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Cash Flow in a Drought?

Do you get depressed when you read about offices like yours achieving a 98% collection rate when yours is about 50% after all those insurance adjustments and write-offs?  Are you sure you have to write-off all that money?  If you are working within a Preferred Provider Network have you updated each fee schedule lately?  Are you doing treatment plan estimates based off of the current allowed fee schedule?  If you answered no to any or all of these questions you are losing money everyday.

Most dental offices rely on their dental software for management of data and the problem with that is not the software it is the operator.  Most front office personnel have had one or two days maximum with a professional trainer and the rest was with another staff member who has the time to teach.  Really?  Who has time to teach? So just the basics are learned and the fine points of the system are rarely used and this includes creating a treatment plan with a close to accurate co-payment requirement.

It is always advisable to collect the patient portion at the time of treatment but many business staff are unsure as to what to collect so they bill the insurance and send a statement afterward.  This system creates not only a poor cash flow that jeopardizes the practices ability to survive it creates a large accounts receivable balance that requires multiple statements, phone calls and unhappy patients who weren’t told what their out of pocket costs would be.

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