Some orthodontists are being taught to track (and measure achievement by) the dollars of revenue per patient visit. This line of thinking would have you believe that a $5,380, 12-appointment case ($450 per visit) is more profitable, and therefore more desirable, than a $5,880, 15-appointment case ($400 per visit). The same thinking discourages phased treatment because, although revenue per patient is far greater with phased treatment plans, the revenue per patient visit is less.

We teach our clients to ignore revenue per visit calculations. There is simply no significant increase, in well-managed practices, in practice overhead associated with moderate increases in your treatment time or with phased treatment. Most overhead is fixed! Revenue per patient started (gross production divided by the number of first-time starts) has far more impact on practice profitability.

Paul Zuelke