Did you hear? According to ADA News and the ADA Health Policy Institute, “Dental spending again increased in 2015, an indication that the dental economy is rebounding from a flat trend that began in the Great Recession.” The brief cited expenditures up over $3.3 billion from 2014 and $4.2 billion from 2013. The author, Dr. Marko Vujicic, suggested that while much of it could be attributed to increased Medicaid use due to expansion of care under the Affordable Care Act, out-of-pocket payments were stable and the industry experienced at least a slight increase in private insurance expenditures.
So what does this mean now, early in 2017? While it’s likely that 2016 may show year-over-year stability, or possibly a slight dip, the election year is over so it would be reasonable to expect that the conservative spending behavior that comes with the uncertainty of an election year will cease. Further, GDP has been growing since 2013 (with one quarter exception – early 2014), the federal unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2008, and the Federal Reserve just raised its core rate target for the first time in a year and only the second time since 2008. These and other metrics are pointing to a strengthened, if not strong, economy and optimism coming into the new year.
As such, we strongly suggest you capitalize on the good news and optimism. Look at 2017 as an opportunity to continue to strengthen and grow your practice. We offer some guidance in this newsletter but continuously advocate that you monitor your staffing so that you’re hiring, employing, and training for support and success. Examine your procedure mix and practice goals to ensure you’re maximizing your clinical potential and review your current system while still embracing new systems to ensure operational and business efficiency.
By taking deep, honest and clear views of every piece of your practice (and doing so every year), you will not only be setting yourself up for long term transitions success, whether it be a sale, associate to partner, or multi-location strategy, but will be making the strides necessary to ensure your personal take home/net income is as strong as it can be. This funds the obvious, like retirement, as well as your everyday lifestyle needs.
Proactivity is invaluable. Make 2017 a year where you take advantage of the good news and push your practice to the next level. Need help in doing so? Contact your local Henry Schein PPT team member and we’ll be happy to help!