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.+*0+*
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.+*0+*
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.