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Meet Darin: Getting Started Coach

Posted September 22, 2016 by Jennifer G

Tell me about XLDent’s Getting Started Program.

The Getting Started Program was designed for dentists who are opening a new dental practice. We provide them with guidance and coaching throughout their first year in business. The purpose is to help them build a successful practice. This is completed through our five phase program…Plan, Build, Implement, Review, Grow.

As the coach, how do you get involved?

I get involved pretty early on, usually before the practice opens its doors. One of the most important building blocks to practice success is establishing effective electronic dental records. For this reason, the Getting Started Program begins with basic database and systems planning. I learn about the business owner’s goals and provide a roadmap for achieving them.

Throughout the program, we work together to review topics like marketing, scaling for practice growth and business systems. I educate practice owners on some common Key Performance Indicators and how to generate these statistics in XLDent.

Coaching meetings are conducted remotely, using phone and web conferencing tools. This makes it really convenient for the doctor – especially in the beginning when the practice is not open yet.

What are some of the KPI’s that you recommend reviewing?

We review new patient reports at each meeting to see the pace at which the practice is growing and make sure that we’re on track to meet practice goals.

Referral source analysis helps to identify the most effective marketing campaigns and helps the business owner understand their return on investment. This includes analyzing cost per patient acquisition and production values from each referral source.

It’s also important to measure patient retention and address recare scheduling workflows early on.

How does this program help dentists grow their practice?

Business owners look forward to each coaching meeting as an opportunity to analyze KPIs and plan for the future. While so many business owners fly by the seat of their pants throughout their first year, the dentists I work with appreciate taking time to focus on business strategies and look at the big picture.

What is your favorite part about being a coach?

Building relationships with new business owners is awesome. When they understand how committed I am to their business and that I’m going to be here when they need help, it’s very rewarding.

What has the response been from dentists going through the Getting Started Program?

It’s been really positive! The tools we’re providing new business owners aren’t just making the first year go smoothly, it’s helping dentists set the stage for years to come. Even after completing the Getting Started Program, I’ve received calls from dentists who want to share their experiences and successes.

darin-pic


As a Certified Implementation Specialist at XLDent, Darin works with new and established dental practices all over the United States. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his wife and four kids, especially getting outside and doing art projects with them. In the rest of his spare time he enjoys watching and playing sports.

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How to Setup In-Office Membership Plans

Posted September 20, 2016 by Danielle H

membership-planAccess to dental insurance is likely a determining factor for a patient to visit the dentist, especially when it comes to preventive care. One way practices are attracting the uninsured is by offering in-office membership or discount plans. If you’re considering doing so, read on to see how they work and how you can effectively manage them in XLDent.

Example

Enrollment in the membership plan gives you a 20% discount off of your annual continuing care visits.  Here is what is included:

2 routine dental cleanings
2 exams, including oral cancer screenings
1 set bitewing radiographs (if recommended)

In addition, you will receive a 15% savings on all dental services.
Services that are not utilized within the 12 month period are forfeited.

Let’s assume your office fee for the continuing care visits are as follows:

Periodic Oral Evaluation $70 x2 = $140 annually
Prophylaxis $105 x2 = $210 annually
4 Bitewings $80 x1 = $80 annually

Total Annual Production Value: $430
Cost of the Membership Plan: $344
Annual Membership Discount: $86

Here’s how we recommend tracking this information in XLDent:

Step 1: Create payment, credit, and debit codes. For Example:

P10 Payment Cash – Membership Plan
P11 Payment Check – Membership Plan
P12 Payment Credit Card – Membership Plan
CR10 Membership Plan Discount
DB10 Membership Plan Debit

Step 2: At the time of enrollment, apply a payment code in the amount of the membership fee and a credit code in the amount of the annual membership discount. For most patients, this will result in a credit on the patient’s account.

Step 3: Create an Alert for patients that participate in the membership plan. Add the alert to Patient, Scheduler, Post Transactions and Treatment Plan areas. Sample: “Membership Plan Expires 7/11/17”classification

Step 4: Create a Classification for Membership Plan participants and apply it to each participating patient. This is optional, but will allow for additional auditing of membership programs.

Patients will carry a credit balance on their account until the production from their second continuing care visit is applied. Generally, this happens 6-8 months after enrollment. XLDent recommends that your office establishes the following procedures to audit Membership Plans:

  • Review Credit Balances (Monthly). Run the Accounts Receivable Report, select Credits Only (use the Print To Screen option). Use the blue hyperlink to view each account on the list. If you have a Patient Alert established, verify the Membership Plan expiration date. When the expiration date is in the future, simply close the Patient Record and move on to the next. If you determine that a Membership Plan has expired, remove the Classification and Alerts. Check to verify that there is not a remaining credit balance on the account. If there is a credit balance, resulting from unused services, apply a debit code in the amount of the credit balance.
  • Review the Classification Report (Semi-Annual). Review the Classification Listing (found under Listings – Patients By Classification) to verify that the patients listed have active membership plans. Patients who have used their membership benefits will no longer have a credit balance (and will not appear in your credit balance report).
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Know Your Numbers: Get Back On Track When A/R Balance Doesn’t Measure Up

Posted August 30, 2016 by Dawn

When it comes to Accounts Receivable tracking there are few key metrics that you need to know.

  • A/R over 90 days should be 10% or less of total A/R
  • Total A/R should be equal to 4 weeks of production

Let’s say a practice is producing $90,000 per month. Total A/R should not exceed $90,000 while the A/R over 90 days should be less than $9,000. If your practice has fallen outside of these guidelines, it’s time to take action. Read on to identify areas for improvement and establish a plan for the future.

 Blog Healthy AR 8-30-16 XLDENT

 

How to Get Back on Track

Review Insurance Claim Submission and Processing

Are your insurance claims being sent every day? Are claims being rejected for lack of information or attachments? How frequently is your practice following up on claims sent? How many days does it take to receive payment on claims?

XLDent recommends sending electronic claims with attachments every day. Send attachments before they are requested by the insurance company when possible. Follow up on claims sent every week. A week after a claim has been sent, view your claim status information to confirm that the insurance company has received your claim electronically. The amount of time it takes for an insurance company to process a claim may vary from one to another, but you should expect one to be consistent. Ask the insurance company if there’s anything you can do to get paid sooner. Consider utilizing Electronic EOBs and Electronic Funds Transfer to speed up the process.

Examine Patient Billing Procedures

Does your practice collect the patient portion at the time of service? Are you offering in-house financing? How frequently are patients’ being billed?

If you’re not already using your dental software’s benefit estimator to collect the patient portion at the time of service, get started immediately. This can be one of the easiest ways to avoid large unpaid patient balances and a growing A/R. At a minimum, require a down payment for larger procedures. When offering in-house financing, get to know your software’s contracts feature to see if that can help you manage A/R balances. Patient statements should be generated often; either immediately after the insurance payment is received or on a weekly basis. Your ‘Remit by Date’ should be about 7-15 days after the statements are sent. Giving your patients the ability to pay online will also have an impact on your collection cycle.

How to Motivate Team Members

If your A/R is out of control, remember that it didn’t happen overnight. There may be many things your Office Manager or Insurance Coordinator could be doing differently, but it’s up to you, the Business Owner, to provide the leadership and direction.

Have patience. Share your goals with your team and give them the opportunity to help establish a game plan. Creating Action Steps together will show your team that you value their ideas and believe in their ability to help solve the problem.

Start slow. Don’t aim to make many changes at once. Create a timeline for implementing change and celebrate each milestone. Thank your team often. Be sure to show appreciation and create incentives for meeting practice goals.

Make yourself available to communicate with patients. If you were not previously collecting payment at the time of service, some patients may not like the change. Consider sending a letter or email to patients before the change happens. If patients are complaining to your front office team about the change, be available to back your team up. Don’t make exceptions on the spot, it will minimize the value of your front office team in the patient’s mind.

We hope these ideas will help you make positive moves in your practice. At XLDent, we value the workflow and process as much as the results. Want to see how XLDent Dental Software helps you manage Accounts Receivable balances? Check out www.xldent.com.

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The Dentist’s Role in Preventing Opioid Abuse

Posted August 3, 2016 by Jennifer G

It’s no secret that opioid abuse is soaring in America. In fact, a recent NBC Nightly News report put dentists back in the hot seat. If you haven’t seen, “Hooked: How Opioid Abuse Starts at the Dentist for Many Americans”, watch it here. This report identifies dentists as the gateway to addiction for young people who lack prior experience with opioid prescriptions. Just a few months earlier, the JAMA identified that tooth extractions “may represent an important area of excessive opioid prescribing in the United States”. With this significant amount of attention directed towards dentists, let’s look at a few of the ways providers can make a difference using e-prescribing technology.

Patient Safety

e-PrescribeE-prescribing technology gives the prescriber tools to make safer prescription choices for patients. With e-prescribing, a list of all previously prescribed medications is available in a patient’s electronic chart. As dentists are often limited to knowing only what they have prescribed or what is self-reported, this information is critical to choosing the right prescription for your patient. Drug interaction warnings will appear automatically and include details about the interaction and how to advise patients.

Patient Education

Providers bear the responsibility to educate their patients about their prescriptions. E-prescribing makes it simple to access drug information and review it with your patient. For example, XLDent’s Electronic Prescribing embeds Lexicomp’s Online for Dentistry product for dental specific resources. Take it a step further and provide your patients with drug disposal information for unused medications.

Protect Prescriber Integrity

Dentists who handwrite or print prescriptions put themselves at risk. When the patient has the prescription in their hand, the provider loses control of what happens between the dental practice and the pharmacy. This problem is nonexistent with the use of electronic prescriptions. The possibility of patient intervention is completely removed.

In addition to these 3 ways e-prescribing can impact your practice, Doctors are recognizing increased efficiency and patient convenience. With more states looking to legislation to combat opioid abuse, those using e-prescribing technology are demonstrating a commitment to curb the problem.

Visit our website for more information about XLDent’s e-prescribing technology*.

*XLDent’s e-Prescription service works with all Dental Practice Management systems. XLDent Practice Management Software is not required.

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How Does Your Dental Practice Reach Millennials?

Posted July 20, 2016 by Danielle H

Attracting Millennials, Dental Software,  Dental Website, Social Media, XLDentIs your dental practice attractive to the tech-savvy millennials? Businesses in many industries are updating their marketing efforts to accommodate the web driven preferences of our youngest generation. An effective social media and web presence can help you connect and maintain lasting relationships. Here are four key areas to focus on.

Social Media

Millennials (along with other audiences) spend endless hours on their social media platforms. As they scroll through their Facebook feed or browse their Twitter account grab their attention with creative graphics, original blogs posts or personable office updates.

Keep the content fun and casual. Endless content and lack of imagery will get lost in the crowd, think outside the box and have fun with it!

Website

Millennials are very tech savvy and are fond of the latest and greatest. Lack thereof can leave them uninterested. Make sure your dental practice’s website features high-quality photos, clear and concise content and responsive design to accommodate tablets and smartphones. Video is an added bonus! Don’t stop there, add highly-targeted search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your practice ranks highly in Google and other search engines.

Online Reviews

Nothing will give a millennial more confidence in your dental practice than numerous favorable reviews on Google, Facebook and Yelp. Encourage your patients to write you a review and respond to each one to show your gratitude. Receive a poor review? Be sure to respond to those as well. This shows you take pride in your customer’s satisfaction and will go the extra mile.

Convenience

Millennials like to take care of business on the go. From online scheduling and bill payments to email promotions and appointment reminders, the youngest generation envisions a world where everything can be performed from the convenience of their phones. Added bonus: offer free Wi-Fi in your dental office lobby.

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