With overhead higher than you’re used to seeing and patient volume squeezed, taking a look at refining office systems to create greater efficiency can be a powerful approach to enhancing your practice and improving productivity.
By reducing accounts receivable, refreshing your recare system, and following a zone schedule, you can do just that!
Scour Your AR
A healthy benchmark for total accounts receivable is equal to three to four weeks of monthly production. An over 90-day AR goal is between 5-10%, excluding comprehensive orthodontic balances. An overdue balance can be a possible deterrent to a patient completing diagnosed care and may result in a patient discontinuing hygiene care. Consumer behavior also indicates the perceived value of your service degrades the longer money is owed. These considerations explain why your collections activity is significant to the overall health of the practice. Financial agreements and your AR system may have taken a hit during the pandemic. In an attempt to “clean up” accounts over 90-days, revisit financial arrangements with each account in this category and follow a structured collections process. Effective financial strategies and improved scripting for your front office team can help tidy up your AR quickly. Proactively review the practice financial policy at a team meeting and ensure each team member is aware of practice expectations. Make it a habit to review patient charts the day ahead to research balances owed and feel confident collecting the outstanding patient balance.
Refresh Your Recare
An effective recare system is critical to the performance of your practice. It impacts the number of hygiene days necessary to accommodate patients, your practice marketing plan, case acceptance, and ultimately, the practice value. Many practices have seen up to a 17% attrition rate through the pandemic. Educate patients in every interaction to create value in their appointment, pre-appointing your valued patients. Manage the overdue recare list, working from current patients backward. Ensure a single individual is on point to lead these efforts — and they have the team’s full support in this critical process, reporting progress and asking for additional help if needed at morning huddles.
Organize the Schedule
We often find schedules can be tidied up and made more efficient. Having scheduling fundamentals in place can have a powerful impact on your practice — patient experience, productivity, and team morale all improve. Zone scheduling is a strategic method to balance patient flow and production to provide consistently paced days. Pre-block your schedule with productive procedures and new patient opportunities to meet your goal. The pandemic caused many practices to step away from this system. Case acceptance for higher yield treatment is critical to recovering from the pandemic’s financial impact; it’s time to return to best practices. Pre-block enough time for your rock procedures, including crowns, veneers, bridgework, implants, ortho starts, sleep apnea treatment, and TMD treatment. You will also need to block time for scaling and root planning and new patient opportunities. This system ensures the schedule will not be overwhelmed with shorter, lower yield treatment, creating a hectic, low-production day. Review past schedules with your team, examine what worked and what scheduling tactics will no longer serve practice productivity and the patient experience. Agree on changes and move ahead!
Burkhart’s Practice Support Team is hereto help. For more information about strategies to reduce AR over 90-days, improve recare systems, or scheduling templates, reach out to PracticeSupportTeam@BurkhartDental.com.
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