Endo Mastery

Factors that drive endodontic revenue growth

If you’re trying to stimulate revenue growth in your practice, focusing on the right factors that drive growth is essential. Here are the major drivers that should be the foundation of any growth strategy.

DEBRA MILLER

DIRECTOR OF COACHING

On a per-doctor-per-day basis, revenues in different endodontic practices vary significantly. At the low end, some doctors only generate $2000 to $3000 per day on average. The typical endodontist brings in $3000 to $5000. Meanwhile, highly productive doctors can have average daily revenues of $10,000 or more. 

 

Endodontic practices largely operate on a fixed cost basis with the vast majority of expenses incurred regardless of how busy or productive you are. That means that differences in revenues primarily affect the doctor’s take-home income. A doctor who completes 6 cases per day on average does not have twice the expenses of a doctor who only completes 3 cases per day. In fact, the more productive doctor may have expenses that are at most 10% to 15% higher, but their take-home can be 2 to 3 times as much as the less productive doctor.  

 

Using conservative numbers in a “rule of thumb” for growth, for every $1000 you add to revenues (i.e., approximately one completed case depending on fees in your practice), you will likely add $900+ to your bottom line. Do that for 180 days per year, and your income increases by over $160,000. Add 2 cases a day and it’s $320,000 … enough to double the average endodontist’s income and significantly expand their lifestyle and family choices. 

Cases per day 

Because of endodontics’ fixed-expense model and the fact that most cases fall within a relatively defined fee range, the number of completed cases is the primary driver for practice revenues. This is different than a GP practice, for example, which can have cases that range in value from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. As a result, GP practice growth strategies are usually focused on case values rather than the number of cases.  

 

Growth in the endodontic practice always begins by focusing on increasing the number of cases completed. More than anything else, it drives your financial results (both revenues and take-home) in a nearly linear relationship. So, increasing your cases per day means building a broad-based referral network in your community, making it as easy as possible for GPs to refer to you, and marketing to them consistently so that you’re always their preferred endodontist.

Case types

While case values are relatively uniform in endo, there can be a big difference in how much time it takes for the doctor to treat the patient. Easy cases can require 30 minutes or less of the doctor’s time from bur-to-tooth to final filling. Harder cases can take twice that time or more. So, when you are getting more referrals for easy cases, it is easier to have a more productive day. 

 

What is an easy case? Very often it is an “emergency” case, with the patient referred directly at the first sign of endodontic concern. Think of same-day emergency cases as growth cases that do two things: First, they quickly add revenues to your day. Second, they build your relationship with the referring GP. The GP develops confidence that you will provide quick responsive treatment to their patients, and they realize it is far easier to refer to you than to try to squeeze the patient into their own schedule and do the endo themselves.  

 

Remember that over three-quarters of all endo treatments in the USA are done by GPs. Anything you can do to tip the balance in your favor is going to substantially increase the number of referrals. Since referrers are probably already referring the harder cases that they don’t want to deal with themselves, increasing the number of referrals from a GP will likely result in more easier cases being referred. That’s a recipe for very productive days.  

Fees

When it comes to fees, in terms of absolute value, there can be significant differences between practices. This can be driven by regional factors and, most often, by insurance factors. Most insurance company fee schedules are atrocious and often we are getting the short end of the stick.  

 

Every practice should focus on their office fee schedule first. When you consider that hotels adjust prices seasonally, gas stations adjust prices daily, and airlines adjust prices in real-time, it is more than reasonable that you adjust your fees at least annually. Otherwise, you’re going to fall behind. If you have put off fee increases for over a year (especially during the high inflation period we have been through), you are undervaluing yourself. A delayed 5% fee increase is like you’re giving away a free case every week.  

 

When it comes to insurance fees, the only reason to participate in an insurance plan is that the trade-off for patient flow in exchange for discounted fees is worthwhile. When you think about it, it’s really a marketing choice more than anything. The best antidote for insurance fees is building your referral network and reputation so that you don’t need to participate in every plan under the sun, or at least not in the most discounted plans with the worst insurers.  

Scheduling

Where productivity actually lives and grows is in your practice schedule. A lot of doctors get stuck in a certain way of scheduling that actually discourages growth. Even if growth was possible, an inflexible non-adaptive scheduling approach dampens and suppresses potential improvements. For example, some doctors routinely schedule two-hour windows for every case whether that much time is needed or not. That makes for a 4-case day only and growth can’t happen beyond that level without a better scheduling approach. 

 

In order to grow, you have to create room in your schedule for growth, including cases scheduled in advance as well as same day “growth/emergency” cases. This is a team effort that can involve restructuring your patient appointment flow, enhancing delegation to your dental assistants, and streamlining clinical focus, efficiency and daily flow.  

 

A lot of doctors mistakenly think that increasing productivity is going to result in more stressful days. This is not the case, especially with Endo Mastery’s systems. Elevating practice teamwork for appointments and scheduling actually simplifies the day for the doctor. They are better supported, and their time is utilized more productively and enjoyably as a clinician. We have many clients who tell us how surprised they were that their “post-growth” days with higher productivity are so much easier than their “pre-growth” days at lower productivity. It’s a perfect example of working smarter, not harder.  

Coaching for predictable growth

What we do at Endo Mastery as coaches for endodontists is streamline and accelerate the growth process while optimizing every connected element in the practice, including the team. It’s very collaborative and Endo Mastery coaches take the guesswork out of growth. You’re not going to waste time and energy on strategies that will not work or will not be effective in your practice.  

 

Our team focuses you on a tested, proven and systematic approach to rise to a level of success that has eluded you so far. If you’re interested in learning more about the growth potential in your practice and how coaching can support your vision, set up a complimentary practice analysis and discovery conversation. Summer is a great time to put together your plan so you can get down to business in September.

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