February 12, 2014
by Kahaliah Richards
Jump off the treadmill and make real progress in your dental practice
Do you ever feel like you’re on a treadmill? You’re running hard but never seem to get anywhere. Running a dental practice can be very stressful but there are steps you can take to alleviate the strain.
When we asked a group of dental office managers at the AADOM Annual Conference about their top stressors, it came down to time and money. No kidding, wouldn’t we all like to have more of both of those?
But we can take steps to use the time that we do have much more effectively so we can make the process of generating revenue and collecting it a little easier.
Time – your most precious resource
Employee salaries make up the greatest percentage of overhead in any dental practice. Are you getting the biggest return on your employees’ time? Are they wasting time doing mundane tasks like calling insurance companies to check patient benefits and stuffing envelopes with patient bills? These are tasks that can be automated, freeing your team up to do more important things like building relationships with patients. Use those valuable hours making continuing care calls or checking up on post-operative patients.
OneMind Health has a number of solutions that can automate common business office chores. With the OM Propel insurance app, you can pull future appointments directly from your practice management system and verify patient benefits automatically.
The information you need will be there when you need it, in an easy to read and understand format.
Cash flow – collect at the time of service
Fees that are not collected when the patient is in front of us can often become difficult to collect. Establishing and communicating a financial policy that sets the expectation of payment at the time of service is the first step. But are you confident in the amount to collect? Verifying benefits and then helping your patient understand their dental coverage will go a long way in building trust and your collections rate.
Additionally, when you know what services are covered and which are not, you can ensure that you set appropriate expectations and prevent claim denials and write-offs.
Case Acceptance – the key to building your practice
First-time case acceptance rates for dental procedures range from 35 to 85 percent. Achieving the high end of the range requires thoughtful, deliberate behavior by every team member of the practice. OneMind Health can support your team by streamlining the process of verifying insurance eligibility and obtaining details about benefits.
Patients are more likely to move forward with a treatment plan when they understand the suggested treatment and its benefits, as well as their personal financial responsibility.
It is also helpful to offer a number of financing options, including breaking up treatment plans into steps to work into the patient’s schedule and budget.
We can’t do away with stress, it’s a given in today’s hectic environment, but there are things you can do things to minimize the frustrations that tie up your time and slow down your cash flow. Try automating some of your most mundane tasks and see if you don’t create a more productive, pleasant practice. It will give you a competitive edge in attracting and retaining the best employees as well as loyal patients.
To learn more about how the OM Propel Insurance App from OneMind Health can streamline practice workflow and help you make real progress, click here.
Laura Edwards has been assisting healthcare clients in the use of technology to improve business operations and cash flow for 15 years. As Marketing Director for OneMind Health, Ms. Edwards is responsible for developing, establishing and maintaining marketing strategies to meet organizational objectives
By Laura Edwards, Director of Marketing