First and foremost, we hope 2013 has treated your families and practices as scrumptiously well as possible!
It's been an odd year. 2012 was killer busy - election year, patient flow metrics, Tx plan acceptance, blah, blah, blah. 2013 seems to be a photo negative - at least as it relates to the hundreds of practices we talk to annually about transition planning.
What gives - consumer confidence, loss of benefits, political uncertainty, ACA impact? Much to consider and absorb.
The ACA should be expected to have a nominal impact on traditional cash/private insurance/PPO practices - solo, group, or otherwise. The medicaid budget has expanded to fund pediatric dentistry but if the number of par-providers hasn't changed the only thing impacted is patient wait-times..
We should all expect a growing population of cash/uninsured patients and be prepared to anticipate new avenues to attract and retain them. Hygiene recall cycles are sure to expand. Tx plan acceptance will decline. Some patients have simply lost dental benefits as employers send historically employer-sponsored patients to the exchanges. Dental "insurance" has historically been a relatively cheap staple-on benefit for employers. If employers punt healthcare, dental should be expected to follow suit. We're seeing the Deltas increase their focus direct to individual products - expect this to continue at an increasing rate. Call the plans and watch the exchanges, you'll want/need to understand the specifics of the changing times so you can adjust proactively.
This is an open book discussion - nothing is off limits. We'd appreciate any/all feedback and contribution.
Be well and Happy Halloween!