think specifically in this particular question, the questioner is talking about a crown, using $800 as the fee, and saying that, what it sounds like what they’re doing is doing a half at prep half at seat 400 and 400 and now he’s worried,4 that his patients will now want to finance just the $400 and then finance the $400 again later, or they’ll balk at using the financing plan. So, this is a very good question and I would say, to me this would be even more of a reason to put together a payment plan in your practice. In other words, no longer allow your patients to do half at prep half a seat. Instead, make your patients go into a payment plan. And that payment plan can be spread out over 3 months. So, in essence this is even better for your patients. Now instead of having to pay half now and half 3 weeks from now, you can spread it out over 3 months. Now, to me the benefit, many many of you may say why what I want to do something and get in 3 weeks when I and spread it out over 3 months, and I would say number one: Because often times those patients aren’t going to have their payments, or they going to forget, or something’s going to call on the way. And to me, the other thing that, to me I look at is now our visits can be no asking for payment at the end of the visit. In other words, it’s just, we have already set up, everything is good to go, go from there. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to do 3 months to 6 months. You could even set up an automatic payment plan, that does half and half in one month. Half at scheduling the appointment and half at one month mark. And then I will schedule the delivery at the one month mark. So, again why I would want to do that is, again making it automated, making it easier and what we want to do it slowly transition your practice away from some of the bad habits and get us into better habits that will allow our patients to choose more Dentistry that they need, by giving them the option to make payments over a period of time. So, and then to answer the question about not letting your patients wanting to finance the half up front, then just simply is not an option. In other words to me this the benefit for the financial menu. Financial menu gives exactly what choices options are available to the patient versus letting the patient choose. When we don’t have a financial menu, then our patients are free to choose, make up what they want or you leave it to the wheel of a team member to figure out whatever resource they want to use, or whatever way they want to set up the payment plan. So, to me when you have a financial menu, you have specific procedures and processes in place, and you have specific ways of doing things. Now of course in the beginning old habits die hard but I can promise you that you will not look back in this.

 

So question number two:

Hi! I’ve been enjoying your blog and podcast. Great source of education entertainment for me. I recently started placing implants and I’m contemplating how to set up a simple fee structure for patient. Currently the way I capitalize the fee is all the disposal cost, implant guide, abutment crown, X 7. So, if the disposal cost is $500 the fee would be $3,500 the reason multiply by 7 is my overhead is roughly 70%. The averages fee by GP in my area is about 3500 to $4,000. I would like to offer the fair fees for my patients, at the same time I need to make some profits as well. I appreciate if you can give me a thoughts about this. Thank you.

 

So, this is a great example of probably, honestly overthinking this, and also listening or allowing the business processes of other people to determine how you make your fees. Now I would say that to me the easiest and most logical way to determine and implant fee for single unit implant, is the cost of a 3-unit bridge. So if in you practice a 3 unit bridge is $1,000 which I hope it’s not, then an implant should be $1,000 and in that situation, honestly, probably you shouldn’t be doing implants. But if a 3 unit bridge is $3,000, then that’s a fair fee for an implant. Now, the key is you have got to find a way to make Implant dentistry as profitable for you within that fee structure. So what I would say is based on your fee, if your target fee is $3,500, then it totally makes sense because you have a guide cost, I don’t know exactly what your guide system you’re using, but if you use a CEREC guide, your guide cost is roughly $60. Your inplant fee, you can use a mid tier implant so those can cost you $150 to $200 each. You can use a full name brand implants which will cost $300 to $400 each, and then depending if your CAD CAM office, your tier basis is $70 and then you iMax is going to be $70 as well. So really it depends, so for example in my office, I know my cost of materials to plan place and restore an implant is just at $600. So that’s, I don’t base my fee based on the cost of the materials, but instead the cost of a 3-unit bridge. And also, your fees also to a certain degree should be based on your business model, which is your profitability, but also we do have to keep in mind into what is your Market Bears. So if in your area, the fee is $3500 to $4,000, you need to be plus or minus 10% of that free range in my opinion, unless you’re doing something spectacular or something totally different from the those are in around you.

 

So, thank you guys again and thank you for listening to our episode. If you have any additional questions please feel free to submit those questions to us at www.tbonespeaks.com. And again your assistance and helping to share this information through your social sources, through your email, through friends and through leaving as iTunes reviews will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much!

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