Joseph A. Blaes, DDS, Editor
We have another exciting issue for you this month! A solid article by Dr. Bob Hamric suggests selling your practice at the ideal time, instead of waiting until there is nothing to sell. Former Editor Dick Hale offers an interview with Dr. Gordon Christensen. Our "How to Profit From..." series continues with marketing bleaching in your office by none other than Dr. Bill Dorfman. The referral-driven practice is Dr. Michael Schuster`s answer to the forces that are trying to change the way we practice. Expressing their concerns about managed care problems are Carol Tekavec and a newcomer, Dr. Tom Hughes. The mystery patient, Suzanne Boswell, has a wonderful excerpt from her new PennWell book.
Congratulations! You are responding to the changes in Dental Economics. Our mailbag has been full of replies to various articles, telling us what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong. Keep the letters, faxes and e-mails coming. My article on single crowns (February issue) stirred the pot pretty well. My objective was not to sell unneeded dentistry but to encourage you to do complete exams and treatment plans on all your patients. They deserve to know about the best. Let them decide when they know all the facts.
You will notice some more changes this month. I am pleased to introduce a monthly column written by Gary Takacs. The issue of payment policies and accounts receivable control is of paramount importance in today`s dental practice. Gary is a noted authority on payment issues in dentistry and he will be writing a monthly feature titled, "Payment Solutions." In this must-read column, Gary will provide many practical solutions and techniques to improve and enhance payment performance in your office.
In the continuing saga of the "Great Dental Rip-Off" by Reader`s Digest, I have a number of interesting things for you. In the Viewpoint, Dr. Jim Pride does his usual excellent job of responding. Why doesn`t the ADA use him as a spokesperson? Dr. Phil Devore`s response points out some apparent weaknesses in some of our practices. Please read the "Letters to the Editor" section and, in particular, a letter by a young dentist from Houston, Dr. Scott Perkins. Scott has single-handedly investigated Mr. Ecenbarger`s article and has personally spoken to all of the people involved in the article. I do not believe that anyone has more information than he does about how dentistry has been ripped off. He has even taken on the ADA. I applaud him for his tenacity and his love of dentistry.
I was appalled by the response in the "Letter to the Editor" in the February 17 issue of the ADA News. The majority of the letter writers had accepted Mr. Ecenbarger`s "facts" and were ready to tar and feather their colleagues. What ever happened to waiting until you hear both sides? Whatever happened to trust and fair play? I wonder how these same dentists feel now that some of the facts are in. The periodontist who treated Mr. Ecenbarger was told not to discuss his case with anyone. Do you think Mr. Ecenbarger has something to hide?
I have presented several seminars since the Reader`s Digest article appeared. The response of the dental community has been overwhelming. Most dentists are angry, frustrated and saddened by this attack on the dental profession. You will begin to wonder if the Reader`s Digest wrote this article simply to discredit direct reimbursement for the insurance industry. How many of you have written your own personal letter to Reader`s Digest, telling them how you feel?
Now the ADA has an opportunity to step in and do something really meaningful for its members. I have talked with many members who are disappointed with the policies. The ADA is the voice of organized dentistry in this country. Does the organization represent the will of the members? Do you think the ADA has taken the proper stance on this issue?
Keep those cards and letters coming! All of us here at Dental Economics are dedicated to making this magazine your best source of business information for your practice. Please let us know how we are doing.