Or keep them the same.

Or do whatever you want.

We don’t care what you do with your fees and we are not advocating that you lower them. All we are doing is pointing out SIX FACTS:

  1. The biggest problem facing most orthodontic offices is A LACK OF NEW CUSTOMERS.
  2. We only treat 3 or 4 million ortho cases in the US each year and there are 320,000,000 people in this country.
  3. We believe the price of orthodontics will go down over time as it does for almost every other service or product in this country.
  4. The orthodontic insurance market is changing to reduce benefits and require proof of “medical necessity”.
  5. Non-traditional delivery systems are viable and orthodontists should learn from their success and popularity.
  6. The economy is red hot right now and yet orthodontists still complain about a lack of new customers or a lack of “quality new patients”.

The 3000-dollar fee is a theoretical construct designed to:

  1. Help explain where we believe the market is heading.
  2. Demonstrate how orthodontists could be more efficient and effective.
  3. Explain that raising the fee for easy cases and lowering the fee for hard cases to normalize the average case fee (as we have traditionally done) is not a good idea. There are far more easy cases than hard cases in the US population and by artificially raising the fee we charge to treat easy cases, we (and potential consumers) are missing out.
  4. Make a case for increased efficiency NOW instead of waiting for things to get bad then focusing on the bottom line.

The theoretical future price point can be whatever you want or stay exactly the same. It matters not to us. The entire point of this exercise is to elicit thought and even action BEFORE things change rather than being reactionary as we orthodontists have traditionally been. We were in practice when the crash of 2008 ended the flow of new customers and changed the game. I know some of you weren’t out of school before 2008 but many of you were. Have you forgotten what that was like? Do you not realize that things in this country are INCREDIBLY GOOD and we orthodontists are still complaining, as an industry, about a lack of new customers? Do you think the economy will be like this forever? What happens to you, your practice and the orthodontic profession at large the next time there is a significant downturn? It’s worth thinking about and preparing for NOW is all we are saying.

Marc Ackerman

Ben Burris

3 thoughts on “Orthodontists, Raise Your Fees

  1. coming from someone who opened (2) practices FROM SCRATCH in 2008, I can remember all too well. I practice in a High fee area, and provide the service to match the fee…and I’ve been seeing this downward pressure on fee’s for the last 2-yrs. I for one, could use more new patients!

    1. I think we all could! How each orthodontist goes about this is an individual choice based on a unique set of circumstances. And, as you point out, you do quite well in a high service/high fee environment. Good for you! Our hope is that everyone is successful as you though we know we cannot all deliver the way you do with the service/results you do and demand the fees you do. This doesn’t mean we cannot be successful but it does mean we have to have a realistic self assessment of ourselves and the local marketplace. Thanks for sharing Derek. The proof is in the pudding and as long as you’re getting what you want then there is no need to change. If our results don’t match our expectations however it’s a fool’s errand to continue doing what we’ve always done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *