Houston Dentistry Volume 1 Issue 3 The Texas Center for Occlusal Studies - Page 15

of mind of knowing when retirement is possible. Financial planners can run projections in order to formulate a savings plan that will insure a successful retirement. Do not rely solely on the sale of your practice to fund your retirement. Next, evaluate whether or not you are maximizing the financial potential of your practice. Is your practice profitable with effective management systems in place? During the five-year transition plan, learn how to grow your business and be committed to doing what it takes to bring your practice to its full potential. Some key areas to focus on are: 1 Do you have adequate new patient flow? Although the “best” number of new patients varies from practice to practice, and from general to specialty practices, your business will be much more attractive if you show a history of a healthy stream of new patients. You may want to slow down, but don’t let your practice show signs of decline. Keep both production and new patient numbers growing. 2 Do you have a productive hygiene department? Each day of hygiene reflects about 200 patients in your practice. So, five days would indicate an active patient base of about 1,000. To be considered healthy, a practice should have approximately 85% of patients with a hygiene appointment (current or future). Check this by looking at 30 - 40 charts/records and doing the math. As you prepare your practice for future sale, make hygiene scheduling a priority. A full hygiene schedule is a big plus to a buyer. 3 Are you collecting 98% of production? When a practice is appraised, the focus is on income as well as charges. However, when it comes time for a buyer to get a loan to purchase your practice, the lender will only look at actual income or collections. By maintaining a healthy 98% collection percentage of UCR production, your practice will reflect efficiency and hold its value. In addition, during your five-year transition plan keep an eye on what you are adjusting off for reduced fee programs and discounts. Make sure that someone is working consistently everyday on collections. Sending out statements once a month is costly and usually not effective in maintaining a 98% collection rate. so in your office. Even something as simple as replacing lens covers on your lights and/or replacing hoses on your units can make a difference. Just like selling a house, a little paint, cleaning and updating can go a long way. Donate equipment or supplies you no longer need. No matter where you are in your practice life start working on your transition plan now. Having a plan in place doesn’t mean you must slow down or retire, it means you will have the choice to do so when you are ready. With that choice comes peace of mind and security, and the best possible return on your most valuable asset. 4 Is your equipment and facility in excellent condition? I recommend you go through the office together with a trusted equipment dealer and a pad of paper. Make a five-year plan of what equipment needs to be replaced, added or updated. Take advantage of any tax incentives available and you may find that this expense can be greatly offset by the tax savings. Intraoral cameras and digital radiography are all the standard in dental schools and must become Debra Isman is an independent practice development specialist based in Houston. She helps practices build strong teams who share the doctor’s vision, who implement systems to improve efficiency and who increase production and collections while providing an exceptional experience for their patients. She can be reached at (713) 522-6670, debraisman@gmail.com or visit www.idealdentalpractice.com. www.houstondentistrymagazine.com | HOUSTON DENTISTRY 15