Dental Practice Purchase Agreement: What to Look For

As the name suggests, a dental practice purchase agreement is the document that actually spells out the terms and conditions of the sale. This should be drafted by an attorney to ensure that all legal concerns are addressed. Still, it is vital for all dental practice buyers and sellers to understand what needs to be in the dental practice purchase agreement. Here are some of the most vital but often overlooked clauses.

  1. Contingencies

Any purchase agreement should have listed contingencies, or specific events that must occur in order for the purchase to move forward. Should any contingencies fail to happen, you can walk away with no liability. Sample contingencies include, but are not limited to:

Approval of the existing records by the buyer’s accountant

Obtaining a loan at the desired terms

Buyer’s assumption of the existing or entry into a new lease at acceptable terms

Buyer obtaining attorney approval of the purchase agreement

  1. Non-Compete Covenant

A non-compete covenant prevents the seller from practicing dentistry within a certain geographic radius from the purchased practice for a period of time. This covenant needs to be detailed, specifying which related activities, such as becoming a shareholder or director of a nearby practice, are allowed or prohibited. Of course, if the seller stays on with the practice for a period of time, the non-compete covenant should not start until the seller’s last day of employment at the practice.

  1. Defective Dentistry

If something small goes wrong with dental work performed prior to the sale, it is reasonable to expect the buyer to fix it. However, if substantial failure occurs, responsibility for fixing it should be allocated between the buyer and seller. A common provision states that the seller can choose to either return to the practice to fix the work or pay the buyer 50 to 75 percent of the buyer’s customary fee to perform the work, and specifies both the time period for which the election is in effect and the method by which the buyer will notify the seller of such issues.

  1. Warranties and Representations

Warranties and representations are the seller’s statements on which the buyer’s purchasing decision is based. All verbal representations should be written into the purchase agreement. Common warranties include broad statements about the worthiness of the practice, such as having no liens or encumbrances on the assets and the seller’s dentistry license never having been revoked.

  1. Accounts Receivable

Most dental practices have numerous accounts receivable, or monies that are owed to the practice. The buyer may choose to purchase all, none, or some of the accounts receivable. This election, along with specifics on how any accounts receivable retained by the seller will be collected, should be written into the purchase agreement.

Other Documents

While the purchase agreement is the key document in a dental sales practice purchase, it is not sufficient on its own. Other important paperwork that should be carefully drafted includes, but is not limited to:

Non-disclosure Agreement

Intent to Buy Letter

Deposit Receipt

Office Lease (if applicable)

Purchasing a dental practice is a fairly straightforward process. However, carefully drafted paperwork, created or approved by an attorney, is vital to ensuring that all relevant issues are addressed up front and in writing.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Estimating the Cost of Buying a Dental Practice

Whether you are fresh out of dental school or have been working as an associate for several years, the time may come when you want to buy your own practice. More and more dentists are choosing not to go this route, opting instead for corporate dentistry, but there is an undeniable appeal to owning your own practice. Yet it can be tough to figure out exactly how much it will cost to buy a practice. Here are some considerations.

Valuation

The valuation is simply how much the dental practice is worth. This is determined by formulas that range from simple to highly complex, and is always an approximation. Still, the valuation is the jumping off point for negotiating a purchase price, so it is important to have a professional appraisal. Common valuation methods include:

Income-Based Valuation

Based on either capitalized earnings or discounted cash flows, income-based valuation works well for dental practices that have a strong history of growth. This type of valuation can be more challenging for newer practices and those that have gone through financial issues.

Market-Based Valuation

Market-based valuation can be a desirable choice for a newer practice without much history, as it is based on the market data of similar practices in the area. However, it is not generally considered as reliable as income-based valuation.

Net Asset Valuation

Net asset valuation attempts to put a dollar figure on not only tangible assets like chairs and real estate, but also such intangibles as the goodwill the practice has developed. It is tricky, since as much as 85 percent of the value may be intangible, but can be the right choice for practices that have had financial problems or have major tangible assets.

Other Considerations

At best, valuation is an educated guess. There is simply no way to take into account all of the factors that are part of buying a dental practice. Here are a few more things to consider:

Unexpected Overhead

Equipment breaks. Staff members must be paid. Operational budgets may not be streamlined. Although a careful look at recent budgets can help you plan, always build in a cushion for unexpected expenses.

Inherited Staff

Until you actually purchase the practice, you have no real way to know how the staff operates day to day. From family troubles to workplace feuds, staff members are human beings with lives that are often messy. Be aware that workplace productivity will never be as high as it seems on paper, and try not to schedule more than 80 percent of any individual’s day. Over time, you may need to weed out bad apples to boost staff morale.

Patient Transitioning

Accepting change is hard for most people, especially when it comes to their healthcare. Some may leave the practice altogether. Prepare your budget for a dip in patient numbers, and make a plan for actively recruiting new patients.

Referrals

If you are a specialist, tapping into an existing referral network is vital. If you don’t have a local network, and one didn’t come with the purchase, you will need to invest some money and time into building those relationships.

It is nearly impossible to predict all of the costs associated with buying a dental practice. However, if you start with a professional valuation and then set aside cash to meet unexpected expenses, you will go a long way toward quickly achieving profitability.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

The right way to handle chronically late dental patients

In addition to my dental consulting business, I’m also a practicing full time dentist. So I deal with the same issues that my consulting clients deal with day in and day out. I can tell you that one of the biggest pet peeves of dentists (and lawyers and anyone else who takes appointments) is the chronically late client.

My expertise is helping dentists implement the proper processes and procedures to help them through all the different phases of their career.

Although I consider myself an expert, I’m also human and I still make mistakes. The trick is to identify the mistakes and take steps to ensure they don’t become career killing habits.

How you treat chronically late patients can have a serious impact on your dental practice. Before I go further, let me explain what I mean about chronically late. This is an individual who is 15 or 20 minutes late, between 50 and 75 percent of the time.
We all have them.

Here’s how we mishandled a recent situation and what it cost us. Firstly, this is an individual who is known (and expected to) be late for most appointments. As usual they began with an apology, followed by an excuse. They knew they were late, but it was traffic.

Our front desk coordinator was in no mood to hear it. She said “you’re almost 20 minutes late and something like this cannot continue to happen.”

With that the individual turned around and walked right out of the office. Less than 45 minutes later, I received an email saying how dissatisfied this patient was with our organization. He went on to say how unhappy he was about the way he was treated and how he had tried his best to be on time for his appointment.

The result of that particular process and procedure around dealing with late patients was that we lost that individual as a patient – who’d been with our practice for over ten years – as well as his wife and their three children.

Office processes and procedures have a dramatic effect on your day-to-day bottom line as well as your reputation and referrability. At this point, I haven’t seen a social media post or Google review from our former patient, but I’m sure it’s coming.

So how could we have handled this situation better? The correct way would be to get the patient seated and comfortable. The next step would be to explain that their appointment was at such and such a time and because they were late, we would do our very best to coordinate and complete their care.

In this particular case, it was a simple hygiene appointment. Most dental practices these days will have dental assistants, dental hygienists, doctors and associates to handle a hygiene appointments, regardless of how late that patient is.

The point I would try to make in this example is that scolding a patient for being late as they walk in the door should never happen. Save the “education” portion of the visit until after the appointment is completed.

If this was handled correctly, I think the average person would accept that because they were late it might take a little extra time to get their procedure under way. The result of not handling it properly was a financial hit to our company and to our reputation. And I’m sure if it’s happening to me, it’s happening to others.

So when, not if, you have to have a conversation with a chronically late patient, wait until after the set procedure and then have your treatment plan coordinator simply say to Mr. or Mrs. Smith, “is there a time that is better for you so that you won’t be late? Is there a way that we can coordinate the appointment so it is easier for you and there’s less stress on you?”

Proper and clear communication is the best way to reinforce expectations and remind patients that arriving on time is their job.

Why Continuing Education is Critical to Your Success in Dentistry

Every state requires dentists to comply with mandatory continuing education requirements. In addition, there are a wide range of optional continuing education courses available to dentists across the nation. If you are a practicing dentist, though, you might wonder why. After all, you are using your clinical skills every day, so you certainly aren’t rusty. Yet even beyond the need to comply with regulations, continuing education is vital for all dentists. Here’s a look at why continuing education is critical to your success in dentistry.

Emergency Care

Maintaining current CPR certification is mandatory in most states. Many also require continuing education credits in topics such as infection control, blood borne pathogens, and HIV/AIDS. Some require dentists to have regular training in ethics, professional responsibility, and recognizing the signs of abuse.

All of these are topics that the average dentist does not frequently confront. You probably have sterilization and infection control procedures in place that work well for your day to day operations. You likely face few situations that require you to perform CPR or make complex ethical decisions. Yet when you suddenly find yourself in an unusual scenario, you need to have sharp, recently practiced skills that you can rely on.

Innovative Technology

Technology continues to develop at lightning speed, and there is no way that the average busy dentist could keep up with all of the new possibilities. Continuing education courses that focus on technology sum up your new options and present them in a way that is fast and easy to digest. You will receive enough information that you can then easily research any new tools that catch your eye.

New Clinical Skills

The field of dentistry is also transforming rapidly, partly due to innovations in technology. Dentists today have more options than ever before for treating different dental diseases. Continuing education courses give you an overview of new techniques and methodologies, some of which could revolutionize the care you are able to provide.

Changing Business Landscape

“Disruption” is the new buzzword in business, as companies attempt to turn old ways of doing business on their ear. As new disruptors enter the marketplace, service providers such as dentists must stay on their toes. Agility, streamlining, and the ability to pivot as needed are key skills that any business owner must learn. Attending continuing education classes focused on the business side of your practice ensures that you stay aware of the changing landscape and are prepared to take on new disruptions as they occur.

Continuing education requirements can feel like just one more thing on your never-ending to do list. Yet these classes are the best insurance your dental practice can have against the ramifications of a rapidly changing field. When looking for continuing education courses, try to select a range of topics that address emergency care, technology, clinical skills, and business knowledge. Your success will be worth the hassle.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

The Importance of Proper Goal Setting in Your Dental Practice

If you run a dental practice, you are probably at least loosely aware of the importance of goal setting. If not, here is some food for thought. A recent 10-year study of Harvard MBAs found only 3% had written goals with a plan of action for achieving them. Another 13% had goals in mind, but never shared them with others or wrote them down. A stunning 84% had no specific goals at all. At the end of the 10 years, the 13% with unwritten goals made twice as much money as those with no goals. And the 3% who had written goals earned 10 times as much as the rest of the group combined!

Yet simply setting goals is not enough. That 3% also had a plan to achieve their goals. To develop and execute a plan of action, though, it is important to set SMART goals. Here’s what that means:

Specific: General goals, like “grow my practice” are a terrific way to start the goal setting process, but are not enough on their own. The goal must be specific in both scope and area. To set specific goals, consider the five Ws—who, what, where, which, and why.

Measurable: A goal must be able to be measured or quantified in some way. Try asking “how” questions—how many, how much, how will I know when I’ve achieved the goal?

Achievable: To be achievable, a goal must be within your control and must be realistic given your available resources. For this step, ask the practical questions—can I afford the cost in both time and money, do I have the necessary manpower, are there alternative ways to reach this goal that I haven’t yet considered?

Relevant: A relevant goal is both personally important to you and in alignment with your other relevant goals. Ask questions such as: does this feel right, is it the appropriate time, will it take too many resources away from other goals, does this flow well with other efforts I am making?

Time-based: Deadlines are essential to keeping you moving forward, but they must be realistic. Each goal needs a final deadline for completion, broken down into smaller components. A popular way to go about this is to work backwards. First, what is my final deadline? Then, to reach that deadline, what needs to be done by six months from now, six weeks from now, one week from now, and today?

Some experts expand SMART goals into SMARTER goals, acknowledging the importance of Evaluation and Review. The key takeaway from that is that you must acknowledge the reality that life gets in the way. If you don’t make your six-week deadline on a particular goal, don’t give up! Evaluate the situation to learn why you didn’t make it and review your timeline to make necessary shifts.

Likewise, a goal that seemed critical six months ago may no longer seem relevant. Evaluate the goal to see if you should table it, and review your overall goals to determine whether it is a necessary component or something you can simply let go.

Your goal list, like your business plan, should be a living document that adapts and evolves as needed. Having a written list of goals with deadlines is vital for success, but at no time should you become a slave to an outdated goal sheet. Take the time to sit down and set SMART goals, and then revisit them at least biannually to ensure that you are making adequate progress and to refresh your list as appropriate.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

How to Choose the Right Dental Practice Management Consultant

A dental practice management consultant can help you vastly improve the day to day operations of your practice. While a dental business coach assists with matters such as your business plan and long-term and short-term goal setting, a dental practice management consultant creates systems and processes to boost efficiency and profitability. Yet not all consultants are right for every practice. Here’s how to choose the one that is right for you.

What Dental Practice Management Consultants Do

Your dental practice management consultant will take a hard look at your daily operations and identify the areas that are not working as well as they should. Perhaps the patient flow from appointment setting through check-in through treatment is bogged down. Maybe your overhead is higher than it needs to be, or your payroll system is inefficient. Your consultant will help you develop new systems that are streamlined and profitable.

In addition, your consultant will help you change the office culture to one of accountability and support. This is best done by involving your entire team in developing and implementing the changes. This promotes buy-in, making every team member feel heard, valued, and responsible for making and maintaining changes. All team members should hold themselves and each other accountable, and foster a culture in which everyone is empowered to support each other.

Questions to Ask

In order to make a successful match, it is important to carefully interview potential practice consultants. Here are some questions to ask:

How will you incorporate our core values, mission, and vision into your recommendations, and how can you help us express them?

How do you see your role?

What is your definition of profitability?

How do you view office culture, and what steps will you take to improve it?

How do you promote buy-in and accountability?

How can you improve our communications, both internally and with our potential and current patients?

How will you evaluate and improve our dental hygiene department?

A dental practice consultant can be enormously valuable in helping you streamline your practice to improve efficiency and profitability. However, not all dental practice consultants are the same. It is vital that you find one who “fits” with your practice, and will work with your entire team to create buy-in and accountability without fundamentally changing your core values, mission, or vision. Although interviewing dental practice consultants can be time consuming, the rewards are well worth the effort.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dental Business Coach

Even Olympic athletes have coaches, so why wouldn’t you want one to help take your dental business to the next level? A dental business coach can help you map out future goals, solidify your branding and marketing, provide a new perspective, challenge you to reach new heights, and hold you accountable for moving forward. Yet not all business coaches are the same. To make the most of your investment, you need a coach who is experienced and reliable, and who truly gets your vision. Here are 3 questions to ask before hiring a dental business coach.

    What Does Business Coaching Mean to Them?

Different business coaches have different philosophies and approaches to the job. A good business coach should focus half on you as the owner: helping you become the best entrepreneur you can be, and half on your business: analyzing its strengths and weaknesses and helping you build a clear action plan for success.

A good business coach should also be able to articulate his or her values and techniques. While it is not reasonable to expect an entire plan to be presented before you sign a contract, you should be able to get a good idea of how the coach will approach the project.

    What Is Their Experience?

Not all business coaches are experienced in dentistry, and not all experienced dentists make good business coaches. You need someone who is equally skilled in three areas: dentistry, entrepreneurship, and coaching. The coach does not necessarily need to be a dentist, but he or she should have a strong background in running or coaching a dental practice. Your coach also needs to be able to show a track record of measurable business growth, as well as the ability to teach.

    Is Hands-on Help Available?

While the goal of business coaching is to teach you what you need to know to grow and build your business, learning is a process. In the meantime, a good dental business coach should be available to review documents, advise you in decision-making, and help you get out of the weeds. If the coach is more of a consultant with a hands-off approach, you might not get the most value from the relationship. Of course, you will need to remain actively involved every step of the way. If you want someone to take over certain duties, you should hire a business manager, not a coach.

A dental business coach can be a valuable asset in developing and growing your practice. However, not all coaches are the same. Take the time to interview a few coaches and choose the one that best fits with your vision.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

5 Reasons to Hire a Dental Business Coach in 2018

As 2017 comes to a close, it is a smart idea to perform a quick annual review both personally and professionally. What goals did you have for the year? Did you meet them? What were your biggest successes and challenges? What one thing did you mean to do this year that you never quite got around to?

It is equally important to look to the future, to set new goals and make new plans for the coming year. When it comes to running your dental business, one of the best ways to do this is to sit down with a business coach. After all, even Olympic athletes have coaches. No matter how successful your dental practice was this year, you can have an even better 2018 if you consult with a business coach. Here are 5 reasons to hire a dental business coach in 2018.

    Business Mapping

You might have a fully detailed business plan, complete with 5-year projections and a collection of short-term, mid-range, and long-term goals. Or you might be running your business on the fly, adapting and changing as you go along. Either way, the new year is a wonderful time to revisit your plans and make sure they are as strong as they can be.

A dental business coach can help you refine everything from your mission and vision statements to your corporate culture and values. Branding, marketing opportunities, and future expansion are just a few of the many topics that your business coach can help you map out.

    Perspective

Balancing chairside time with patients against all of your business duties can become a grind, and it is easy to get lost in the day to day. A dental business coach brings a fresh perspective, and takes a zoomed-out macro look at your practice. This may be just what you need to step outside the daily challenges and remember why you opened your practice in the first place.

    Challenge

It is easy to do what you have always done, and making changes can be intimidating. A good dental business coach will challenge you to set lofty goals, and map a plan to meet them. You can do more than you ever thought possible, but many people need someone to challenge them to be their best.

    Confidence

Your dental business coach believes in you even when your faith in yourself waivers. He or she intimately knows the challenges and opportunities involved in running a dental practice, and can help you learn what to expect if you make certain changes or pursue different goals. This can give you the confidence to face the future and build your practice in a whole new way.

    Accountability

Getting excited about possibilities is easy, but making the long-term commitment to making them a reality is far more difficult. Your dental business coach will hold you accountable, checking in regularly to see how you are progressing. Like a workout buddy, your dental business coach can be the catalyst for keeping your commitments and continuing to build toward your goals.

Ascent Dental Solutions is a full-service agency dedicated to helping dentists build their practices and map out their careers. It is the brainchild of Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who earned his doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as a faculty member there. While Dr. Coughlin continues to practice dentistry as the principal owner of the 14-location Baystate Dental PC, he has a strong passion for helping fellow dentists maximize their success. If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

MSO vs Private Practice: The Pros and Cons

Corporate dentistry is divided into two main organizational structures. A DSO, or dental service organization, is dentist owned, while an MSO, or managed service organization, is an equity-backed corporation. Either way, though, for the dentist considering joining the world of corporate dentistry, both types of organizations look and feel similar. Here are the pros and cons of joining an MSO versus a private practice.

MSO

An MSO carries quite a few benefits for dentists who don’t see themselves as business types. Here are just a few pros:

100% of time spent on dentistry:MSOs handle all of the “business duties” associated with a dental practice. You won’t need to worry about hiring, training, and firing office staff. You won’t have to chase down late payments, make sure the light bill is paid, or order office furniture.

Set schedule:In most cases, dentists working for an MSO can set their hours and compensation. If you like to golf on Friday morning or take Monday afternoon off, other dentists will be covering those hours, so you don’t need to worry that patients will not be cared for.

Freedom:Dentists in private practice work hard to establish and retain patient lists. If they want to go on vacation, they have to make sure their patients are taken care of. If they want to move to a new city, they must find someone to buy the existing practice, and then start over in the new location. Dentists working for a national MSO can simply transfer, while those working for a local MSO can give notice and find a new MSO to join in their new city.

Of course, MSOs do have their drawbacks. Here a few cons:

Corporate profits:MSOs are 100% business oriented. You might be pushed to promote certain products or techniques, and your treatment plans will likely be analyzed, all with the goal of maximizing corporate profits.

Restrictions:If you want to do research or explore cutting-edge dental techniques, you will likely be disappointed. MSOs tend to focus on streamlined, well-proven theories and techniques, and do not give dentists a lot of room to deviate from their standards.

Financial considerations:With the risks of private practice come the rewards. While private practice dentists keep 100% of their profits, MSO dentists have an employment agreement that governs their compensation. If you’re a natural salesperson, you could be leaving money on the table by joining an MSO.

Private Practice

Private practice is the ultimate solution for dentists with an entrepreneurial spirit. Here are a few of the pros:

Control:Everything about your practice is under your control. From the theories and techniques you choose to the lighting design in the office, you need only follow ethics and best practices guidelines, and everything else is up to you. You can hire the staff members who best fit with your style, and train them to your standards.

Flexibility:Running a private dental practice is sometimes an exercise in trial and error. You can run promotions, throw a pizza party, or use other creative solutions to build and maintain your patient list. You can specialize in dental implants or focus solely on older patients. You can even find someone to manage your patients while you spend a month in the Caribbean.

Profit potential:While MSO dentists are limited to their agreed-upon compensation, the sky is the limit for private practice dentists. You might choose to discount your rates to make money on volume, or raise them to maximize per-patient spending. You can negotiate with insurance companies or accept only patients who pay in full. However you choose to do business, you get to keep 100% of your profits.

Private practices do have their downside, though. Here are a few cons:

Location restriction:Building a private practice is a long-term commitment. Should you decide to relocate, you will need to go through the process of selling your practice and transferring your patients, and then start from scratch in your new city. This can be time-consuming and expensive, so it is best to start your practice in a place you’re sure you want to be long-term.

Business requirements:A private dental practice is a small business. You must comply with federal, state, and local ordinances in everything from insurance requirements to zoning laws to building codes. You are responsible for hiring, training, and firing your entire staff. You must deal with late accounts, financing programs, and all of the monthly bills. You might decide to hire a business manager to handle these items day to day, but you are the one with ultimate responsibility for them.

Scheduling considerations:Patients like to visit the dentist when they have free time. Depending on your patient demographics, you might find it necessary to stay open late or provide Saturday hours to keep your patients happy. You might find it difficult to take a vacation, as it could mean shifting patients temporarily to another dentist or risking them deciding to find a new dentist.

Neither an MSO nor a private practice is a perfect solution for dentists. Both have major pros and cons. The best way to decide what to do is spend some time soul-searching to determine which factors are truly the most important to you.

Ascent Dental Solutions today at (800) 983-4126 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.