Many scenarios exist under the merger umbrella when joining dental practices. Most notably, are you merging with a practice so that you and the existing dentist partner together? Or are you merging with an established practice where the selling dentist is leaving? Either way, to ensure a successful dental practice merger, careful due diligence is imperative. Here are some considerations to take into account.
Consider the pros
When combining two dental practices, it’s expected that you’ll expand your patient base and reduce your competition, all while increasing your production numbers and growing your bottom line.
Accept the challenges
With two personalities to consider, it’s only natural that disagreements and disputes can occur. If not resolved correctly, it can create a contentious environment that will ultimately affect the arrangement. If dentists don’t agree on deadlocks, it is advised to seek legal counsel to create a way to resolve disputes.
It’s important that all aspects of the new identity, including new logos and possible name change, be considered upfront. What’s more, assess whether or not a larger location will be needed to accommodate the merger. From there, decide if all current staff positions will be retained (including spouses) or if there are duplicate positions.
Do both practices currently accept insurance and the same plans? If not, decide what you are going to keep and what you are going to stop taking. Keep in mind that patients may switch providers should you stop accepting their insurance. Are your fees similar? Patients don’t want to feel as though they are now being overcharged after the merger and may ultimately leave the practice.
Share revenue and expenses
How will assets be divided? Will expenses be shared based on productivity or ownership? Will revenue be shared based on productivity, ownership, or a combo of both? All these questions and more should be answered prior to engaging in a merger.