Transitioning to a new dental practice can be a minefield for both the practice owner and medical staff. Although everyone involved will likely want the process to happen as quickly as possible, several steps are integral to making it all happen. Plus, you want to avoid as many headaches as you possibly can.
Every dental practice is different and transitions often follow varying paths according to the situation and personnel involved. Strategic Practice Solutions LLC can be a valued partner as you transition to a new dental practice. Our experts offer the following tips to help your dental practice transition go as smoothly as possible.
Start with Where You Are Right Now
All transitions begin somewhere, and it may seem obvious to begin where you are now. But far too many dental practices facing transition jump into the process without fully evaluating the current situation and what needs to happen in the transition. Your unique situation will in large part dictate how long and what must happen to facilitate a smooth transition.
For example, if you intend sell a fully updated dental practice in a highly profitable location with no debt service or other financial restrictions, your transition could need little and go fast. Anything less (large debt service, bad location, confusion about documentation, outdated equipment) can take considerably longer and much more effort.
Ask yourself some preliminary questions from your perspective:
- What is the practice’s overall financial status? Organization? Debt status?
- Does the potential buyer have financing in hand?
- Are there medical practitioner contracts in place and ready for hiring?
- Is there a smooth process for onboarding new team members?
- Is all the practice documentation up-to-date and compliant? When was the last review?
- How do you plan to locate team members that align with the practice’s goals?
These and other basic questions can help you determine the true state of things in your dental practice and how ready you are to make a new transition. They will also give an indicator of how long the process could take so you can set realistic expectations.
Identify Your Practice Goals
Identifying goals is a process of understanding what you want to get out of your dental practice – and what you wish to avoid. When the owner knows what they want, it is much easier to locate team members who share that vision and desire. As a practice owner, what are the non-negotiables? What about second-choices? Where can you afford to give and take?
- Prime location
- Modern facilities
- State-of-the-art equipment
- Experienced physicians/practitioners
- No debt
- High profitability
- Skilled and experienced support team
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? What if you cannot find all that? Where can you afford to be open and flexible? Don’t be too fast to rule out a potential practice because of certain aspects. It is wise to take each factor individually and evaluate them as how they contribute to the whole. Some team members may have skills you had not considered, or a location can offer opportunities that many have overlooked.
Organize Your Finances
Few will go through a dental practice transition without needing the appropriate financing. Lining that up early is a key to making or breaking the entire transition. The process of financing involves researching the best terms, learning about the process, and collecting everything the lender will need to influence a favorable offer and approval.
Buyers and sellers will need to have the proper paperwork in order for the transition. Your trusted accountant and financial advisor, as well as any dental practice transition advisors, can be invaluable here with collecting and sorting the paperwork necessary to foment a smooth transition and close the deal. This can include tax returns, bank statements, practice records and more.
Build Your Dental Practice Team
Your dental practice team includes everyone involved in making the transition and running the practice, including an attorney or legal team, financial advisors or accountants, practice advisors, and even local representatives from state or local societies who can help you get settled.
Many of these transition team members can help you build your actual dental office team of professionals. They can make recommendations or point you to valuable local resources for finding and attracting skilled and experienced practitioners and office staff.
You will also want people on your team who are well-versed in the regulatory and compliance aspect of dental care and dental practices. This includes those on the state level as well as those charged with compliance issues on the federal level. Those who are skilled with insurance companies and billing practices are also a must.
Before you enter into the actual hiring process, you should construct job descriptions and a set of expectations for each. Candidates will want to know what hours they are expected to work, how their work time and time off is to be scheduled, the process for handling patients, insurance and benefit information, and practice expectations.
You must also consider how each team member will fit into the practice hierarchy and family. Who is in charge? Who handles personnel problems? Client problems? Vendor problems? Compliance problems? Patient scheduling? Treatment determinations and scheduling?
Every employee will be involved in several processes that combine to keep the work, patients, income, and relationships flowing smoothly.
Transitioning to a new dental practice can be challenging. Strategic Practice Solutions LLC can make the process smoother by providing assessments, training, staffing assistance, and more. Contact us when facing a new dental practice transition. We can help smooth out the bumps and make things much easier.