The Latest in Area Economic and Technical Trends Exclusively to Clients and Friends of Advanced Practice Management
The Dental Dow:
Our “Dental Dow Jones” showed that practice production was up 4% and collections were up 3% 1-9/2012 compared to 1-9/2011. 71% of the mature practices sampled showed production growth.
New patients were up slightly (3%), downtime decreased by 2-½% in the Doctor’s schedule and 5% in hygiene schedules. Crown and bridge production was up 3.6% and the overall production per exam was up 3.5%.
Highlights From Our 2012 Surveys:
This year, over 380 Dentists responded to our surveys.
Fees: An unweighted sample of Metro Area and Rochester fees show they increased 1.3%. Outstate Area fees were up 1.9%. Metro Area fees are about 15% higher than Outstate fees. A few years ago, they were over 20% higher.
Wages: Looking at wages for experienced staff (8+ years of experience), Metro Area wages were up 2.2%. Outstate Area 2%. Starting wages for a hygienist in the Metro Area actually decreased from about $33.20 to $30.84. However, hygiene wages for 1+ years experience held or slightly increased. 34% of Metro Area practices have or will be giving raises this year. 40% not and 25% to some or not sure. 50% of Outstate Area practices have or will be giving raises this year. 21% not and 29% to some or not sure.
The Economy: In our general survey, 48% of Metro Area practices said they were up this year in production, 32% said they’re down and 18% said they’re even with last year. 59% said collections were up, 28% said they were down and 13% said they were even. 31% of Metro Area practices said their new patients were up this year and 36% said they were down. Outstate: Production: 55% of practices said they were up and 28% said down. Collections: 51% said they were up and 27% said down. New Patients: 33% said up 28% said down.
Technology: Cerec got another bump going from 21% in 2011 to 28% of respondents saying they have it now. Satisfaction rating is the same as last year at 7.4. Mechanized Endo, Isolite (dry field illumination) and Intra-Oral Camera were all up about 3 points to 67%, 25% and 73% respectively. The number of practices saying they have a website went from 70% to 77%. Auto Appointment Confirmation increased lots from 2010 to 2011. It was up slightly this year from 22% to 24%. Surprisingly there was little or no increase in “Digital Radiography” and “Terminals in Treatment Room” at around 70% to 72%. Perio Laser Treatment increased from 15% to 19% and Cone Beam Imaging from 6% to 8%. Diagnodent/Laser Caries Detection decreased from 44% to 39%. Compared to previous survey years, the relative rate of technology increase is slowing except for CAD/CAM.
Insurance/PPO Participation: Participation with Delta Premier (“Regular” Delta) continues to edge upward from 85% to 89%. Participation in Delta PPO is about the same or down slightly (from 30% to 29%). Participation with Health Partners PPO has increased from 37% to 46% of practices reporting as well as the Premier PPO’s from 36% to 40%. Medica and Delta 216 are up as well. MetLife has remained the same at about 21% of area practices. Cigna PPO showed a solid increase from 22% to 34% (they had a novel approach to enrolling dentists with variable percentage discounts). Participation in all other PPO’s increased from 17% to 34%. 7% of respondents dropped a PPO in the last year and another 6% planned to leave one or more in the coming year. 5% have joined and 3% plan to join next year.
Please note that the real value in these surveys is often in responses different from your own! You can find our full surveys online at http://apm.webaloo.com.
New Patients From the Internet:
Your Next Website
By Kelly Larson
Many of our clients are at the point where they are now looking at upgrading to a second or third website.
Things are constantly changing and so are our webmaster picks. It seems like many companies are stars at the moment and then lock in and don’t keep up. Or, they get so busy that they don’t take good care of their clients.
When you are about to upgrade a website, it is important from the very start to get us involved. In this way we will make sure that the new website has all the necessary bells and whistles and we can save you the expense and trouble of retrofixing it. From the very start, we want to make sure that your website works in bringing new patients into the practice.
Here are some of the reasons why it is important to contact us if you are considering changing or upgrading your website:
Effective websites aren’t just online brochures, they are patient magnets: 77% of Dental Practices in our area now have websites but just having a website isn’t enough.
For sure, your website is an important aspect of your practice’s overall marketing campaign. Your website should help convert web shoppers into eager new patients. It’s not just a matter of pretty design.
Gone are the days of fancy flash introductions, music backgrounds and cheesy stock photos. Effective websites today are intentionally designed, both on-page and off-page, to cater to web shoppers searching online for dental care.
Choose the right web partner: Beyond giving you a nice looking design, you want to know that this marketing partner is doing their part behind the scenes and will be available when you need help. Check references and ask about the following:
- What is the arrangement for making updates to content? Do you have to pay to add or change photos or copy?
- Will your metadata (key words, metatags) be optimized for local search?
- What are they doing to keep up with Google’s updates and changes in SEO best practices?
- Is your copy unique to you or duplicate content (cookie cutter which hurts your search-ability).
Time is of the essence. Make each second count: You have just a few seconds to persuade the casual web shopper to stay on your site. The average bounce rate we see for dental websites is between 50-80%. That means over half of the people who visit your site will not go past your home page. The average visitor stays between 1-½ and 2 minutes.
- Do you have personalized photos that show your doctors, your team and the experience of being inside your office?
- Do you have a “Big Benefit” statement?
- Well placed Calls to Action, offers and other enticement to “call now.”
- Is your design personalized with your color scheme and graphic identity? Is it visually appealing?
- Do you provide patient testimonials?
- Do you have brief videos, introducing yourself and perhaps an office tour?
- Do you provide icons to social media listings to keep viewers engaged?
- Are they contacting you to schedule?
Make sure your Website is Mobile-friendly. By that we mean:
- That is loads quickly—no flash
- That it’s readable.—not a lot of fine print.
- It’s designed for a finger screen with easy to press buttons for Call to Action (like Call the Office, E-Mail the Office, About the Doctor, etc.)
- I can show you how to test how your current website looks on a mobile device.
- We hear of mobile websites costing $1,000 and up. Chances are you don’t need to pay that much.
We know that mobile devices are increasingly important. More and more moms have them (61% of United States moms now have Smart Phones). Today, more kids are able to use a Smart Phone than tie their own shoes. By 2013, more people will use mobile to search online than PC’s. Mobile use has grown by 400% since 2010. However, you don’t need a mobile website yesterday.
So, it’s something you want to have on your “To Do” list and when you’re ready to do it, check with us. Every month that goes by we know more and we can pass that knowledge on to you.
We’ll help Set up tracking: We use a couple of different software programs, including Google Analytics so you can see what’s going on with your web presence. If we have not yet installed the tracking code for your site, call and we’ll help you get it done right away. From this information, we can see a number of details that help you and us to understand:
- How many are coming to your site?
- What are they looking for?
- Are they being engaged on your site?
- Based on this data, we can know if your site is being found and how effective it is in converting web shoppers into actual patients.
If you need help to simplify and organize your web campaign, the first step is a phone consultation. Just call or e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I am proud to announce release of my one hour course “Clarifying Clinical Protocols to Experience Practice Growth—The EMO Scale” Please go online and check it out.
Best wishes from your team at Advanced Practice Management.