The Fee Guide Challenge


What to consider before making a decision?

Dentist are not required to follow the fee guide – so why would they? The fact is that whether or not you decide to follow the fee guide, it’s likely that it will impact your  business at some point in the future. Without doing your due diligence (i.e. market research, internal stress tests) you could set yourself up for a challenging year.

Before making this decision, we highly recommend taking the time to weigh the pros and cons of all your options (follow the fee guide, do not follow the fee guide, or partially follow the fee guide). To help you out, the following pages will highlight some of the points to consider when trying to decide what to do (by no means is this list all inclusive-  it’s meant to act as an additional tool in helping you make a decision).

Points to highlight before looking at your options

  1. The introduction of the fee guide in other provinces has resulted in a downward pressure on fees. This is especially true if patients and insurance providers begin to align their fee expectations to the schedule.
  2. In Alberta, it’s important to note that for years insurance providers have been publishing an annual Alberta fee guide of their own. Many dentists in Alberta have already been aligning their fees to this schedule, and as a result may not need, or want to, make significant ch
  3. anges to their fees.
  4. Consumer behavior for dental services is based on more than just price. Patients consider location, service quality and availability, among other criteria.
  5. Some dentist only follow the fee guide for certain procedures. For those procedures that have higher fees then the guide, they have provided a thorough explanation on their website, and in person, to explain the difference. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
  6. Regardless of the approach taken by dentists, it’s obvious that this is an opportune time to look at your efficiencies. This will help you prepare for any negative pressure on your profits. If your fees are not challenged, well than you’ve just saved yourself some money!

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