Easy Ways To Improve Patient Service And Increase Revenue
Many providers of dental services deal with third-party payment companies. The policies dictated by these companies can seriously limit a provider’s ability to earn sufficient revenue by demanding high overhead and dictating specific rates that can be charged for dental services. This puts many dental providers in a precarious position with fixed operating costs and fluctuating benefits from these third-party payers.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways a dental service provider can increase revenue legitimately, while also maintaining service quality. Let’s examine a few suggestions from Dr. Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, founder and director of Practical Clinical Courses, an international continuing-education organization for dental professionals.

Adding Staff-Oriented Clinical Procedures

There are a number of income-generating clinical procedures that can safely, and legally, be delegated to competent and educated staff members. Tasking staff members with increased responsibility will help you increase revenue while also improving breadth of patient service.

Many procedures require adequate staff education, and you may elect to training staff on procedures you’re familiar with while also providing access to select CE courses that will give your staff proper instruction on how to complete specific clinical procedures.

One procedure that is easy to implement and in high demand is the formation of pressure-laminated mouthguards. According to the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA), “One study found that the mouth-formed mouthguards do not properly cover all posterior teeth in 85% of athletes tested.”

In addition, CDHA states that stock mouthguards “are generally considered inferior to the other types of mouthguards, particularly the custom-fabricated mouthguard, in terms of retention, protection, and comfort.” Training staff on the proper formation of custom, pressure-laminated mouthguards will help dental providers improve service and increase revenue.

Coding Considerations

Most dentists know that procedure codes are nearly in a state of constant fluctuation. As a result, it’s imperative to stay current on coding changes so that benefit companies can be accurately notified of all procedures accomplished. A failure to do so may result in payments that do not adequately compensate dentists for the work they’ve done.

Tasking staff with reviewing each new edition of the ADA codebook as they are published will serve to keep everyone up-to-date with the most recent coding changes. Furthermore, you can benefit from sending staff to a series of continuing education courses, facilitated by a practice management educator, which will improve the likelihood that all procedures are being coded accurately.

Invest In Your Dental Assistants

Cultivating proactive dental assistants is imperative to ensuring quality patient service and maximizing revenue. Over time, it’s easy for dental assistants to get too comfortable with the routine assisting tasks they’re required to perform. While they’ll still be filling a vital role in your office, you may not be utilizing their skills to the fullest extent.

A proactive dental assistant is one that thinks several steps ahead and is able to anticipate needs and issues that may arise throughout the process of a variety of dental procedures. This kind of forward thinking will make daily procedures smoother and help to optimize the overall efficiency of your practice. Fortunately, there are a number of CE courses dedicated to teaching dental assistants the basics of proactive thinking.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

In an effort to improve patient service and increase revenue, many dentists will also try to expand the variety of procedures they perform individually. While this can certainly be an effective approach, utilizing the skills of all office staff is essential to creating the most productive dental practice possible.

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Posted by: DSR
Monday, February 1, 2016
Tag: Dental
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