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Second half of 2008 Practice Survey

Dec. 1, 2008
I am excited to share the second half of the results of our Dental Economics®/Levin Group 2008 Annual Practice Survey, which began in the November issue of DE.

by Joe Blaes

I am excited to share the second half of the results of our Dental Economics®/Levin Group 2008 Annual Practice Survey, which began in the November issue of DE. This is the second year we have partnered with the Levin Group to conduct this survey. Some new questions were added to dig deeper into several areas to provide you with even more information than in previous years. You will find an in–depth analysis of how practices have fared during the past 12 months.

I know you will find it interesting to see how your practice compares to others in similar markets across the country. It is no surprise that some of the data reflects what is happening in our current economy. This is an important benchmark for our industry, and I hope you find the analysis and data valuable and insightful. You can learn how certain areas have changed since last year's survey.

I want to thank Dr. Roger Levin and the entire Levin Group market research team for its expert analysis. This month's survey article focuses on overhead, staff wages, and fringe benefits. Last month, we covered practice production, collections, billing, and doctor satisfaction.

I have used a "Total Pay Statement" with my team for many years. I think it is important for everyone in the practice to understand all the compensation they receive from the practice. Such a statement is pretty self–explanatory, but you could certainly include continuing education, team–building retreats, or uniform allowances in the "other" sections. The form can be downloaded on DE's Web site at:
Click here to enlarge image

In mid–November, my wife, Sue, and I traveled to Branson, Mo., with Dr. Al Ousborne and his wife, Peggy, to enjoy the annual Christmas shows. In three days, we saw six shows, enjoying Andy Williams, Daniel O'Donnell, Mannheim Steamroller, 12 Irish Tenors, Shoji Tabuchi, and Tony Orlando. We had a wonderful time and really got in the mood for Christmas with good friends.

One of my favorite ballads is "The Christmas Song," written in 1944 by vocalist Mel Tormé and Bob Wells. According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to "stay cool by thinking cool," the most–performed Christmas song was born.

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping at your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Santa's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety–two,
Although it's been said many times, many ways,
Merry Christmas to you!"

This is the season to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem. "For unto us a Child is born; come let us adore Him." My wish for you is that you enjoy the traditions of this holy season with your family and friends. May the blessings of this glorious season be yours now and throughout the New Year.

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor — e–mail: [email protected]
Toll–free phone number: (866) 274–4500

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