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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.

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Dental Technology, Social Media Marketing, XLDent Patient Experience, XLDent Website, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
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Practice Marketing: Measure Your Results

Posted July 12, 2016 by Danielle H

With so manPractice Marketingy marketing opportunities available to dental practices, it’s important to know which campaigns are effective. Many practices fail to follow through on this key component of marketing: Tracking Patient Referrals!

If you’re not sure what to track or how to measure success, read on for some great tips to get you started.

What to Measure

New Patients by Referral Source vs. Total New Patients

Compare the number of new patients that came from a specific referral source or marketing campaign to the total number of new patients over a given time frame. This information helps you determine what percentage of your new patients came to the office from each referral source.

Cost Per Patient Acquisition

To determine the cost per patient acquisition use this formula: Ad Cost/# New Patients. Compare the Cost Per Patient Acquisition of each marketing campaign to see where you get the greatest ROI.

Production Value by Referral Source

Examine each Referral Source or Marketing Campaign and determine the total production value you’ve generated. This comparison provides the greatest value when the report is run over longer periods of time (6-12 months or longer). In doing so, you will gain insight into whether or not patients visited your practice more than once. If your campaign offered a discounted rate for the patient’s first visit, use this information to determine if your strategy paid off.

Ready to get started? Here’s How…

Step 1:

Create a list of the most common ways patients are referred to your practice. Include things like paid advertising campaigns, referring providers, website, google ads and insurance listings.

Step 2:

Add each of these referral sources to XLDent or your dental software.

Step 3:

Ask every new patient who they were referred by or where they heard about your practice. Enter this into the referral tracking area of your software. Create a script to help team members use consistent language and make sure that everyone has an understanding of the referral sources that pertain to your practice.

Step 4:

Establish an office policy for generating reports. Determine what information will be gathered and how you will measure your results.

Step 5:

Use this information to make marketing decisions that generate the greatest ROI.

Want to learn more about how XLDent Dental Management Software tracks referral information? Get in touch with us today!

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Technology, Dental Web-based Solutions, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
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6 Must-Have Features for Your Dental Website

Posted July 6, 2016 by Danielle H

Dental Website, XLDent, Dental SoftwareWhat does your website say about your dental practice? While personal recommendations and glowing five-star reviews are certainly convincing, your website’s content and design can also motivate new patients to schedule their first appointment. Like a warm and friendly reception area, a helpful and professional site can create a positive first impression and help new patients feel at ease.

 

1. Hours of Operation

Few things are more frustrating than a business website missing its hours of operation. Don’t forget to include office hours on your contact page to help patients decide if your practice will fit into their busy schedule. Go the extra mile and include holiday closures for an added level of convenience.

2.  High-Quality Staff Photos

Potential patients want to see photos of you and your team, not generic stock images. Professional photos provide a personal touch and build trust. They are also a stellar way to show off your beautiful office and high-tech equipment!

3.  Modern Website Design

A website straight out of the 90s gives patients the impression that your practice is old-fashioned and outdated. As a representation of your business as a whole, make a splash with a slick logo, graphics and overall layout. Make sure to update your site to responsive design to accommodate viewers browsing on their smartphones and tablets.

4.  Video

Add a video to your homepage to help viewers get to know your practice. Tell patients who you are, why you love dentistry, and help them see why your practice is a good fit for their lifestyle. Include things like footage of your office, technology, patients and YOU! Here are two dental websites with great welcome videos that will inspire: http://kevinpottsdentist.com/ and http://www.macdentalcare.com/.

5.  Patient Education

Don’t skimp on content! In addition to helping your practice show up well in Google searches, well-written content about your office and the dental industry will lead to patient connections. Regular blog and social media posts are a great way to keep patients up-to-date and establish your business in the community. Alternate between fun and educational messages for ultimate engagement.

6.  Patient Reviews and Testimonials

New patients expect to find reviews for your practice when searching online. Featuring reviews and testimonials on your website helps to build your total online reputation. Not sure how to get started? Using a program like Lighthouse 360, you can automatically request feedback from patients following their appointment. Then, add the reviews widget to your website to prominently display your patient reviews. So easy!

Posted in: Dental Practice Management Software, Dental Software, Dental Technology, Dental Web-based Solutions, Social Media Marketing, XLDent Website, Leave a comment/ No Comments »
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