Goodwill in Dental Practice Value
As many of you know, in the purchase of dental practices, typically the biggest contributor in determining the purchase price is “Goodwill”. However, are you aware of the aspects that make up Goodwill? Of course, it includes the patients and the reputation of both the business and the selling dentist. But it’s also based on patient retention, which is the practice’s hygiene program or recall.
Savvy buyers and practice owners understand that the repeat or retained patients are critical to the ongoing success of the practice. It is also important to lenders that are working with buyers. If the selling dentist has a bulk of patients coming in for large cases and the collections are high, that is commendable; however, a new buyer will be concerned that the patients have completed all treatment leaving them nothing to do and eliminates the chance for the buyer to meet and retain the patients.
All dentists focus on getting enough new patients, as they should, but what happened to all the new patients that were treated over the years? As a buyer, recall is consistently an area of opportunity. Even if the practice’s recall isn’t where it has the potential to be, consider what can be done. Take a look at this example:
Let’s say that the practice averaged 15 new patients per month for 10 years and these patients were seen on an average of twice per year in hygiene or recall, you would need approximately 514 days of hygiene if an average of 7 patients per hygienist per day were seen. Some practices may see more patients in hygiene, but some may be scaling and root planing appointments after which these perio patients may be coming every 3 to 4 months. Dentists may work around 180 to 195 days per year so they would need approximately 2.75 hygienists. That means if the practice retains at least 85% of those patients, it will need more and more hygiene days each year. Is this happening in the practice that you are considering buying?
I have analyzed hundreds of practices and found that the average potential for increased collections from goodwill or patient retention is $30,000 to $150,000, depending on the size of the practice. I know it’s usually a high priority in any practice but needs a little tweaking that can bring big increases. And this doesn’t include potential increased collections from diagnosed treatment from all those periodic exams!
Savvy buyers need to know that every practice has areas of opportunity and here is one for you to capture.