There are value-added procedures that you have in your practice. I’ll give you an example. We have a particular fee for scaling and root planing. If it’s one quadrant or we only need one hour plus a one hour re-evaluation, that’s one fee, and if we need five hours which includes a one hour re-evaluation, that’s another fee. We base it on the amount of time our hygienist has to spend with the patient. But then about 13-14 years ago we ordered the Perioscope and that changed fees considerably. With the Perioscope I didn’t have to do nearly as much periodontal surgery because my hygienist, Rebecca, was able to take care of the periodontitis by getting the root surfaces clean. The areas healed. Pockets were gone. It was amazing.
Well, should we be charging the same thing for Perioscopy as we do for scaling and root planing? The answer is definitely no. Perioscopy is a “value added procedure.” You have spent the money, the time, and the training to buy and utilize a piece of equipment that greatly enhances the patient’s experience. That is a value added procedure and frankly periodontal therapy is a lot less expensive if the entire treatment is done by a hygienist.
Now I know for those of you who are relying on other ways of controlling periodontal disease, this may not apply to you, but you probably have value added procedures your hygienist is doing already. We decided at that particular point that we would add 30% to the hygienist’s fee for Perioscopy, and it worked out very well. We have really had no problems with it as long as we can educate the difference between perioscopy and the ordinary scaling and root planing that might be done by somebody else.
I did a simple video using my webcam that many of you have seen that showed the patients the difference. It’s amazing what a video will do. Somehow, it’s more credible than a live presentation.
So think about value added procedures. The patient is getting a lot more out of the service if it truly adds value, and is willing to spend more to get it. What do you have in your practice that can create additional value for the patient?
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