Management consultants tell us we all have fortunes in our filing cabinets. That is treatment we have diagnosed that patients have yet to schedule. Ask the computer to make a list of all treatment that has been diagnosed but has not been completed, then check the electronic appointment book to make sure the patient hasn’t scheduled an appointment. Now check the patients financial status, do they have unused insurance benefits for the year? Now make a list with the biggest treatment plans listed first with a phone number.
Wow! Now you have a list that can be really useful. The patient will get their needed treatment and the office will increase production. If this process can reactivate just three patients a week and the patient just does a simple procedure averaging $330 that translates to $47,520 extra income per year.
This literally means asking the computer to “Show me the money!” Where does the money come from? What do we do the most of? What creates the most income per hour?
Consider this, the first thing many insurance companies ask a dentist to do when he/she signs a contract is to provide periodic exams for free. Many dentists look at the fee and figure, “It’s only $20 I can afford to give it away.” That’s because they haven’t run the numbers. You can bet the insurance company has run the numbers, which look like this. If the hygienist sees eight patients a day, the doctor charges $20 for the exam and the office works four days a week that equals $32,000 a year in income. If the insurance company can get the dentist to give away $32,000 a year they win you lose. In the information age he who has the data wins.
With this report you can ask the computer: Which insurance company do I do the most business with? Which companies pay the quickest? How much income do I write off to a PPO like Delta? Can I afford to drop or add a PPO?
If you are trying to decrease the influence of insurance on your practice these numbers can help you make good choices. For example, an office producing $500,000 per year. found that 25% of the procedures were covered by Delta, however Delta patients only accounted for 15% or $75,000 of the income. The office was loosing 10% or $50,000 a year to Delta withholds and write offs. In this case the office could drop the Delta contract and if 40% of the Delta patients left the practice they would still break even. ($125,000 x 60% = $75,000).
Insurance tracking will help even if the office is content with insurance. For example you can easily follow up on unpaid claims, you can check to see if services were attached to a claim, if pre-treatment estimates have been sent or check utilization with a dental HMO.