Dental Practice Profitability

What is the “new normal” in dental practices? My experience indicates that it is unwavering attention to business details. I have never witnessed a time in which it has been more critical to evaluate practice management systems and immediately address weaknesses.

I recently analyzed a practice that has had the same office manager for almost 18 years. After reviewing the practice, I found HUGE red flags! The first was the amount of credits on accounts. The second red flag was only 4 periodontal maintenance's had been billed out in the last 6 months in a practice with 2 full time hygienists and probing depths of 4+ on 50% of all patients. With just these two findings, we were able to increase profits by nearly 20%! We put an end to billing and posting errors that were essentially paying patients to get dentistry. The inefficiencies that dentists often ignored years ago are now crippling some practices and causing serious damage to many more.

Just because your office manager or biller has been doing this for many years, does not necessarily mean things are being done correctly and you may be losing money. We would advise you to evaluate all billing, coding, and posting processes for accuracy. Nine times out of ten, we find hidden opportunities in these areas and once fixed will immediately increase your bottom line.


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Practice Profitability

Our consultants monitor over 20 systems in the dental practice that directly impact your success and profitability, and each should be carefully evaluated and scrutinized for effectiveness, starting with the following three:

  1. Profit and Loss – Do you know where your practice is struggling and how to correct those under performing areas? Is your overhead out of control? And do you understand how to analyze and correct overhead issues? Our Practice Enhancement Resources will give you the knowledge to maximize every opportunity in your practice.

  2. Accounting Systems - Dr. X has no idea what steps are being taken at the end of the day to verify that the transactions being posted are correct. He knew how much money was going to the bank because a “Deposit Slip Report” was given to him, along with a “Day sheet” each day. However, he really didn’t pay much attention to it. Instead, he was more interested in his daily bank account balance that he checked online. Because systems were not in place, he lost over $70,000 in one year.

Compliance – We’re aware of OSHA, HIPAA, Infection Control and Insurance Fraud. What will you do when an insurance company audits your books or worse, the dental board? Do you know what to look for and what they will want? Our consultants have been through many audits and inspections and know what to look for and how to prevent huge fines, or even worse, being shut down.

For most practices, there’s simply no ignoring the “new normal.” It requires far greater attention to the 22 key practice management systems. But I can virtually guarantee that those who invest the time and energy in doing so will find the “new normal” just as satisfying and financially rewarding as the “good ‘ole days.

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