Exactly like it sounds, in a blended practice there is a mix of both patients from insurance plans and fee-for-service.
Insurance plan patients benefit as they typically get a greater level of service/care that fee-for-service patients are used to, however their costs are reduced due to the insurance plan. Its not uncommon for blended practices to shift more one way or the other over time.
What to expect when buying a blended practice
Typically these are the most common practices in the dentistry industry, and thus the most commonly bought and sold.
Most importantly as a new owner, your team knows how the office has been running, knows the patients, and your job is to learn from them and rely on them. Find out how the practice created its success and duplicate it before you modify any systems or processes. This will keep them engaged and remove their fears of the unknown upon you taking over the practice.
The office tends to be more of a fee-for-service practice than a purely insurance-based office regarding patient care. Typically the office has one set of processes to deliver its services and sticks to it, whether the office is receiving a full fee or just a fraction of it.
The office must ensure profit margins are carefully blended considering both the pay-for-service patients as well as the insurance plans accepted. When a practice owners digs deeper and takes the time to separate the fee-for-service numbers from the insurance plan numbers, it can be quite an eye opening experience. This is often when some insurance plans may get eliminated, or when some practices can start to migrate towards being fee-for-service only practices.