H Lois Banta

Lois Banta

Chief Consulting Officer

Get the money off the books & in the bank

Recently, I found some time to speak on the Dental Billing Academy podcast and share my advice to dental practices looking to get the money off the books and in the bank, prevent office manager burnout and turnover, and stay ahead of the financial curve. Listen to the full podcast here, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

What do you consider to be the #1 problem or issue facing dental offices?

The mistake that is made most often is hiring inexperienced people that don’t have the dental billing expertise needed. Any office manager can attest to understanding the importance of administrative duties and patient experience as crucial to long-term practice success.  Oftentimes, however, practice owners focus on the basic administrative duties when hiring — like answering the phone — when there are definitive skill-based administrative tasks to be completed in order to keep the cash flow consistent. This leads to major revenue cycle management roadblocks, which causes chaos for all areas of a dental practice. 

Next, there needs to be a clear onboarding process for new hires. I call it the “training and orientation period”. It’s not 90-day probation, it’s a 90-day onboarding process where the employee tests out their software knowledge, phone answering skills, and what it takes to work in that specific dental office. You don’t want to just dump them in an office and say “don’t mess this up”!

How can offices resolve this issue?

The first step is realizing that you have an issue, and then thinking outside of the box to resolve it. The hard truth is that the complex dental billing processes are bogging down your administrative team, putting pressure on the office manager to train inexperienced team members, and delaying cash flow. Outsource those things to the knowledge base that can handle them. eAssist has this dental billing knowledge base. We celebrate the fact that we have people who have thousands of years of combined experience. These dental billing experts are here to help office managers out of tight situations with inexperienced teams, and let them focus on training for patient experience, office culture and pratice growth.

What kind of things should offices keep in mind when working with an outsourcing company?

They need to keep the lines of communication open. When a dentist chooses to outsource some of the systematic dental billing processes, they need to have a transparent conversation with the administrative team. This is an opportunity to push the reset button and let everyone know the expectations and where they can help the office grow.

One thing that has everything to do with the relationship — and everything to do with the function of the job — is getting to know the people on your outsourcing team personally. What do you know about them? Do they have pets? Do they like to vacation? Do they like going to the beach? As soon as you can find a personal connection, you will view them as part of your team.

If the conversations are all about business, you are always at risk of someone being suspicious of the conversation. A personal conversation is what’s going to bring the elements of familiarity and camaraderie. Most importantly, it’s going to help the in-office staff understand that there’s a real person behind that phone or that headset. It’s a real bonding opportunity. Everybody’s on the same page, both professionally and personally.

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