End of Day Reports are the Dental Practice Lifeline
Every evening during the week I verify daily patient charges, making sure every patient on the schedule that day had an entry, whether it was a charge or not. I scrutinize every adjustment and balance the credit card receipts, insurance bulk payments and individual payments, ensuring the accuracy of reports. I am proud to finish at closing…only to have the reports pile up on the doctor’s desk to be eventually thrown in a drawer, file or envelope for the accountant or bookkeeper.
I recently asked the doctor if he ever looks at the reports, and he said “Not really, but occasionally. I trust that you are doing it right because my accountant would tell me.”
I am trusted as long as the accountant doesn’t find an error. I seriously doubt that the accountant checks the patients’ names against the procedure scheduled and checks for accuracy in dental insurance contract write-off and other write-offs and “discounts” that effect the collections. I am exasperated, and don’t want to waste my time on reports that are unnecessary.
- A Frustrated Office Manager
This is not a criticism of accountants or bookkeepers. It is simply a fact that their relationship is with the practice numbers that you give them, or they take your raw information and produce the profit and loss statements. They are not familiar with the dental office’s posting and adjustment protocols. The CPA will do an audit which has a primary focus of establishing your financial statement integrity. If there isn’t enough revenue to cover your costs of doing business, then a red flag will certainly go up. That’s why end of the day reports are the lifeline of the practice. It doesn’t have to be a huge time consumer to look at the following:
The Procedure by Provider Report will show you what was done and by whom. Look for procedures that were scheduled but not completed. Are the procedures listed to the right provider? For instance, are periodic exams listed as produced by the hygienist or the dentist? Check what was performed against what was posted on the account. What was posted is going out on a claim form if the patient is insured. Sometimes what was scheduled is not what was performed, but it wasn’t changed in the scheduler and got posted and then filed to insurance. What are your checks and balances against this behavior? Your front office person doesn’t know that the composite filling on tooth #2 was changed from a DO to an MOD with a pulp cap.
The Adjustment Report will show write-offs in the form of insurance contractual write-offs to courtesy write-offs. If there are thousands of dollars under miscellaneous write-offs/adjustments, you need to customize this to see what is truly happening to the money. If you see an adjustment that you don’t understand, ask about it.
The Deposit Slip Report gets the most attention because it lists money that is going or went to the bank today. Look at this side-by-side with the procedure by provider report to see that there is a corresponding payment for every production today. There should be payment in full for cash patients or estimated coinsurance and deductibles for insured patients unless it is a fully covered benefit.
Check to see that thank-you notes go out to patients who referred new patients, and you might make a note to call patients who had more difficult procedures to find out how they are doing.
There are more reports, but these are the main ones to keep attuned to the pulse of your practice. Looking over these reports at the end of the day does not mean you do not trust your business team. It means that you care about whether there are anomalies to the day or inaccuracies that could affect the practice and the patients. It’s just good business. Make it a habit to sit down for five minutes at the end of the day to review the daily reports with your Business Coordinator. She/he will be more careful with detail and accuracy if it is known that you actually look at and study the reports.
Want to improve your business skills? Call McKenzie Management today and sign up for Office Manager Training in your town or at our Training Center in La Jolla, CA.Forward this article to a friend
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