Ten Vital Practice Management Numbers
If you have worked in the dental field as a Business Coordinator or Office Manager, you know that the doctor is seldom seen at the front desk during the day unless there is a problem. The fear of “rocking the boat” or seeming confrontational prevents many dentists from visiting the front desk, unless motivated by the falling off of revenue or patients on the schedule.
A common lament of many dentists is: “I don’t know what is going on at the front desk and I’m not even sure what they do up there all day.” Finding someone experienced to fill the front office position is the most challenging of all the hiring duties of the dentist or manager. It may be safe to say that no one is completely trained upon being hired, and there is always a learning curve and adjustment period. It is during this period that discovering the potential of this new hire is very important.
The experience level of the person you just hired is often not exactly what you want, but the potential to improve and learn new skills is evident. This eagerness to learn and please in a new position is a desired response with a new Business Coordinator. However, without careful nurturing this potential can be swallowed up by a multitude of tasks and duties, with little direction and even less training leading to a “sink or swim” situation.
As the CEO of your dental practice, it is up to you to have a clear understanding of the expectations you have of this person. It is more than answering the phone, booking appointments and collecting money. Your Business Coordinator is fundamental to providing you with information necessary to understand the current health of your practice in the form of timely management reports. By making this clear in the beginning period of the hiring process, your Business Coordinator will anticipate meeting regularly with you to discuss these reports and numbers. Do not avoid these meetings.
Your monthly meeting agenda with your Business Coordinator would include the following:
1. The number of new patients. Comprehensive examinations for a general practice per month. Compare the number with last year’s totals. The goal is 25+ new patients per month.
2. The number of reactivated recall patients. These are patients who returned to the practice after being contacted by the office. There should be five calls made daily to reactivate patients.
3. Comparison of new patients versus number of inactivated patients (measures practice growth) quarterly.
4. Referral sources for all patients. This shows you where your patients are coming from and where marketing would be advised.
5. Scheduling to production goal (set by CEO/dentist or accountant) and whether the goal is being met. The schedule is a system that requires management of patients and procedures, not just filling the lines.
6. Net monthly production compared to goal numbers for solo or all providers.
7. Percent of treatment accepted versus what was presented. If you aren’t aware of this number you will not know whether to improve the way you are communicating with patients.
8. Accounts Receivable totals with less than 10% in the 90 days column ensures a good cash flow.
9. Review credit balances for accuracy prior to issuing refund checks. The insurance write-off adjustment may not be accurate and if the patient hasn’t paid any out of pocket they should not be getting a refund.
10. Outstanding dental insurance claims. There should be no claims aged to 90 days. “Clean claims” should pay within 30 business days.
If you go over this list every month it will give your new Business Coordinator or Office Manager the opportunity to build on their potential. Going over the practice numbers together will give you both an opportunity to understand and value how each of you contribute to the success of the practice. During a monthly business meeting with the entire staff, these numbers can be reviewed so the entire team can become involved in moving the practice in the direction you want. The perfect instruction on how to accomplish this is with a Dental Business Training Course at McKenzie Management. Call today!Forward this article to a friend
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