Brag about or build on these 3!
Unlike the clinical team that is guided in large part by a detailed daily schedule of patients, the front office team must work directly with those same patients behind the scenes, keeping the business of dentistry running smoothly! There are established benchmarks for dental hygienists to be evaluated on their success which are generally tied to production numbers, staying on time, and case acceptance. What indicators are available for the front office to brag about? Here are 3 key performance indicators that will allow the front office to evaluate their role and possibly hone in on systems within the practice that can support their personal achievement AND the success of the practice.
Collections 98% of Adjusted Production
For example, if your monthly gross production (the sum of the fees you normally charge patients) is $85,000 and your monthly adjustments (courtesy and insurance writes offs) are $15,000, your total adjusted production is $70,000. Your collection goal would be $68,600. (70,000 x 0.98) Collections are healthy if you’ve hit this mark! If you are collecting less than the goal, look into systems for correction. Emphasize with the team that every patient must check out with a front office team member and not duck out the door…ensure signed treatment plans are in place prior to treatment…remind the team to use the “inform before you perform” rule to prevent treatment from being added on chairside that creates financial surprises for the patient and for you!
AR Over 90 Days 5-10%
The aging AR should be closely monitored and managed. The odds of collecting balances after 90 days become slimmer, with less value on the return after you add in the overhead costs to make calls, send statements, and track down overdue accounts. Recent data shows that $1.00 that sits in AR for 1 year is worth only 28¢. Is your AR over 90 in the healthy 5-10% range? Kudos! If not, check the following: Are the outstanding balances from delayed insurance payments or the patient portion? Are in-office finance options supporting balances in full within 90 days? Do you collect credit card data and authorizations so you can run monthly charges? Are clinical chart notes thorough enough to support narratives for quick insurance reimbursement?
Patient Retention 83%
Statistics show us the average dental practice has an attrition rate of 17%. It should therefore be reasonable to maintain an 83% retention of hygiene patients. The new patient flow needs to make up the difference for those losses and any additional growth the practice is targeting. How do you determine this percentage? You will need to run a recare report to calculate the percentage of patients due vs. scheduled each month. Below 83%? Remind clinicians to schedule chairside if possible. Review, perhaps “revamp” the recare system. Hygienists should be calling overdue periodontal patients as they will be more successful in re-activation. The recare coordinator is responsible for printing the reports and managing the system; the team needs to be involved in making calls and sending reminders.
How did you rate? If you scored within the benchmark on all 3 topics, you deserve to brag a bit! If you identified some challenges within your systems — you still deserve to brag a bit as you can now be the conduit for change! Set aside time to work with your clinical team on enhancing systems around these key indicators of practice health.
If you need to further review your collection challenges and strategize for improvement on these key performance indicators, reach out to your Burkhart Account Manager or the Practice Support Team for guidance and complimentary forms.
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