There could be a word more dreaded in dentistry than “cancellation.” How about “inflation?”
Though the impact varies practice to practice, its reality could force you to strategize how to increase dental practice production and revenue in an inflationary season of the economy.
Consider this perspective from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics alongside that of the ADA (American Dental Association):
“While increases in dental costs as a result of higher prices haven’t been as bleak as for consumers, they’re still pinching practices. In June 2022 alone, dental services increased 1.9%, the largest monthly change ever recorded by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Similarly, 35% of dentists pegged inflation and rising equipment costs as their biggest concern in an American Dental Association poll earlier this year.” 1
The challenge is common:
- Grow and sustain your practice financials.
- Avoid practice revenue leaks.
Three strategies to navigate inflation while increasing dental practice production, revenue and profitability
1 — Measure
Data is an invaluable resource for your dental practice profitability. Each layer reveals patient information that you can leverage.
- Satisfaction with the treatment, care and the patient experience you provide.
- What procedures your patients frequently accept and/or require.
- Patient trends around their dental care and overall oral health.
Your dental practice management software is foundational to the data you store, access and use. Even so, technology customization will enable you to extract more value from your patient data.
Data analytics software is a go-to technology resource to streamline what you measure on a daily basis. A well-equipped analytics platform can enhance your reporting capabilities.
- Customize your reports.
- Automate your data analysis reporting.
- Create actionable (intuitive) reports.
Measurables provided by your reporting capability can help you identify your dental practice strengths and weaknesses. Report analysis can provide you the strategic insight you need for understanding revenue trends, reductions and new revenue streams.
2 — Monitor
The practical result of data measurement is consistent tracking or monitoring of your practice KPIs (key performance indicators).
“Staying consistent and maintaining steady attention to your dental practice’s KPIs and production goals will help reduce future frustrations or stressors related to performance.” 2
Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual KPI monitoring enhances your awareness and prompts the necessary actions to take.
Common daily KPIs to monitor can include
- Patients scheduling next appointments.
- Patients who are overdue for treatment or require reactivation.
- Patients who contacted you or inquired and scheduled their next appointment.
- Patients with unpaid claims and/or who have payments/balances due.
Monitoring weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual KPIs can provide deeper perspective relative to production, revenue and profitability.
- Understand what each contributes to revenue growth with help from provider production.
- Reduce your production loss percentage due to uncollected revenue with collections monitoring.
- Keep your overhead compared to revenue and profit costs closer to the industry average of 25%.
- Stay aware of patient retention by monitoring hygiene pre-appointment rates.
- Monitor your treatment acceptance rate to determine how you can improve patient education and treatment planning conversations.
- Watch your no-show and cancellation trends.
- Compare new patient and patient attrition data for improving your retention rate.
3 — Manage
Team building, workflow management and operational systems enhance or diminish your profitability. Revenue leaks can occur around the most routine functions in your dental practice.
Success relies on systems management.
- Have a best-practices mindset about your operational systems. Are long-term processes still producing profitable outcomes? Is your team stressed or well-equipped to keep pace with your production schedule?
- Streamline and automate workflows. Does your team still rely on paper-based forms more than electronic/digital forms? Can workflows be centralized using available technology that leverages team energy?
- Evaluate and refine the patient experience. Are your systems for acquiring patient information, scheduling, communication, billing, insurance and payments convenient for your patients? Do your team members have more personal patient interactions rather than impersonal interactions?
There are countless strategies for measuring, monitoring and managing your dental practice’s production to profit scope — whether or not inflation is a factor.
Production and revenue have the potential to improve when you use consistent data analysis. The following resources can sharpen your perspective and your strategies for data-based revenue growth:
The Basics of a Healthy RCM (Revenue Cycle Management) System for Your Dental Practice or DSO
Measure and Improve the Financial Health of Your Dental Organization Using Your Data
Use a proven analytics platform to navigate dental practice revenue challenges
The Jarvis Analytics platform helps ensure that you’re monitoring and tracking the important data — including what keeps you financially healthy.
Jarvis Analytics …
- Integrates seamlessly with your chosen practice management software/platform.
- Presents the metrics you want and need in an easy-to-view dental dashboard that reduces data complexity for growing dental practices, dental groups and DSOs.
Experience Jarvis Analytics in action. Request a demo today!
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