Area Economic News Insurance and PPO Participation

Monday, November 15, 2010

This was the second most frequent issue mentioned by respondents. Participation in major PPO’s in our area has remained much the same this past year. About 30% of area practices participate with Delta PPO and 17% Met Life (down slightly from 19% last year). About 30% of practices participate with the Premier Group and 19% with Cigna.
This year, 7% of practices said they dropped a PPO and another 7% said they plan to drop a PPO. 7% had joined a PPO in the last year (which would account for the statistics staying pretty much the same) and only 1% plan to join a PPO.

If you’re participating with Delta PPO or Met Life, there’s a better than even chance that you do not need to suffer the large write offs. Although these plans have their place, many offices continue participation much longer than they benefit by doing so. Often these plans have a 30% or more discount from Dentists’ normal fees meaning those providers are treating every third patient for free. Ouch!
Ironically, some of the practitioners who are in the best position to leave their PPO are the most “addicted” to them. We can help you look at this rationally. There are serious risks and rewards involved.

61% of area dentists now have websites, up from 41% last year. 59% of offices now have digital radiography. 65% have intra-oral cameras (but getting them used regularly can still be a challenge). 45% of offices have laser caries detection (e.g. Diagnodent from KAVO).

Wages and Fees

An unweighted comparison indicated Metro fees were up just 1%. Outstate fees were up 3.1%. Wage increases were low to non-existent.
See the complete surveys and more on our Fee Survey page.

We put wages and benefits in the “Members Only” area, so if you’re a retainer client and don’t know how to find that, just call our office and we’ll give you the secret path.

If you haven’t already been there, our website is chock full of information. We have past bulletins that cover a wide variety of subjects, articles I’ve written, detailed surveys on area economic trends plus a very good survey of Dental Office Overhead by the firm KDV.

When I ask our clients what the major thing they want from us is, the answer is “An informed third-party perspective.” Our goal is to provide just that. We work hard to make sure that our website has relevant information to give you the perspective you want and need.
Posted by Bill Rossi at 1:18 PM