This dental practice management survey asked dentists how often they raise their fees.
There’s a mixture of good and bad news, depending on local economic health.
Most dentists have raised their fees in the past 2 years.
Close to a third (30%) of the dentists we surveyed said they raise fees every year.
Almost a quarter (24%) answered that they’ve increased fees during the past 2 years, but not in the past year.
At the other extreme, 5% have lowered their fees during the past year. Said a Washington Dentist in this group, “One of our insurance providers froze our fees and lowered our reimbursement by 15%.”
The rest of the responses were split — 14% said they haven’t raised fees in over 2 years; 19% said it’s been more than 3 years, and 8% said it’s been more than 5 years since they’ve had an increase.
Although dental consultants strongly advise yearly increases, many dentists practice in locations where the local economy just won’t support increases due to high unemployment or other regional factors.
“I have a shrinking profit margin. Many of my patients have reduced or no income due to the recession and hurricane Sandy. If I raise my fees I believe fewer patients will accept treatment.” Dentist in the northeast
“I used to raise my fees every 1 to 2 years without fail. But with the economy as it has been the last few years, it has been tough to do.” Illinois Dentist
“With the economy as it is and the number of people out of work, I find it hard to raise my fees. People just cannot afford good dental care. They put off any dental work until an emergency arises.” New York Dentist
“I fell off the wagon during the recession of 07/08, but I’m back on track with yearly adjustments.” South Carolina Dentist