KDA Today

KDA Today

For Immediate Release

Date: Oct 21st, 2014
Contact: Dr. John Thompson
Phone: 800-292-1855
Email: info@kyda.org

Who Can I Hire for $100 a Month?

Dental professionals seldom work alone. We are generally part of a team, whether it be as a solo practice, a small group practice, a large multi-office group practice, a public health department or as a dental educator. In one way or another you have likely participated in the hiring of someone who will work for you in some capacity. Hiring should always be a business decision and the bottom line on deciding to hire someone is productivity. Can the person I hire either expand my productivity potential or free me to be more productive in what I do well?


There are certainly a large and growing number of ancillary and auxiliary positions that have been identified in dentistry. Clinically our hygienists, dental assistants, expanded duty dental assistants and laboratory technicians immediately are obvious. Administratively our workforce includes receptionist, hygiene department coordinators, insurance administrators, office managers and this list can be extended by any number of titles based on needs. Dental education brings a highly specialized set of positions that include research assistants and grant writers to name just the tip of the iceberg.


There are quite a few positions in dentistry that we seem to take for granted and I want to list a few for your consideration:


· Who works for you that investigates dental products to be certain they work. Who identifies a bonding agent for composites that allows your work to unceremoniously fail? Do you have someone that looks at all the research on a product or technique and then provides a meta-analysis and makes a recommendation for best practices? You do if you go to EBD.ADA.ORG


· Most dental services are provided by small businesses. Whether you are solo or have two hundred partners, you are a small business to the United States government. Profit margins are being squeezed as never before and we have to work smarter. Do you have someone on staff who can provide information on current dental business trends? This would have to include a current dental fee survey, advice on the purchase of facilities and equipment and the return on investment. Certainly that staff person must be able to do a contract analysis that includes a financial impact associated with a contracted discount for services associated with a dental plan. Hopefully, this staff person could provide you a management education which could include the elements of a prestigious MBA program. You do if you go to the Center for Professional Success at SUCCESS.ADA.ORG


· Part of the squeeze we have been experiencing is taxation. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has provided a number of surprise taxes. A 2.3% Medical and Dental Device Tax was recently implemented. Who from your staff is going to Washington on your behalf to try and remove this new tax burden? There is an ever increasing level of bureaucracy that is convinced that health policy can be devised that will improve the delivery of dental services. They may be brilliant people, but they know nothing about the practice of dentistry. Who from your staff will you send to provide their “dental education”? You have someone if you have presented your opinion to the KDA and the ADA.


· You have always considered the participation in the Kentucky Medicaid program to be a part of your civic duty and what you can give back to society. That participation has become a credentialed nightmare and it now costs more to provide the service than the reimbursement you are provided. You can take your time and go to the regional forums that the Cabinet for Health and Family services provides at locations around the state. These are the best forums available for you to complain. It will cost you $25 to register so you can be heard. You might feel better after venting, but nothing will likely happen. You already have a team of peers who have been working all year on Medicaid issues and recently met with the Cabinet secretary and all senior staff to offer dentistry’s solutions for some of these issues. You have a team at work and they are from the KDA.


· The Kentucky Board of Dentistry has regulations regarding relicensure and registration of both, employees and laboratories. Medicare is not going to honor your prescriptions next year unless you do something. The MCOs and Medicaid have certain credential verification dates that must be met in order to remain in the networks. Who can you hire to go to Kentucky Board of Dentistry meetings, the Medicaid Technical Advisory meeting and monitor changes to codes and regulation that will affect your ability to provide service to your patients? You already have somebody if you go to KYDA.ORG

· You can easily hire someone to look at all the insurance programs necessary to operate a dental practice and provide health benefits and security for your family and your staff. You already have somebody vetting those programs and searching for the best coverage at KDAIS on KYDA.ORG


· Your practice image and ethical perception are always of great concern. There are so many image consultants and public relations firms you can hire. There are writers that can provide personalized practice publications and handouts that are scientifically accurate. You can develop your own seal of approval for dental products your patients should use and one of your staff members can constantly monitor the quality of those products. You already have someone doing this if you go to KYDA.ORG and ADA.ORG


· You may choose to hire a staff person to plan for fellow dentists, meetings that also serve as social gatherings. You may choose a town forum agenda to discuss a particular problem such as an anti-fluoridation petition in your county and you can with difficulty find a team of experts to help you debunk the mad science being presented. The format might include a continuing education program to benefit your dentist friends. You already have someone doing this at your KDA local component, including access to a team of experts that can support you on local referendums on such things as fluoridation.

I cannot even begin to name all of the volunteers and staff people who are at work every day to make good things happen for the way you are able to practice your profession. There is always someone at the table looking out for your interests and they are a part of the American Dental Association, the Kentucky Dental Association and your local Dental Society. If we are not at the table, someone else is there speaking for us and about us. That is a simple fact of political life.


Everyone thinks of membership in organized dentistry as dues. Dues are paid to a club. The tripartite membership is not a club. You should get a payroll invoice each month for the incredible amount of behind the scene work that your “virtual staff member” as an ADA, KDA or Local Component volunteer or employee is doing on your behalf. It is an incredible team member that can do all of this for about $100 a month. There is a payroll tax you need to pay for this employee and it amounts to about 20% of gross wages. That 20% payroll tax should be written to ADAPAC and KDPAC. These are the Political Action Committees that that provide bipartisan funding to support politics that enhance the practice of dentistry.


When you really think about it who can you hire for $100 a month that can even begin to touch what you will get when you hire the associations of organized dentistry? Would you work for this? I had never thought of organized dentistry in this perspective until I did in fact go to work for you in a paid interim position. It is all about customer service!

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