If you’re reading this, congratulations are probably in order because you are headed towards owning your own practice! About 40% of our business is working with start up practices who are planning ahead to open their new offices and are attempting to analyze which insurance plans to accept. The number one thing to remember is to plan ahead 120 days or more whenever possible in order to allow yourself enough time to make unrushed decisions about participation. Often we get calls from dentists who are opening in a month and want to be in-network with all companies at their opening date. Not only is that not possible, dentists in this position end up either having to wait for a couple of months to get contracted or they sacrifice potentially higher fee schedules in order to get in-network faster. It’s almost always worth waiting an extra month or two to be in-network than agree to a substandard fee schedule just to get in-network quickly. The negotiations process takes 90-120 days with many companies so the farther ahead you plan, the more options you create for yourself. Whether you hire out for insurance credentialing/negotiations or do it yourself, here’s a list of the process we go through which may be helpful for you to consider as you move towards your opening date.
Know that there will be staggered effective dates and some may trail your opening date. That’s ok, you’re off to a great start and the choice to wait for the highest options is always worth a few weeks delay. You will have set your foundation well for the long term!