January 3, 2014 — Since I began my first dental client consultancy for a corporate dental practice in Arizona (about two years before the publication of my article, “The emergence of the dental practice management company,” in the September 2009 edition of Dental Economics [Vol. 99:9]), I have listened to numerous dentists instruct me that they wanted nothing to do with a practice having a large Medicaid patient roll.
Thomas Climo, PhD, is a dental practice management consultant and a past professor of economics in England.
The rationale was that as patients under Medicaid received treatments for “free,” and as a “no-show” fee is not permitted under Medicaid, the absentee base of scheduled appointments soars above 50%, which requires heavy overbooking on a daily basis.
The fact that Medicaid invoices are paid on an erratic schedule, unlike patients with insurance coverage, also was cited by practitioners as a detriment to owning a Medicaid practice. I will never forget a dentist client of mine in New Hampshire, as we were walking into his bank to request an increase in a line of credit, pointing to a business sign and building across the street housing a Medicaid practice, making a nasty face, and saying, “I never want to have a practice like that.”
Don’t be so quick to dismiss Medicaid business.