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3 Ways Your Dental Office is Losing Money

A quick guide on what to look for and how to save your dental practice money every month

Posted by Taylor Rose on Jul 11, 2019

As an office manager, you are probably all too familiar with reviewing the books — either on your own or with an accountant — for your dental practice. If you find that the numbers don’t quite add up, here are a few ways you could be losing money without knowing it.


Wasted staff hours 

This is not a reprimand of your role or office, but examining how your staff spends their time is always helpful. Simply keeping a log of how many hours staff spends on clerical tasks, check-ins, follow-ups, and with patients can reveal where hours are being wasted. Even small amounts of overtime could be costing your office a significant amount of money and eating up time that could be spent more efficiently. 

One step to solving this could be rearranging the way your office schedules staff. For example, if appointments typically slow down during the morning perhaps bring hygienists in later in the day. In the morning schedule office staff earlier to work on claims processing from the day before. Also cross-training on a few simple tasks can create an equilibrium between rush hours and downtime. 

Many offices spend anywhere from 5-15 hours on the phone with insurance companies a week without realizing that this might not even be necessary to get your claims adjudicated. Assessing how you go about your claims processing and learning about the other options available can be revealing. For example, if you send your claims through Remote Lite powered by rPractice instead of through your practice management software, your claims are automatically tracked. 


Claims Processing 

Claims processing is not only how your office actually makes money, but it could also be costing you more money than is necessary. Typically each claim sent through your practice management system costs around 50 cents per claim. While this doesn’t seem like much, it can add up quickly. Likewise, it might seem cheaper to send your claims by mail; when in reality your office has to pay 50 cents in postage, and double that if the claim has to be resubmitted. 

Small errors in your claim submission can lead to costly hours trying to fix them. Using last year’s CDT codes is a common reason why claims are rejected. Also, patient information that doesn’t match what the insurance company has on file will instantly reject a claim. These are all things that Remote Lite powered by rPractice can help catch before the claim is sent. 


Marketing 

Don’t let the title here mislead you; marketing done well can bring in new revenue, but poor marketing could be costly. Always start by evaluating the competition in your area — what are they doing well? Examine how your current patients heard about your office and why they keep coming back. The feedback from your patients is your marketing bread and butter, use it as some of your main talking points and as a way to identify areas of improvement. 

One of the biggest mistakes a dental office can make in their marketing is not evaluating what has worked and what hasn’t. Perhaps moving some of your online ad revenue into Google Ads will bring in new patients. If so, your office just saved the money you would have spent on traditional advertising. Also make sure that your office has at least one vein of strong social media presence. This shows the face of your practice and a glimpse into your patient care. 

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