Lately, many of our dentists have been writing in with a multitude of questions concerning practicing dentistry in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and many of the inquiries have concerned the matter of charging a PPE fee. Here’s our take on the matter…
On last week’s webinar, Dr. Steve Rasner told an interesting story which susinctley relates to the issue of dentists’ charging PPE fees in the era of COVID-19 practice reopenings. Steve had just checked out at an uber-expensive luxury hotel, and was at the front desk paying his bill of several thousand dollars. Being on his way to the airport, he asked if he could have a cup of coffee for the ride. “Of course,” they told him while quickly handing him a cup of fresh brew. “That will be twelve dollars.” Was he upset that after spending thousands of dollars they dinged him big time for something that’s no charge at The Hilton Garden Inn? Yes! As a matter of fact, he is still talking about it five years later, and even name-checked the hotel on our webinar! (It’s The Setai in Miami Beach in case you’re curious!) Bottom line: hotel guests and dental patients don’t like to be nickeled-and-dimed.
So even though your infection control costs have gone up and PPE might prove costly for dentists during the COVID crisis, we feel it would be much better to raise your fees a bit to absorb the additional overhead to deal with.
Now look – we know that is easier said than done, and that many insurance plans will laugh at this charge, or at your fee raise for that matter. So if you feel like you absolutely must charge a PPE fee, please keep the presentation simple and don’t make a huge fuss over it. We’ve seen some practices provide these elaborate descriptions of why they are charging a fee that in the end made the office seem desperate and guilt-ridden. (There’s a great example of one of these on our Dental Practice Fixers Facebook page. You gotta see it to believe it!)
In the end, your patients may know that you are incurring an added expense, but they also feel like their safety should be an included service, not one you charge for. And they also feel that their current financial hardship is more severe than that of a “rich dentist.”
So how about you? Are you charging a PPE fee? If so, how much? How have your experiences been so far? Please reply to this email and let us know!
If you missed Dr. Rasner’s fantastic webinar where he gives his “Back To Work” report and some excellent lessons on leadership during the pandemic, you can watch it here..