As a small business owner, you have hundreds of things you need to focus on, which can be overwhelming. Focusing on how well some key systems are functioning in your practice can help you cope AND finish the year strong.
One vital system in your practice is accounts receivable. Sikka reports that average monthly AR has steadily increased since 2011 and was at its highest rate in 2018. We also know once $1 sits in AR for over 90 days, it is worth 28 cents. It is easy to appreciate why monitoring and managing AR is important.
Take Action: The accounts receivable aging report should be processed and reviewed monthly. This maintains monetary flow and keeps patient account ledgers accurate. Process an insurance aging report, outstanding claims report, and un-submitted claims report for the front office staff to identify if an overdue balance is personal, which prompts a need to send a statement, make a phone call, or follow-up on an unpaid insurance claim.
The health of your recare system depends on many things. Reports indicate practices experience an annual average patient attrition rate of 17%. For those patients who consistently keep their appointments, pre-appointing their next hygiene visit is ideal.
Take Action: To keep track of patients and maintain a healthy recare system, it is important to run a report of unscheduled or overdue patients regularly. Consider targeting these patients – specifically communicating with them about using their dental benefits by year-end.
Scheduling is a powerful system with many facets. Every open hour in your practice costs conservatively $334. With practice overhead increasing for many practices, you cannot
afford multiple open hours for the health of your business.
Take Action: Use scheduling templates to strategically balance patient flow and production in both Hygiene and Restorative ops, while also providing reliably paced days. Pre-appoint patients who consistently maintain appointments; add those who habitually reschedule or cancel to a quick-call list and appoint them for same-day procedures. Your front office team should have guidelines for scheduling and appointment confirmation to include patients’ contact preference.
Do you have a system in place for clear, consistent team communication? This is more important than ever during the end of year rush typically associated with patients scheduling treatment to use remaining insurance benefits.
Take Action: Regular morning huddles and monthly team meetings during this busy time of year allow for examination of systems and processes and the opportunity to evaluate and support a positive patient experience.
Actively addressing these crucial areas of your practice will help you finish the year strong. Need help with the hundreds of things you need to focus on as a small business owner? Burkhart’s Practice Support Team can help – at no charge to you as a Burkhart client.
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