Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Even Out the Cash Flow

Do you dread the day that you have to run statements? The mountain of paper that sits on your desk for 3-4 days while you sort through it, piece by piece, writing personalized messages or stamping a page with color-coded stickers to draw attention to the fact that the balance is past due. On top of that, the entire following week is spent fielding phone calls from patients with questions about their bills. Sound familiar? What if you could do away with this archaic routine? Well, listen closely … because I am about to tell you how.
For several years now, I have been doing statement runs every 2-3 days. Yes, you heard it right . . . every 2-3 days. Why? It has made life at the dental office so much better. Running statements every 2-3 days does multiple things.
ü  It turns a dreaded monthly statement run into a daily routine. Rather than sorting through 85-300 statements during a normal dental practice statement run, you can now look at 4-10 each day or 10-15 every 2-3 days. This frees up a great deal of your time since you can spread this task out during the day in between checking out patients rather than tying you up for 3-4 days straight trying to get statements out by a certain day every month.
ü  By running statements every 2-3 days, it will spread out the billing calls from patients and eliminate that feared “week after” phone call fury.
ü  My favorite benefit of daily billing is that it will even out the cash flow for the office. If your office has set production and collection goals, this will help keep the two more closely in line with each other. For example, if you run statements at the end of every month, you will get an influx of payments in at the start of the month. It could appear that collections are really good, but then they will start to drop off and get back in line with the production number as the month goes on.
This all sounds really good, right? So now you are wondering how to make it happen? Dentrix has a great feature in the billing statement screen called, “If not billed since”. If you have a check mark in this box, Dentrix will only generate statements for patients who have not received a statement since this date. It is extremely important that you do not change this date. Let it default to a month ago and the system will only pick up those families who have not had a statement generated in the last 30 days. For example, if you are posting an insurance check today and the Smith family has a leftover balance and you send them a billing statement from the ledger today, then tomorrow when you do your normal statement run, the Smith family would not get a bill because they just got one yesterday.

One more thing . . . Quickbill makes this more efficient process even better! With Quickbill, you won’t even have to do the printing, folding, stuffing, stamping, or mailing. Just sort through your statements on the computer screen, type in any custom note you want to put on the statement, click the ok button, and then send them electronically. Dentrix will do all the work. The best part is that it will only cost you 70 cents per statement instead of the $5 it is costing you to send it in-house. What a bargain!
It’s time for you to get the cash flow back in your A/R and your overhead.

3 comments:

  1. Love the concept!! I'm currently billing weekly and seeing a difference all ready. Thanks Dayna for your insight.

    Camilla

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  2. I have started by breaking down the patient list alphabetically (A,B and C are done on the first Monday of the month, D,E,F the first Tuesday, etc.) Like your blog says, it would be a dreadful time folding, stuffing etc. Its now done in at most an hour what used to take a day or so...and I can expect who will be calling based on which letter went out already. It's a good thing.
    Todd

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  3. I have used this method for the past 15 years and it works like a charm..As soon as I receive and post the EOB to the patient's account the statement is generated with a note about the balance due.. Since it usually is just two weeks since the patient has had the treatment completed they most likely will pay the balance without question about what the balance is for. Also, I provide a copy of the EOB which clearly states from the insurance the patient's responsiblity.

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