Whether you’re a practice owner or an associate, there are essential statistics you should be aware of. We all need to keep tabs on insurance reimbursement, catch payment adjustments, and make sure patients don’t get lost in the shuffle. If you have practice management software then its super easy to stay on top of these things.
I have Dentrix. It’s kind of like having a huge box of crayons when you only need to color a picture of a house.
Brick Red, Torch Red, Radical Red… whatever happened to just “Red?”
There are so many options for generating statistics and reports that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. But Dentrix is comprehensive and that’s a great thing. After a few years of fumbling around, I’ve found a good system to produce meaningful stats that help me stay on top of my business.
Below are the reports you should be looking at, why, and how often. Please note that if you are not an owner dentist you won’t want to look into any data for other providers in the practice. It would be a bit rude. Just ask the office manager to print the reports for only your provider number. Also, the titles of the reports come straight from Dentrix. If you’re using another practice management software you can surely find the same information since this is pretty basic stuff.
Receipts Day Sheet Verify payments. I have my office manager hand me the checks and credit card receipts for the day and they are verified against this report.
Deposit Slip Back up for Receipts Day Sheet with a little more detail. If the Receipts Day Sheet has an inconsistency, the Deposit Slip is the next place I look.
Day Sheet (Chronological) I use this to scan for all credit and charge adjustments. Most of the time these are PPO adjustments and patient courtesies, which is nothing unusual. But I like to make sure they’re being credited to the correct provider. I also can quickly verify if my all of my patients were accounted for. I make sure there’s no missing names or names that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes treatment gets attributed to a hygienist or another dentist and that can mess up the books!
Aging Report I want to see the balances for 30, 60, and 90 days past due. My office manager uses this to generate Patient Balance letters. They get a nice letter at 30 days. If their name pops up again next month as being 60 days overdue, then they get the 60 day letter. Still nice but a little more stern. Once they reach the 90 day mark, we want to remind them about any late fees and collection notices that may begin.
As a side note, I don’t send these letters if the patient has contacted us to work out an arrangement. These letters are just for the people who are ignoring us.
Dental Insurance Claim Aging Report This is more for my office manager to follow up with insurance companies. These guys play a lot of games and we need to stay on top of them.
Unscheduled Appointment List Who canceled and didn’t reappoint? Let’s find out if anyone fell through the cracks.
New Patient List Used to generate three letters: Welcome New Patient, Thank You Referral, and Specialist Follow-Up. The first one does exactly what it sounds like. Check out this post on new patient letters for some thoughts on how to make them more engaging. The second one is for patients who refer new patients to their practice. I take the time to let them know how much I appreciate it. Just make sure you don’t send the same letter five times if someone send you five patients. Mix it up a little bit!
The last letter, “Specialist Follow-Up,” is for other dentists who have referred patients to me. Even if I chat with them over the phone about our combined treatment plan, I like to send them something official for their records.
Provider A/R Totals You may want to print this up to verify the adjustments from “Day Sheet (Chronological)” report. Not essential but a good system of checks and balances.
Analysis Summary (Provider) On a quarterly basis I like to look and this neat report. I’ll find out how many new patients came in, total charges and payments, total adjustments, and some other good data. Comparing this data to the same quarter in previous years and to the other quarters in the same year will show you your practice trends.
Provider A/R Totals How are collections? Are your adjustments out of control? Looking at this report with three months of data will help you get a more global picture of your practice finances.
Practice Analysis – Production Summary By Category Include Cross-Coding How many procedures did you do and how much did it produce for the office? I’m always interested to see
Practice Analysis – Payment Summary Where does your money come from? How much cash do you get? How much money comes from Care Credit? You may make some strategic decisions based on several quarterly reports. For example, if only a small percentage of your patients use American Express, then perhaps you may consider no longer accepting it since it has higher rates than other cards.
Practice Statistics Once a year you can print up a very interesting report called “Practice Statistics.” How many patients are in the practice? Where do they live? How many of them are on insurance plans? I use this report for strategic planning and making goals for the next year.