Patient care comes first. But if your dental practice doesn't earn revenue, it can't stay in business. Correspondence with insurance companies can lag, your staff can make errors throughout the reimbursement processes, and in-house systems or methods can become outdated.
The important thing is to remember that revenue is a cycle, and managing that cycle — revenue cycle management, or RCM — is about setting the stage for growth in everything that you do.
Your dental revenue cycle management is all about increasing revenue and cutting costs as your practice grows. That means taking steps to make sure your patient's health journey, from approach to treatment to recovery, is as painless and efficient as possible. The fewer touches, the better — and that means getting things right the first time.
Here, you'll learn several strategies to keep your revenue cycle growing strong without costing your patients so much as an extra minute. As you'll see, it's all about becoming and staying as efficient as possible.
Cutting Costs in Patient Acquisition and Retention
An insurance company will reject claims without correct information, and it's the small details like this you'll have the most trouble tracking down after the fact. Make sure you have the patient information you're going to need throughout the process by reviewing your intake paperwork and procedures. Digital forms make it easy for patients to submit their information. At every appointment, make sure to confirm with each patient that their information is still correct.
Be realistic about your marketing and the information prospective patients would be looking for:
- How much time do you and your staff spend on getting new patients?
- Is your social media abuzz? Do you spend time nurturing those relationships?
- Is your Google Business Listing completely up to date?
- Are your practice's street address, website, and phone number correct and easy to find?
Finally, verify patients' coverage and benefits well before any scheduled appointments. Be transparent with your fee schedules and procedures, including your patient's responsibilities, so there are no surprises for either your patient or your practice.
Following Billing Best Practices
Look at your billing systems and procedures themselves. See where things are getting caught up in the process, where mistakes are being made, and make note of any time the process slows down. Making sure your systems are up to date — and there are no obvious time-wasting areas — is a perfect first step in maximizing your RCM.
Dental insurance claims can account for a great deal of your practice's revenue, so streamlining your billing processes is absolutely necessary to enhance your RCM.
Everything your practice has done or undergone to the present day provides data you can use to figure out a better solution. If you're constantly reaching out to patients with past-due bills, try Dental Intelligence's seamless digital dental payments. You can let patients know their bill is due via text or email and accept major debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, and HSA. Dental practices that use Dental Intel Payments get paid an average of 12 days faster and collect $25,000 more within the first three months.
Maintaining a Full Schedule
Keeping patients coming in the door isn't just good for your practice; it's good for your accounts receivable department and dental revenue cycle management. That's why it's important to stay on top of appointments, follow-ups, annual visits, and all the procedures your patients are too busy to schedule "right now," but they promise to get back to you with dates.
It's not just about booking the visit, either — you'll want to take every opportunity you can to speed up the process of getting your patients into your practice, treating them, and collecting payment. For scheduling and cash flow purposes, that means:
- Getting data into your system as cleanly and easily as possible
- Making it easy for your staff to send patient data where it needs to go
- Ensuring you have everything you need already set up before a patient enters the office.
By staying on top of your schedule, filling in dead spots, asking for referrals, and passing on your business card, you can turn every patient interaction into a chance to mint a new brand ambassador.
One way you can fill holes in your schedule is by allowing patients to book online using Dental Intelligence Online Scheduling. Let patients book when is convenient for them, while allowing you to keep control of your schedule.
Dental Solutions for Your Practice and Patients
Dental revenue cycle management is an important way to keep your business going strong. When you learn how to get paid faster, you can stop spending time chasing past-due payments and more time filling your schedule and caring for patients. At Dental Intelligence, we help streamline your practice with a suite of digital tools. Schedule a demo with us today to learn how you can make the dental revenue cycle more manageable.