It is becoming increasingly popular for dentists to outsource some of their administrative functions to management firms. These models allow them to rest assured knowing that their revenues are being effectively managed and appointments are set, while they are free to provide services that satisfy their patients and that cater to their passion for the field of dentistry.
As a type of joint venture, according to Abhishek Jain (CEO of Beacon Dental Partners), dentists pay fees for administrative services in exchange for more time to focus on their patients. All parties benefit from this arrangement. The management company earns revenues for the professional services they offer, and the efficiencies they create helps dentists be more productive, among other benefits.
This article describes the top 10 benefits for dentists in outsourcing their administrative, revenue cycles, and appointment management.
1. Sound revenue management systems
As dental care continues to grow in capacity and complexity [throughout the United States], every practitioner is looking for an efficient revenue stream. Dental management companies enable dentists to concentrate on the quality of the care they are providing, without having to worry about managing their revenues.
2. Maintaining regulatory compliance
As in any other business, one of the main factors that impacts the sustainability of a dental practice is whether or not it complies with a regulatory system and policies. Considering these policies are regularly adjusted and updated, sometimes a busy practitioner may miss out on important policy changes – exposing themselves to risk. A dental management company is always on the lookout for such changes and maintains constant contact with regulatory bodies. So much so, in fact, that they can sometimes anticipate when changes will occur and help to proactively plan for the future. Maintaining regulatory compliance will increase your chances of survival and help you to avoid hefty penalties that may negatively affect the business.
3. Optimizing reimbursements
Considering the majority of patients use insurance and other forms of non-cash payments, reimbursement is an important aspect in the management of cash flow. Delayed or denied reimbursements have the power to threaten, even ground, operations. Dental management companies, particularly those that deal with revenue cycle management, have a thorough understanding of coding and rules to facilitate smooth reimbursements and avoid bottlenecks.
4. Enhancing monthly cash flow
Every business needs a reliable income stream to ensure smooth operations and sustainability – paying for crucial services, purchasing equipment, and salaries. Smooth operations also help to attract clients to your clinic and maintain their confidence in its professionalism through effectively managing co-pay information, verifying coverage, and authenticating billing estimates.
5. Improved performance and profits
When dedicated dental management professionals oversee revenues, administrative issues, and appointments, practitioners are free to focus exclusively on clinical matters. Alternatively, working with people who lack experience can be burdensome and costly. The result of professionals working seamlessly – each according to their skills sets and preferences – is enhanced efficiency and increased trust with clients and other stakeholders.
6. Sustained focus on offering quality services to clients
The increasing demands for documentation, especially insurance forms and reports, can take a toll on a practitioner. Spending this extra time on administration limits the number of patients that can be seen throughout the day and the time spent building rapport. It may also mean compromising on the quality of care that is provided, something that will be detrimental to the sustainability of your practice. Moreover, dental patients are increasingly demanding high quality, customer-centric dental care. They expect to be seen on time and to receive satisfactory services.
Outsourcing administrative tasks – whether revenue cycle management, appointments, billing, or coding – frees up your time with the patient. This will also have cascading impacts on your entire clinical team, who will be able to build their skills and capacity with the time that has been saved.
7. Saving time and money
Money and time are two crucial resources that any dental practice needs to effectively manage. This is one of the primary reasons why practices outsource their managerial functions. Through contracting a dental management company, dentists save significant money from not having to hire additional staff, train them, and attempt to retain them. The worries associated with billing or no-shows will be things of the past. There will also be a reduction in costs associated with office equipment, extra space, computers, and other aids. Outsourcing dental management tasks will save a great deal in terms of money and time – resources that can be channeled to the core functions of the practice. In turn, this will enhance the business experience as well as client satisfaction.
8. Enhanced client experience
Those practitioners who focus on making money without considering “the customer experience” end up frustrated and perhaps even on the brink of closure when the numbers of clients begin to dwindle. Alternatively, when you treat patients in a way that makes them feel appreciated and remembered, you will have many repeat visits and your reputation will spread through word-of-mouth advertising. Of course, the customer experience is enhanced through short wait times, the quality of care given, and the cost of the services. In a word: patients appreciate and value your undivided attention. When practitioners and clinical staff are freed from non-core tasks, they will have more time to focus on patients, leading to high levels of satisfaction.
9. Gain access to a large pool of skilled professionals
Through outsourcing administrative tasks, you will gain access to a large pool of professionals who will handle the role with precision and accuracy. Not only will this enhance your practice, it will also reduce incidences of error and, to large extent, delays and conflicts which would otherwise arise.
10. Receive detailed reports
While some administrative tasks will be outsourced, that does not mean that, as a practice, you will relinquish control and oversight to a third entity. You remain in charge. To be clear, the company providing management services will have to constantly furnish your practice with reports about your business performance. The beauty of this is that you will get detailed reports from an outsider’s view that you can use to improve your practice and refine your strategic plan.
To enjoy all these benefits, dentists should select a good dental management company – one that has the capacity to offer high-quality services and at a reasonable cost. So, what does a good dental management company look like? It must be well-established, have glowing testimonials from happy clients, and have qualified staff – people who are highly skilled and knowledgeable on revenue cycle management, appointment scheduling, and other administrative tasks.
I recommend asking around, finding out the experiences of past clients and then make a decision based on the best available evidence. Once you secure a reliable dental management company, your path towards building a sustainable dental practice will be cleared. The result will be happy clients, enhanced cash flow, increased revenues and profits, and a culture of learning and motivation.
Start the process of recruiting a dental management company now to build your ideal future practice.