04 Sep Got Cash, Credit and Customers?
By: Belle DuCharme, CDPMA, CDC
A healthy practice needs these three “C’s” of success.
Let’s examine your cash, credit and customers:
How about cash?
What is your production and collection statistics?
- Are you producing to a goal set based on your realistic overhead plus margin for growth?
- Are you collecting at least 98% of the adjusted production? Are your accounts receivables at a healthy less than 10% in 90 day aging?
- Is your Business Coordinator collecting 35-55% of the production over the counter daily?
Bills don’t adjust to your collections and neither do salaries. Far too many offices let patients walk out the front door without asking for payment and that includes insurance co-payments and deductibles. Is the belief there that when the patient gets a statement they will pay? The reality is “if you don’t ask, you don’t get paid.”
How about credit? What happens when you don’t pay your dental supply bill on time? Can you survive without supplies? Now you are on COD “collect on delivery”, how embarrassing when the driver is waiting for a check in your reception room with the patients. Paying bills with your credit cards without paying attention to whether there is enough to pay the credit card bill is frightening. When you run out of credit it can affect your ability to stay open for business.
Do you offer credit to your patients so that they can get the treatment they need? CareCredit is the answer for patients needing monthly payments and should be offered with every treatment plan. Most people use credit for the unexpected and dentistry is often that for many people.
How about customers/patients? Have you measured your patient retention? What does your practice do to keep patients/customers returning? Do you have a system to contact patients that are due to return or have not scheduled for treatment? Out of sight out of mind is not good business. If you were a real estate agent and you sold me a house do you think I don’t need you anymore? People move for many reasons with the average stay in a home about 5 years. Wouldn’t it be prudent to keep in contact with the anticipation of me needing you in the future? If you don’t take the time to build a relationship with your patients they are less likely to remember you when they need a dentist.
Being in tune with your “Cs”, cash, credit and customers will keep your practice running smoothly.
Dental Billing Tips and News for Pros; Edition #127