Is it a trend or is it an occasional occurrence? It’s important to know the answer to that question relative to your dental aging report trends.
Aging report trends require evaluation.
Aging report trends require measurement.
Aging report trends require action.
Awareness on each of these can help you frame an effective system for improving your accounts aging process.
Why evaluate your aging report trends?
One between-the-lines perspective to be gained from trend evaluation involves patient behavior around payment history.
- A percentage of your patients stay current with their balances such as paying at the time of service.
- A percentage of your patients keep an unpaid balance.
- A percentage of patients might pay their current balance at time of service but still have a balance.
Getting to the “why” around this issue can help you determine if this is a trend or a situational occurrence.
Why measure your aging report trends?
As we’ve covered before, your patient data tells a “story.” But line-by-line analysis can feel somewhat like being “unable to see the forest for the trees.”
Realize that your numbers around patient accounts reveal the truth. Strange as it may seem, one patient could have a balance after the insurance is paid on their most recent appointment.
Again, this raises the necessary question of “why?” Following your curiosity into this particular trend can lead you to some beneficial measurements.
- Are their posted insurance benefits current and correct?
- Are their insurance benefits maxed out?
Beyond the insurance flags, there could be some personal or treatment-related flags, such as:
- The patient didn’t come to the appointment prepared to make payment.
- Perhaps another procedure was added to their current treatment plan that wasn’t included in the fee estimate.
The measurement level of aging report trends naturally leads to some productive and profitable actions you can take relative to your account aging.
What to do when you’ve evaluated and measured your dental aging report trends
Stay curious in the search for answers
You’ll likely always be asking “why” around a number of your aging report trends. Curiosity here is a good thing.
Tasking a staff member with “sleuthing” around your numbers helps maintain awareness, and awareness can lead to improved systems for tracking your accounts aging.
- Keep your system simple.
- Realize that A/R is an ongoing process.
Listen to your report data
In essence, stay a step ahead of the report trends. Advanced perspective helps you avoid having to deal with larger issues around aging data.
- Stay ever-aware of your report data and the current and potential outcomes.
- Schedule routine meetings around your report discoveries and create takeaway actions.
Look for opportunities in your report data
If anything, being proactive around your aging reports stimulates communication. That’s much better than burying your head in the sand and hoping for improvement.
Honest evaluation and measurement might be painful and somewhat revealing, but they awaken you to the gaps you have and what could be useful action for improvement.
- Courageously work through the issues you uncover within your patient accounts (steer clear of “avoidance”).
- Confirm that your team members tasked with report processing are on the same page relative to trends and the outcomes to be achieved.
- Follow the standard 30-60-90 day timeline for dealing with accounts aging and seek to reduce or eliminate the delays.
Stay on the good and productive side of your dental aging trends. Access and use the tools that can give you and your team an advantage.
The following resources provide some useful guidance around data analysis — including your aging reports:
How to Get on the Solution-Side of Your Dental Practice Aging Report Data
4 Strategies for Improving Your Dental Practice Collections Rate
A proven data analytics platform could be just what you need to stay ahead of and learn from your dental aging report trends
The Jarvis Analytics platform helps ensure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on track with your goals as your dental practice grows and expands.
Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!