A common questions we get all the time is “Should I pay my hygienist hourly or on a percentage of collections/production?”
The answer lies in this rule of thumb…overpay good employees to work hard and do a great job. Pay more for fewer great employees and fire underperforming bad apples immediately. Have fewer employees providing better care and help the doctor and the team reach quality clinical care and success in the practice.
In my opinion, the first and most important factor in considering rewarding hygienists for their efforts is do they provide the patient with the care they need as well as educate them about their overall oral health? I think every doctor would agree with this.
To answer this question appropriately takes a full analysis of the practice. What stage is the practice in (startup, growth, mature or exit mode)? There needs to be a full assessment of the practice, practice capacity, demand for patients and demand for hygienists. I see it work both ways, as a percentage of collections (commission based) and hourly, and in many cases bonuses on top of that.
Here are some benchmarks for hygiene wages:
- Their total compensation should not exceed 30% of their net production. This includes x-rays and miscellaneous product sales.
- Their perio percentage should be above 30% (perio to total procedures)
- They need to be pre-diagnosing work for the doctor. This measurement will be discussed in a future blog.
Please feel free to shoot me more specific questions as they relate to your practice at: firstname.lastname@example.org