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5 Seconds of Fear or a Lifetime of Regret

Have you ever done something you regret? Or maybe you didn’t take action on something you should have and regret passing up the opportunity. “I should have…” are some of the hardest words to swallow in the English language. Would you love to wake up one morning, go to work, and walk into a 100% fee for service practice?

You might think you can’t possibly survive without PPOs. You might be paralyzed by the fear that grips you every time you think you should drop them. How many patients might you lose? Will your schedule be empty? Will it have a permanent negative effect on how you practice?  Is it worth the frustration anyway? Today I ask you, would you rather have a few seconds of fear or a lifetime of regret?

Fear is Temporary, Regret is Permanent!

A few weeks ago while watching YouTube with my 11 and 8 year old sons, they begged me to come over and take a peek at the “Dude Perfect” video they were watching. You may have heard of these 5 YouTube kings (they have built an online empire to 56.5 million subscribers). Their channel recently released a video where their travels take them to South Africa for a “bucket list” excursion. They strapped a team member into an extreme bungee jump and even had to help coax him over the edge of the bridge.  When his successful jump came to an end he said: “It’s 5 seconds of fear or a lifetime of regret!”  Had he NOT jumped that day, he would have regretted it.

His words struck me and I instantly thought of so many scenarios this statement applies to. Today, I am linking it to the current PPO situation in a private dental practice. Have you considered dropping plans but fear holds you back? I would imagine dropping PPOs and bungee jumping off an enormous bridge would elicit similar feelings of anxiety!

A bucket list item for your dental practice could very well be becoming a fee for service office.  We love talking about BHAGs or “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” as mentioned in the Harvard Business Review: “Building Your Company’s Vision” by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras. Larger than your 1, 3, and even 5 year goals, moving to a complete fee-for-service practice is a BHAG, but you will never achieve this by only dreaming about it.

Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast

As coaches, our clients often ask “which insurance plans should we participate in and which should we not?” We might then ask the following; “Why do you ‘NEED’ to participate in any of them?”  If you are involved in different plans, how do you negotiate your fee schedules to make them better work for you? And if you do want out, how do you positively make that change to get out of current contracts. Dropping PPOs can get tricky and complicated!

Start with information.  Kirk always says “data removes all emotion.”  Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • How many plans do you currently, actively participate with?
  • Which ones have the lowest reimbursement fee schedule?
  • How many of your active patients are on each plan?
  • Do we have everything we need to succeed in this transition?

Information will shed light on the possibilities and timelines necessary to accomplish your goal of leaving insurance PPO contracts behind.  After gathering the above information, you’ll want to watch this  FREE WEBINAR  with Kirk and Dave Monahan, the CEO of Kleer. If you find that you are ready but feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone.  Many have taken the steps to become more self-dependent and they all say they have no regrets!.

As humans, we struggle with change. I love this quote by Robin Sharma: “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” It’s extremely difficult to get started down the path of change, especially when it’s significant.

Each “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” must start somewhere small. Use this downloadable resource: tips for talking dental insurance benefits to begin introducing different verbiage to your patients now. Don’t let regret plague you long term in order to avoid 5 seconds of fear!

“The magic of a true fee for service practice is one thing, PEOPLE COME TO YOU BECAUSE OF YOU” -Kirk Behrendt

About the Author: Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental. She is also a dental hygienist, motivational speaker, and writer. With over twenty years of serving in different roles in dentistry, she combines her experience to provide our community with best practices for a better life.


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