Could annual check-ups boost revenue?
Move to annual check-up 'could boost revenue by £200k'
A busy practice could increase its annual revenue by £200,000 under the new Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR), according to one specialist accountancy firm.
Dental Accountants Scotland said that in addition to the six per cent increase in fees, the “big winners” to emerge from the new SDR are “in the areas of extraction, perio, endo and dentures which have been problematic for many practices due to the extremely thin, or non-existent, margins under the previous payment levels”.
But it said that the most fundamental change to a practice – other than increased revenue and margins – is the new approach for examinations.
There is a clear opportunity available
“The long established historic six-monthly recall approach will no longer be the norm and as such the revenue created from two exams per annum will drop as a result.
“Potentially, on first read, that might be seen as a negative, however you would be overlooking the opportunity that may be created for the practice of freeing up significant chair time to use for more value-added commercial activities, such as restorative dentistry.
“You also would have the scope to acquire additional patients – (NHS or private) and manage with a reduced headcount during these difficult recruitment periods. There have also been some initial discussions about whether a practice may wish to offer a private examination/hygiene visit for any patient who would desire a more extensive/frequent input than annually.”
The firm said it could take a year to achieve a transition, but that if a practice was to use this newly created chair time wisely and efficiently “revenue could increase significantly through a different use of the time”.
It modelled a three-surgery practice with 5,000 registered active patients to create a scenario whereby an additional 1,610 hours’ chair time were created that could be used for restorative dentistry at a rate of £180 per hour, creating a net increase in annual revenue of £226,000.
“Clearly there are a number of sweeping assumptions used in the example,” it noted, “and it will be unlikely that every chair hour could be used to this good advantage. However, it demonstrates that there
is a clear opportunity available.”