When starting this podcast & blog I wanted to share my experience of becoming a dentist and how I decided to leave public health to pursue fee-for-service practice ownership with my dental house call service, AccommoDental. I hope this will encourage you to start a fee for service house call practice, too! My goal has always been to address access to care, especially for patients who struggle for access. Initially, I associated fee-for-service practices with greed and a lack of access. However, as I gained experience, I realized that the fee-for-service model is the only way to provide my patients access to quality care in their homes.
I started AccommoDental because I wanted to provide dental house calls to people who could not physically get to the dental office. However, the public health facilities where I worked were not in a financial position to be able to compensate me to leave and spend over an hour with just ONE patient in their home. So, I knew that if dental house calls were going to become available in my community, I was going to have to start my own business.
I recommend that when you start your dental house call practice, you start a fee-for-service house call practice and set your own fees. This model allows dentists to be adequately compensated for not only the services they provide at each visit but also for the time outside of every visit that is required to pack equipment, drive to someone’s home, write notes, order meds, make referrals and all of the other behind-the-scenes work that patients don’t witness.
I understand that you might have a hard time following through on my recommendation if you always thought of fee-for-service practices as icky, however, there are things you can do to make your practice accommodating for people who do have insurance. You can offer to submit claims for them and collect full payment but then submit insurance claims as a courtesy to the patient.
Lastly, I also have a heart for people who cannot afford dental care, especially dental house calls. This is why my family and I founded the Home Smile Care Foundation. It’s a nonprofit organization founded to provide financial assistance to those in need of dental home care but cannot afford it.
I hope this episode was helpful and encouraging. If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to reach out at email@example.com.
Visit me at: ResiDENTAL Movement Website
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