Dentists Complain of Dental Patient Stealing

Post your comments about dental patient stealing to our blog.

Dental Survey Results In our most recent survey, nearly half of our dentist respondents reported that they had had problems with "patient-stealing" by associate dentists or employees who had left their practice.

"A Financial Coordinator worked for 5 weeks with us. Every patient she scheduled never showed," said one dentist. "She was calling my patients from her cell phone and diverting them to her previous employer."


Patient stealing is rampant

  • "Every GP associate I’ve had has attempted to (and probably succeeded at) stealing patients. It’s like inviting someone into your home, then finding your silverware is missing after they leave." (California dentist)

Loyalty and integrity

  • "I had an employee leave our practice due to her husband’s job transfer. She returned to the area a year later. She started working for another dentist in the area who pressured her to contact patients she had come to know while working for us. She refused, and has subsequently left that practice. I applaud her integrity." (North Carolina dentist)
  • "I have had employees and one associate try; the patients usually complain to me personally about the situation. Loyalty is rewarded."
    (Georgia pediatric dentist)

Buy a practice, lose the patient base?

  • "I bought a periodontal practice and kept two previous staff members. After two weeks, the hygienist decided to work for a general practice down the street. When she asked if she could tell her patients where she would be working, I told her that those patients belong to my practice. A month later, her new employer took out a full-page ad in the newspaper announcing she was now working in his office. To make matters worse, the previous doctor sent letters to all the patients and told them where he was now practicing, instead of introducing me to the community like he agreed. The front desk that stayed with me was sending my charts to the previous doctor. It has been five years now, and the practice has finally recovered." (California periodontist)

Financial coordinator re-routes patients to another dentist

  • "After I hired a Financial Coordinator, I soon noticed that any treatment plan for which she did financial arrangement for never showed up for their appointment, even after getting credit approval. I confronted her; she panicked and never came back. She only worked for 5 weeks with us. It was after she left I realized how much damage she did. Every patient she scheduled never showed up. When we called one patient, he said that he had gone to another dental office for treatment. She had been calling my patients from her cell phone and diverting them to her previous employer." (New Jersey dentist)

Case hijacking

  • "I did refer a patient to a periodontist for implant placement expecting to get the patient back for restorative work, only to find that the periodontist also placed the ceramometal restorations – very poorly." (New Jersey dentist)

Additional thoughts

  • "No, and I hope I am not accused of such by others." (Washington endodontist)
  • "Should employees sign a contract that warns them about stealing patients?" (Tennessee dentist)

 

Note: Survey sample included 57 respondents.

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