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How to Increase Revenue in a Dental Practice

How to Increase Revenue in a Dental Practice

How to Increase Revenue in a Dental Practice

How to Increase Revenue in a Dental Practice

When your team wants a raise, the most obvious answer is “do more to earn more.” However, that isn’t always feasible. If you are at capacity for scheduled production but still need to be more profitable, here are some helpful strategies to increase revenue.

Expand your capacity to do more dentistry

One way to do this is by treating more patients per hour. If there is an extra unused operatory, it can be converted for a dental specialist to treat patients in-house instead of referring them out. Another option is to expand operating hours, either by opening in the evening to accommodate those who work during the day or by adding Saturday hours to the schedule.

Include more high-profit procedures

Consider additional training and learning opportunities to provide broader services in order to treat more patients and keep more dental care in-house. Additionally, consider hiring a specialist to take on more involved procedures, such as orthodontics.

Increase your case acceptance rate

Role-play with the team to record and listen to your case presentations. Many dentists are unaware of how patients perceive them; however, the support staff usually is and can give good suggestions for improvement. Coaching can help fine-tune your interactions with patients.

Have an engaged office staff

Hire people who share your vision and culture. Engaged staff often have a smile on their faces and tend to care about helping the patient first. Patients often react positively to friendly customer service and are more inclined to return if they feel welcomed and appreciated by the staff.

Dental assistants must be licensed to perform some procedures without direct supervision. Have your registered and certified dental assistants attend expanded coursework to streamline treatment flow. Also, a well-trained dental assistant can significantly help in presenting treatment to patients. 

Outsource dental billing

Monitor your total accounts receivables but pay particular attention to the insurance portion. Claims should rarely age beyond 45 days, and most diagnostic and preventive services should pay in a 30-day window. If not, your cash flow is depleted and your unpaid invoices stack up. Consider outsourcing to a professional billing company with the time and expertise to get the claims paid quickly while maximizing reimbursement. At eAssist Dental Solutions, the Success Consultants who use our platform are experts at dental billing and have a documented success rate of collecting those dollars rightfully owed to the dentist.

Maximize service quality

Take every complaint or less-than-stellar online review seriously and check with the team to ensure all systems operate to satisfy even the most particular patients. Address all complaints promptly and with empathy in order to bring them to a positive resolution. Turning a negative situation into a positive one can help increase patient retention.

Correctly code claims   

There are 800 CDT codes and most practices don’t take the necessary time to study all of them. It’s important to notice the addition of new codes, the deletion of some older codes, and the revision of existing codes. The typical practice leaves hundreds of dollars underbilled and under-collected by incorrectly coding treatment. Take advantage of available coding tools, such as Dental Coding with Confidence from Practice Booster, to ensure proper coding and increased cash flow.

Review PPO contracts

Analyze your PPO networks and consider eliminating a few. Compare fees paid, patient reliability, and the clinical and administrative work required with each one. Some plans pay very little and may not be worth contracting with.

Always file your standard or full fee every time on every claim, including PPO claims, as you’ll want to know the plan write-offs in order to understand what it costs to be in network as well as to ensure that any increase in the PPO plan reimbursement is applied. For a secondary payer, the full fee will allow for maximum reimbursement. Most practices need help negotiating a better PPO rate in order to obtain a higher income stream. Consider partnering with Unitas which has the expertise to help resolve this vital issue.

Adjust fee schedules

Raise your standard or regular fee schedule annually. A modest increase is expected as costs of labor and materials rise and a raise of 2-3% is acceptable to most patients. Keep in mind, some fees need a higher increase if special techniques or materials are involved.

Increase insurance collections

Fees matter, but collecting what is rightfully owed from insurance carriers is especially important. Studies show that most dental practices could use help in insurance collections as policy provisions, contract limitations, frequency clauses, and more can create a quagmire for the dental billing team. Relief comes with outsourcing dental billing to a professional company that works as an extension of your team, working behind the scenes to collect every penny owed and giving you peace of mind in the process.

Review each day

Run daily reports to review charges, adjustments, and payments. Review production numbers and what services were provided and by whom. Analyze the schedule to learn what worked and if there were any bottlenecks or production slowdowns.

It takes a village to manage a dental practice. You can get the help you need by utilizing resources that help increase revenue so that you and your staff are happier, more satisfied and have peace of mind.