Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Will you finish the year at goal?

Okay teams, we are down to the last three months of the calendar year. Now is Are we going to meet our YTD goals?” You still have time to prepare and make some adjustments in your schedule if you are coming up short for the year. Just a couple of weeks ago, I talked about reaching out to patients with unscheduled treatment and how to make sure you have an accurate list of patients with whom to follow up. Now is the time to give your patients a gentle nudge and get them in before they lose out on those precious dental benefits.
the time to ask yourself, “

But there is more to goal-setting than just production goals. You have new patient goals and collections to strive for if you want a healthy practice. You might be asking, “Okay, what can we do over the next three months to maximize the time we have left in the year?” Let’s talk about some things you can do to set your practice up for an end of the year success.
  • Make sure you have time set aside for those new patients who are going to procrastinate and want to schedule in November and December. If you have read my blog for a while, you know that I love Perfect Day Scheduling and it is ideal for blocking out time for new patients. If you have a goal of 20 new patients per month, then using Perfect Day Scheduling will ensure that your new patients calling in will have some options when they call you. It kills me when I am working with practices that say, “We can’t get a new patient in for two months.” This is unacceptable if you want to grow your practice. For more information on how to use Perfect Day Scheduling, refer back to these articles . . .
  • Monitoring your production goals on a daily basis can give you and your team the statistics needed to make adjustments throughout the month and hopefully end the month on a positive note. You can enter your monthly goals into the software and use the Daily Huddle Report to manage your production goals on a daily basis. Also, when you enter your monthly goals into the software, you can use the monthly calendar as a quick visual to see where you are in respect to your goal. This is a great tool for your morning huddle. For more information on how to enter goals into Dentrix, refer back to these articles . . .
  • Tracking your collections and forecasting where you will end up for the year is also an extremely important piece for the last three months of the year. Monitoring your collections and accounts receivable can be watched from the Daily Huddle, Practice Advisor and the Practice Analysis. You can have amazing production … but if you are not collecting it, then none of it matters. If your collections are short for YTD so far, then let’s look for ways to step it up and find out where the outstanding money is. For more information on managing your accounts receivable, refer back to these past articles . . .

You can do this! Give your team the tools and reports they need to look ahead toward the end of 2016. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Medical Billing or Bust - what you need to know now

I had the pleasure of speaking last week at the annual American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) meeting in Boca Rotan, Fla. My topic, Medical Billing or Bust, is a passion of mine and anytime I have the opportunity to spread the word about how you can change the world and change the lives of your patients is important to me. Keep your eyes open for registration to The Business of Dentistry Conference coming up in August 2017 where I will be teaching the Medical Billing or Bust to Dentrix users.

There are several things I can bring you up to speed now in this article that will help you understand how to set it up in your Dentrix software. Medical billing is not only about trying to maximize your patients’ benefits that they might not have access to, but it is also about providing the necessary coding for other organizations to use for growing awareness about disease patterns. With this being said, you can use medical coding on both the ADA claim form and the HCFA medical claim form.

Here are a few things to know now . . .
  • You will need to upgrade your Dentrix software to G6.1 in order to using medical coding on any claim form and send out a claim. This upgrade was released on October 1, 2015 so it has been out for almost a year.
  • When you upgrade to Dentrix G6.1, the software will include the most common ICD-10 codes for a dental office. This will save you a ton of time with having to input these codes. If there are some codes not included that you need, you can manually enter them into your system.
  • Make sure the HCFA claim form is added into the Definitions because you will need to attach it to the insurance plan information. There are several medical claim forms available. If you need a different format than the HCFA, you can search the Dentrix Knowledge base for the article that lists all the medical claim forms available so you can add the one you need into the Definitions.
  • When you upgrade to Dentrix G6.1 and you have not done any medical billing yet, you will need to add in all your CPT codes, Modifiers, Place or Service codes and Type of Service codes. If you need resources for these codes, please email me directly and I can send you a resource page at

For more information on medical billing, please read these past articles . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Three tips for an accurate list of patients with unused insurance benefits

We have all heard the phrase “Garbage in, Garbage out.” This phrase comes into play especially when you and your team are trying to generate a list of patients who have unscheduled treatment and unused insurance benefits. Since this is typically the time of year when you want to start reminding patients to use or lose their unused insurance benefits, you want to make sure that this amount used is not a bunch of garbage. 

How do you make sure your unused insurance benefits is a number you can count on? 

Here are three tips . . .
  • Make sure you are up to date on month end. One of the many tasks that the month end procedure will tackle is resetting the insurance benefits used back to zero. I was in a practice a couple of months ago and one reason they have never been able to trust their treatment plan estimates is because they had not performed a month end since 2009. RUN MONTH END!
  • When you are setting up the insurance plan, make sure that the benefit renewal date is set accurately. Open the Insurance Data window. About halfway down, there is a benefit renewal date. Make sure this is accurate.
  • Update the patient’s insurance amount used if he or she has gone to a specialist or used benefits at another practice. Open the deductibles tab in the insurance window and manually update the benefits used. This way, when you search for a list of patients with remaining insurance benefits, you will get an accurate list.

For more information on how to run the reports and exports the lists, check out these past articles.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

5 Ways to trust the data on the Practice Advisor Report

Last week, I had the honor of attending the Henry Schein Practice Solutions
consultant summit. It is a time every two years where dental consultants and industry leaders get together with the Henry Schein team and discuss the challenges the dental practice is facing and what lies ahead in the future. This helps the R&D department work on enhancements to the many products and services we use every day in our dental practice. It is one of the most amazing brainstorming sessions I have ever attended. It is also a lot of fun.

With that being said, a blog topic idea came into my head while I was listening to Tammy Barker speak about Profitability Coaching and how her team spends quite a bit of time with their clients on making sure the data being displayed on the KPI reports is as accurate as possible. I share the same goal and want all of you to understand how to make sure your numbers are as accurate as possible.

There are five key numbers on the Practice Advisor that are critical to the health and success of your practice. Your team needs to know what they do in the software affects the outcome of these statistics.
  • Case Acceptance – Dentrix can track your case acceptance accurately if your team manages the treatment plans appropriately. The way Dentrix tracks the monthly case acceptance is if the treatment is diagnosed and completed in the same month OR if your mark the case as accepted. For more about managing treatment plans, CLICK HERE.
  • Production per day – This is entirely dependent on the setup of the appointment book. You must have your office days, provider days and hours set up accurately in order to get an accurate production per day number. I feel this number is more important than the production per month. To learn more about setting up the appointment to perfection, CLICK HERE.
  • New Patients – Dentrix tracks new patients based on the first visit date located in the Family File. It also will count a patient as a new patient if this date is empty. The best way to track this on a daily basis is to use the Daily Huddle Report. If you want to read more about the Daily Huddle, CLICKHERE.
  • Referrals – Your total new patients should match the total number of referral sources. This is important because you want to see where your patients are coming from and know how to spend your marketing dollars. For these two numbers to be accurate, the First Visit Date and the Referral Date must match. I wrote about this back in January and you can re-read it by CLICKING HERE.
  • Active Patient Base – The active patient base on the Practice Advisor Report looks at the last visit date and how many patients have come in for an appointment within a certain amount of time. This one could get a little tricky for the office that posts a procedure code for things like missed appointments and other non-appointment tracking on the ledger. Every time you post something to the ledger with a procedure code, it will update the last visit date and now your Active Patient Base is updated. You can read more about this topic by CLICKING HERE.

This topic of accurate numbers and learning to trust your reports is so important. It is one of the most requested topics I get and one of the most-asked questions I receive from Dentrix users.