If you talk to any dentist that owns their own practice, chances are that they’ll tell you college taught them how to become a great dentist, but nothing about what it takes to run a competitive business.
Business knowledge for dentists is often self-taught, earned through blood, sweat, and tears, or learned through a trial and error process. Unfortunately, dental practice management issues are some of the biggest challenges dentist face.
Here are several of the most common problems in the dental industry when it comes to how a private practice is managed:
Managing Cash Flow
Between inventory management, staff salaries, collections, and financing plans, it’s vital that a dental practice knows exactly where each dollar is coming from and going.
Without healthy cash flow an office can be subject to struggling significantly during any down periods.
Are your existing patients returning to the practice for their re-care appointments and necessary treatment, or do they tend to hop from one office to the next based on which insurance they have?
Having loyal patients isn’t the easiest thing to come by. An office across town can be offering a reduced fee for the same exact service, which can lead to a loss. However, if invest into having personable relationships, your patients are much more likely to stay for the long run.
Working with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies can be as frustrating for dental offices as they are for our patients.
Unfortunately, most patients don’t fully understand their dental benefits. This leaves the office team and management responsible for educating the patient on how their plan works, a service that is labor extensive with limited return on investment. Over the years insurance companies have also been making it more difficult for offices to be reimbursed for services and must put a lot of man power behind the claims process.
Collections are never an easy task – calling lists of patients to get the money that is rightfully owed to your practice. Having a collections protocol or automating the process all together is key. Not only will it save your practice a ton of time, money on payroll but it also brings in a predictable cash flow!
Is There a Solution?
Yes! Some of the biggest challenges dentists face can be minimized by incorporating an in-house savings plan. By eliminating the “middle man”, (insurance companies) dentists are able to collect fees for services directly from their patients and forgo processing claims and reimbursement which saves the practice a ton of time and can improve cash flow.
Patients who are members of in-house savings plans tend to be more loyal to the practice, as they’re able to access direct savings and more likely to accept treatment plans.
DentalStores automates payments and tracks all members’ services your patients use. To find out how to start your own in-house savings program, visit DentalStores.com.