Making Procurement Strategic for Dentists and Doctors

Whether we are visiting a dentist for a routine cleaning or have something more serious to address with an orthodontist or periodontist, we are placing our faith in that medical practitioner that they are skilled in their specialty. In this regard, maybe before our visit, we looked up what school they went to or we looked to make sure they were board certified in a specific specialty. But I am sure the last thing we think about is whether they passed accounting or business administration in college. Right?

With approximately 230,000 physician practices and 171,000 dental practices in the United States today, consider what it takes for these professionals to open or run a private practice. Consider the financial decisions that need to be made on the equipment and services that are needed to run the day-to-day operations and the time it takes to manage them.

For most private practices, the bulk of recurring expenses include employee wages, supplies, property leases, lab fees, and insurance. Moreover, running a doctor or dental practice is vastly different now than it was 20 years ago; the business has changed and is more complicated. The increased cost of healthcare and regulations like HIPAA has forced medical practitioners to rethink their approach to practicing medicine.

Based on these changes in the medical profession, today many practitioners choose to work with an affiliated hospital to offset the time and skills needed to manage these increased financial and regulatory requirements. However, many still prefer to maintain their private practice if they can remain profitable. For those that pursue a private practice mindset, getting a joint degree with an MD/MBA or DDS/MBA has been a growing option that helps marketability of the practice and helps expand career options in areas like medical business or healthcare policy.

Still, others take a different approach by choosing to outsource the routine non-clinical tasks of their practice. In this regard, consider the business opportunity where medical professionals can look to leverage outside experts. Using the outsourced model, private practices today leverage shared services that utilize the third-party expertise and support of non-clinical administrative services. And by outsourcing areas like procurement, private medical practices are augmenting the “business of medicine” and take advantage of things like negotiated pricing and the adoption procurement best practices.

In fact, based on the procurement and wider business needs of dentists across the country, Heartland Dental, based in Effingham, IL, does just that. As an organization, Heartland Dental provides the support team of nearly 500 individuals for all non-clinical elements such as procurement, but also includes marketing, payroll, and human resources. In fact, today the organization enables 1,500 supported dentists in more than 950 supported dental offices in 37 states to help their clients become more strategic in their private practices.

To learn more about how procurement has become strategic for dental and medical practitioners, join us for a webinar with Heartland Dental, Creating a ‘Single Source of Truth’ for Your Enterprise Spend. During this webinar, we will engage in a discussion with Heartland Dental’s Director of Procurement, Anneliese Werner, on how outsourcing procurement has helped transform hundreds of dental practices across the country.

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