Data Trends: US Practices Conducting More Exams

The latest numbers from Sikka Software are out and, if the last four months of 2017 are anything like the first eight months of the year, dental practices around the country should benefit from their finest year since the dawning of this decade.

We recently extracted data from Sikka’s collection of numbers taken from Sikka Software that has been collected from more than 12,500 dental practices from around the United States. We looked specifically at the gross production by the dentist during the first eight months of the calendar year. Here are the average numbers discovered from January through August from 2010 through 2017, per dentist per practice.

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5 Things to Know About Sleep Dentistry

Do you think that sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, don’t have a place in your practice mix? Think again. Here are five things you need to know about your patients and what they may be battling every night.

  • Numbers tell a story: It’s estimated that there are 240 million adults in the United States. It’s also estimated that 60 million of them snore at night. That’s 25 percent of the adult population in America! Think about that for a minute.
    Additionally, it’s estimated that 25 million adults have obstructive sleep apnea (just over 10 percent of the U.S. population) and 17 million suffer from bruxism (roughly 7 percent of Americans).
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    Accounts Receivable Trends

    Managing payment for dental services rendered is an important part of running a business. Payments from patients and dental benefit plans provide the cash flow required to keep the practice open and serving the oral healthcare needs of the community. Although collecting payment from delinquent patients may be uncomfortable, it is a necessary part of keeping a practice healthy. This paper examines trends in accounts receivable and how accounts receivable balances have changed since 2011.

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    Treatment Plans

    Creating treatment plans is an important step in the dental care delivery process. However, even though dentists create treatment plans, patients may not follow up on them for a number of reasons; they may not have the financial resources, are price shopping or do not understand the long-term benefits to their oral health, to name a few. This paper examines trends in treatments planned per comprehensive exams and resulting gross production.

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    A Comparison Study of Group and Solo Practices

    Dentists often face a decision regarding whether to practice solo or to join a group. Although there are pros and cons to both, differences between how dentists practice in solo versus in a group have not been studied extensively. With rising overhead costs and purchasing power, joining a group may seem like the smarter. However, according to Marc B. Cooper, DDS, almost 86% of dentists continue to practice solo despite these concerns. This paper discusses trends and considerations in the differences between group and solo practices.

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    Animal Hospital Charges per Invoice and Per Provider

    Helping provide outstanding healthcare to animals requires active cash flow through an animal hospital to support purchasing inventory, staffing and salaries. Part of understanding cash flow is discovering trends in revenue generation, including when it is being generated, how much, and by who. This data allows for financial growth planning as well as estimating potential costs.

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    Number of Overall and Endodontics Diagnoses per Practice

    Ensuring healthy mouths in the community is a dentist's mission, however there are many barriers between dentists and this goal. Patient oral health and hygiene awareness, ability to make appointments, ability to pay and good communication of treatment options are some of the few roadblocks that patients and dentists face every day.

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    The Importance of Patient Acquisition in a Competitive Market

    Maintaining a current patient base and bringing in new patients requires careful attention to patient care, communication and retention. Many dentists find themselves competing with other practices for a limited pool of patients in a certain geographical area. With little to no cost for switching, patients are often quick to change dentists due to convenience, financial or personal factors, even when they are being provided exceptional oral healthcare. As attracting new patients and keeping the current active patient base robust is imperative for the financial health of the practice, dentists need to know their patient numbers and how those numbers compare to national averages.

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    Seasonality and Effects on Accounts Receivable

    Accounts receivable is often a significant part of a dental practice’s financial health. Due to common dental benefit practices and late patient payments, dentists are often owed a significant amount of money. Although carrying an accounts receivable balance is common and in many cases unavoidable, reducing the outstanding financial burden can improve cash flow and overall practice health.

    Last month’s article on seasonality trends in revenue indicated that busy months included March, April, June and December with lulls in January, February, May, September and November.

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    Economic Indicators during and after recovery (years 2010-2016) in United States as viewed from the lens of over 12,200 US Dental Practices

    This whitepaper is based on real time benchmarking data for US Dental Practices and shows the trends from hundreds of key performance indicators from 2008 to 2016. There has been no comparable work done in the past that uses real time benchmarking described here and ties it to the broader economic trends in the United States. We identify three distinct patterns based on the data discussed here. A crisis pattern, a recovery pattern and a transition pattern (from crisis to recovery). These distinct patterns offer clear insight that has not been seen before on how different key performance indicators of US dental practices can be analyzed to identify broader patterns of macro-economic conditions.

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