Myths of Temporary Providers in the Dental Practice

It is 2023 and practice expenses are at an all-time high including but not limited to supplies, professional fees, rent/occupancy, team wages and ESPECIALLY DENTAL HYGIENE TEMPING FEES. 

There are 2 types of practices:

  1. Practices who see the long-term investment of utilizing a temporary employee when it comes to the hourly investment in exchange for production. They try and fill their schedules vs. shutting them down.
  2. Practices who focus only on the apples-to-apples comparison of hourly temporary fees and what insurance reimburses.

Let’s visit the “Top 5 Myths” practices believe when there is a team member’s absence and enhance the communication and experience with temporary providers in your practice. 

    1.) The rates are too high, insurance does not even reimburse that much.

    The big picture will show that keeping patients scheduled with a temporary provider will bring in more production opportunities. Therefore, increasing production and profitability in the long term. Getting stuck in the apples-to-apples comparison of I am paying x for a temp and getting reimbursed x for a D1110 (adult prophy) will cause you to shut down schedules, and ultimately have your patients go elsewhere.

    2.) I am not achieving profitability with my temporary provider with adequate production. 

    Make sure your temporary provider is set up for success! Review each patient’s chart ahead of time. Which patients need an FMX or a fluoride treatment? Is there a periodontal conversion conversation that needs to be had? Should they be following up on unscheduled treatment? Prepping the appointments exactly as you feel is appropriate will ensure that production opportunities will not be missed. 

    3.) It is awkward for my patient to have a temporary provider.

    It is only awkward if you make it awkward. Welcome any provider, temporary or not, as a team member. Even if they are part of the team for only a day. Try a phrase like, “We are fortunate to have someone as qualified as Debbie helping us out today.”

    4.) Temporary team members are not qualified and provide subpar dental care.

    A reliable staffing agency will properly vet any temporary provider before allowing them to practice in your office. A complete vetting process should include active license verification, criminal background checks, previous employment research and a formal interview. 

    5.) Temporary providers are not dependable.

    A reliable staffing agency will value the providers they work with. Temporary providers will not be employees of a respected agency if they prove to be unreliable to work with. 

    Reach out to us today to schedule a complimentary consultation on how to ensure your next temporary employee is set up for success!