5 Tips to Avoid Practice Underperformance

Practices underperform when their practice management software isn’t configured properly. Is your practice one of them?

People joke that they only know how to use about 50% of the features on their phone, but not getting the most out of your dental software is no joking matter. Properly setting up your dental software will directly impact the kind of information you receive, which impacts your bottom line.

Improper set-up can lead to a case of “garbage in, garbage out.” Instead of truly driving productivity, you could be making decisions about your dental practice management based on reports with inaccurate numbers.

Be sure to check these five areas (and how Dentrix Ascend supports them) to increase your performance:

#1: Accurately report metrics

Understand which adjustments impact production and which affect collection, leading to accurate reporting of net production and net collection metrics. Train your team on when to use each type of adjustment, and review your doctor compensation report to make sure it is also accurate.

(Dentrix Ascend allows you to customize each adjustment, and Power Reporting gives you the flexibility to create reports that reflect your specific needs.)

#2: Monitor your insurance adjustments

Know the difference between your UCR fee and the PPO fee. Your software should show you how much you are losing after joining dental insurance plans. Some offices hide their actual adjustment because seeing a large write-off is upsetting, but it’s better to track your losses to ensure smart decisions around insurance participation.

(The Insurance Utilization Report in Dentrix Ascend’s Insights Dashboard lets you quickly see which carriers are costing you the largest write-offs.)

#3: Understand your AR

Run your accounts receivable (AR) report every month. If the “over 90 days” metric is above 10% and climbing, do some digging to determine the problem. Are you not collecting from insurance, not collecting from patients or not properly writing off bad debt? Once you understand the problem, focus efforts to improve — and continue to track your numbers to monitor your success.

(With the Dentrix Ascend Aged Receivables Report, you can see a summary of how much remains uncollected and for how long.)

#4: Lock your software regularly

At a minimum, lock your dental software at the end of each month. Leaving it open, because your team wants to fix past insurance claim mistakes, risks changing past periods’ reports.

(Dentrix Ascend gives you locking choices. Lock automatically based on the age of the transactions or manually based on a date you specify.)

#5: Track online booking

Like many practices now do, invest in some type of online booking software, but don’t make the “set it and forget it” mistake. Instead, run a report to find out how many patients are scheduling appointments each month. Consumers today prefer to reserve online rather than call your office, and the more your patients schedule online, the more your administrative team is free to provide a great patient experience to those standing right in front of them.

(Want to know your online booking results? The Appointments Booked Online report — included at no charge in Dentrix Ascend — is a great complement to the online booking feature.)

No one cares about your practice more than you do. So if you want to run a more successful dental practice, leverage these five strategies to make better management decisions. The time and money you invest in setting up your dental software to create accurate reports will pay off in better business decisions that could, in turn, increase productivity, efficiency and profitability.

Dentrix Ascend has features and reports that help make it easier than ever to increase your practice productivity and meet your practice goals. Request a demo to learn more.

About the Author:

With 20+ years in dental practice management and an MBA, Jill Nesbitt works with the largest DSOs and groups in the country and is a Dentrix Ascend expert at Henry Schein One. Jill managed a multi-specialty group, worked as an independent dental consultant for multi-location dental groups and worked for a DSO – in fact, she was a customer using Dentrix Ascend before she started working with Henry Schein One.