In many practices, dentists focus on providing great dental services. However, their practice could still be losing money.
This is because a dentist may have great skill when it comes to treating their patients, but lack when it comes to running their business. They may not be aware of the mistakes they're making in the operation of their dental office. There are some common areas a dentist should look at to try and turn things around.
Lost Productivity It's possible for a dentist to provide fewer services per visit, have fewer patients than optimum or minimize the complexity of each visit. A dental office can suffer economically if the patients have too many unnecessary visits. It's also possible an office hasn't upgraded the services it offers. This will force patients to go to other specialists. A review of the latest dental services being provided is always important.
Fee Schedules Too many dental offices improperly and infrequently update their fee schedules. Some dental offices will change their fee schedule on a whim. Some base their fees on Medicare reimbursement rates. Some depend on surveys of what other dentists in the area are charging patients. Should a dental office underprice some of their services, it could cost them thousands of dollars each year. Fee schedules should be determined by looking at the resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS). This assigns a relative value on procedures performed by a dentist and is adjusted to fit the geographic region where a dental practice is located.
Inaccurate Or Inadequate Coding The insurance industry is constantly changing. Should a dental practice fail to be aware of the latest changes in coding, it could result in experiencing a decrease in reimbursements as well as having claims delayed or denied. Many dentists intentionally undercode to avoid any possible accusation of overcoding. Plan reimbursement protocols, as well as rules and codes, change regularly. Many dental offices have saved money by having a regular coding audit done on their practice by an experienced consultant.
Billing A dental office can lose money because of bad billing practices. It's possible for a patient’s file to not be properly updated. This includes any new insurance coverage and more. Sometimes there is no effort to verify the insurance card being presented belongs to the person providing it. Claims have been sent to the wrong company, patients leave without being billed and more. It's important for a dentist to learn what exactly are proper billing practices and make certain they are implemented into their practice.
Budget Unfortunately, many dentists are not aware of their costs of doing business. It is important for a dentist to have a budget for their office and compare it to annual national surveys. This can help identify areas where too much money may be spent and places where things could be eliminated. A dental office could be spending too much money on medical supplies, office supplies and more. Developing a budget and sticking with it can save money by identifying important areas where improvement is necessary.
The operation of a dental office could benefit from it being able to instantly view financial reports and more. Being able to quickly know how a dental office is performing is essential. It would eliminate missed opportunities and improve performance. This technology is available now. It can make any dental office a more efficiently run operation. Practice In Your Pocket (PIYP) software is an available technology that can make this happen.