If you don’t have competent, knowledgeable front-office administrators who are equipped with the right tools, your financial success may ever be around that proverbial “next corner.”
Fortunately, proven companies like DentiMax provide updated software with the tools your front desk needs to collect your money.
To make sure your practice’s financials are where they need to be, resident dental expert Dr. Kent Stapley recommends the following three software tools:
- Accurate Financial Reporting
- Easy-to-Understand Ledger Screen
- Simple Scheduling
1. Financial Reporting
I have seen practices focus totally on increasing daily production totals while completely ignoring collections. Not collecting on your production is akin to spinning your wheels in sand--you’ll work really hard but not go very far. Make sure your software offers accurate financial reports so that your front desk can more easily collect from your patients and their insurance companies. I have a colleague who had been collecting less than 70 percent of what he was actually producing. He hired a new front desk employee who used his practice’s insurance aging reports to aggressively go after the outstanding insurance payments. Additionally, she started sending monthly statements to the patients, and ended up sending a few patients to collections. What was the end result? For the next three months, my associate collected 15 percent more than what he produced! This equated to a total net increase of $60,000 that went to his bottom line. My friend was fortunate; his software had accurate aging reports that his “high-powered” office manager was able to use to collect his money. Make sure your staff is equipped with good aging and financial reports and that they review them frequently.
2. Ledger Screen
Has a patient ever asked you for an exact breakdown on his or her family’s balance and, when you went to the ledger screen looking for answers, you became confused yourself? How can you expect your patient to pay when you can’t even tell what is owed? To be fair, a large family with a multi-year history will tax any software’s ledger system. Fortunately, there are software systems, like DentiMax and Eaglesoft, which now offer line-item accounting. This simplifies the ledger screen, displaying the dollars collected next to their corresponding procedures, letting you know which procedures were paid in full, which were partially paid, and which were not paid at all. Now you and your staff can provide quick, accurate answers to your patients’ financial questions. Your software’s appointment book affects just about everything in your practice.
3. Scheduling A practice’s financial success all starts with the schedule.
From your overall office workflow to your financials, your software’s appointment book affects just about everything in your practice. No one likes it when a high production day is followed by a day that is exclusively booked with low production procedures. Your appointment book should let you designate blocks of time for things such as high production procedures, new patient appointments and other items. This will not only help your staff create appointments in a more organized and controlled way, but will help smooth out your revenue. Keeping your high financial peeks from being followed by low valleys is a key ingredient to keeping you on track to achieving your goals.