The value of time

How to make the best use of your time so that you can focus on building a stronger relationship with patients.

A dental practice is a time driven business.

A common issue in many offices is time management. Specifically, for insurance and billing, it is:

  • Time dedicated to the insurance process that involves eligibility and verifying the plan details.
  • Time needed to contact patients’ if there is a concern about insurance coverage. Contacting patients well in advance of their appointment prevents delays for the doctor and clinical team while the patient researches the problem or loss of appointment time because the patient is advised when they arrive and refuse to be seen until the insurance problem is resolved.

Timely insurance verification tends to be a process that slips when staff is overwhelmed with other responsibilities. This process is affected by planned and unplanned absences and heavily booked schedules.

The unplanned absence of a staff member sets an office back. This could be an employee deciding to leave for a new opportunity, an unexpected illness, or worse, having to terminate a team member. This not only affects the time element, but also the overall morale of the office.

Scheduling to your target production goal is vital to a successful practice. However, it requires flexibility among the administrative team. That flexibility tends to pull the staff in many directions and verifying insurance tends to get pushed to the bottom of the list. Additionally, when the staff is spread thin, other important tasks such as contacting patients for unscheduled treatment or re-care also slips. Unfilled appointment time in your daily schedule has a substantial financial drain to the practice. The financial loss that is incurred by uncollected patient balances and outstanding insurance claims can be significant.

Also, consider the number of incoming phone calls that go unanswered while staff is attempting to verify insurance. For the patient, an unanswered call translates into “they are too busy for me” and they may seek care elsewhere.

There is a way for dental offices to address all of these time related issues simultaneously. Outsourcing your insurance verification and accounts receivable to an experienced dental revenue company enables you to address each of these critical issues.

How does outsourcing fix all of these issues?

Your staff can come to work and focus on your patients. This allows the necessary time for you and your staff to build meaningful relationships with patients. It is easy to get a patient in the door, but keeping the patient coming back and choosing to spend their time, money and insurance in your office is really what builds a practice. When the burden of verifying insurance, proper plan setup, and insurance claim research is replaced by outsourcing, this enables an office to maximize each unit of time by focusing on the patients, their treatment and productive scheduling.

Staffing for the insurance function no longer needs to be an arduous process. No longer is there the need to monopolize your staff’s time, or allocate financial resources for employee training. As a dentist/owner, you no longer need to use your production time — or your time off — pouring over numbers after hours, while your time could be spent with family, friends, or on outside interests.

Your staff can focus on that which creates the most impact … creating an outstanding experience for your patients from the moment they step in your office until the second they leave. You have this one opportunity to create a lasting impact.

Consider researching the additional benefits of an A/R outsourcing company that specializes in the dental revenue cycle. It will save you time — and time is money.