Variable fee levels

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Dr Mark Hassed

Who says that all clients must pay the same fee schedule?

Certainly not me.

I think that every practice should have within it a number of different fee levels and be able to tailor fees to each individual client.

For example a normal client who turns up on time, is friendly and polite, doesn’t fail appointments, pays promptly and is easy to work on should pay your base fee.

It’s a fee that is good value and reflects the fact that the patient treats you well and is nice to work on.

Then you should have a series of fees say +10%, +20%, +30% and +40% entered in your computer system.

These fees apply to people who are less nice to work on.

Let’s take a worst case scenario.

For example, the patient who often turns up late and sometimes not at all. They are rude to your team, slow to pay, have restricted opening which makes them slow and hard to work on and they have a bad back and so won’t let you lean the chair all the way back.

Feel free to move this patient up the scale. In this case +40% would not be unreasonable at all in my view.

You might be surprised how much better you feel about treating difficult patients if you put them on different fee scales.

You are getting compensated for the difficulties that they pose and that makes all the difference in the world.

2 thoughts on “Variable fee levels

    Jo said:
    December 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Mark, this is an interesting concept, however, do you know what the ADAs views are? What if patients found out they were on different fee schedules and then claimed it was discrimination and pushed it to the ADA board?

      Dr H responded:
      December 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      Excellent question. I don’t claim to speak for the ADA or the Board, so, if you want their opinion you should ask them. My personal understanding of the legal position is that dentists are entitled to charge fees that reflect the difficulty level and time requirements of individual cases. Just as many dentists adjust their fees down if a job is very easy, equally you should be able to adjust them up if the case is especially hard.

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