According to statistics, many dental offices are underperforming, which means that many dental practices are missing thousands of dollars in income each year. However, there are several things that practices can do to begin increasing practice profits. Here’s a closer look at some helpful tips that can help your dental practice improve profits, ensuring that your practice isn’t underperforming.
Come Up with a Fee Schedule
One helpful tip is to come up with a fee schedule for your practice. A good fee schedule needs to includes your practices usual fees, as well as the usual coverage by insurance for procedures offered in the office. When you set up a fee schedule and provide these prices, you help patients quickly and easily estimate what they’ll need to pay, ensuring that patients have accurate expectations regarding the amount of the bill that the insurance will pay.
A good fee schedule not only helps you offer more accurate insurance and treatment estimates for patients, it also helps you have a better idea of your practice’s daily production. It helps front office employees collect fees that are closer to the exact amount daily as well.
When possible, have patients grouped together by employer. This makes it easy to update insurance information as a group if employer insurance information changes, which can save hours of time for your office staff. It also makes it easy to create fee updates, applying them to an entire group instead of having to update the fees to each patient record individually.
Evaluate Your Fees Regularly
Creating a fee schedule for your practice isn’t enough. You also need to evaluate your fees regularly. Every six months, make sure you assess the current fee schedule to see if the fees you charge are on par with other dental practices. Regularly examining practice fees will help you to make better, more effective practice decisions.
It’s also essential to ensure that you keep your fee schedule revised whenever insurance companies update coverage tables. This ensures that you get the correct reimbursements from insurance companies. Adjusting your fees twice a year also makes it possible to raise your fees gradually. Even though you may not want to adjust fees, doing so can help you to compensate for increases in practice operating costs, such as equipment costs, office supplies, and lab fees.
Set Up Financial Arrangements with Patients
If you want to increase the profit of your dental practice, it’s also essential to set up financial arrangements with patients. In fact, this should be done before patients leave the office. Make sure that patients have a written, signed financial arrangement before they leave the office. This can help you ensure that patients take care of their financial obligations with your practice, reducing the chance that you’ll spend more time trying to collect any money that they owe your practice.
Send Statements Strategically
Learning to send out statements strategically can help you to improve your practice’s accounts receivable success, boosting your practice’s profit. Start by sending patients three different statements, sending them two weeks apart. The first statement should be sent on day one. Send the second notice on the 15th day. The last notice should be sent out on the 30th day. If you haven’t received the payment after 45 days, then it’s time to provide a courtesy collection call to patients. In the event that your call isn’t returned, answered, or payment is not made, then you need to submit the account to a collections agency.
With this six-week strategy, you offer patients plenty of time to pay the money they owe the office. Not only is this a courtesy that many patients will appreciate, but it will also help your practice increase its chance of being paid.