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Next Level Consultants Blog

4 Key Reasons to Hire a Dental Consultant

April 5, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 9:46 pm

a dental team speaking with a dental consultantRunning a dental practice involves much more than just providing top-notch patient care – it also requires efficient management, strategic planning, and staying up-to-date with industry trends. And while dentists excel in their clinical roles, the complexities of running a business can sometimes be overwhelming, to say the least. This is where a dental consultant can come in handy and make a significant contribution and positive impact. Continue reading below to learn a little more about dental consultants and their responsibilities, along with a few key reasons why hiring one can only benefit a dental practice!

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A Closer Look at Dental Practice Management Systems and Their Benefits for Patients

March 16, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 4:23 pm

a dentist and her assistant chattingIn the ever-evolving healthcare industry landscape, dental practices are among a large group that’s increasingly turning toward technology to enhance their operations and improve patient care. One of the most important technological advancements that they utilize involves practice management systems, which are designed to streamline and simplify things to an impressive degree. Continue reading below to learn a little more about dental practice management systems and how they can greatly benefit both dentists and their patients!

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Boost Your Dental Practice with These 4 Must-Know Management Tips

March 4, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 9:49 pm

In the world of dentistry, running a successful practice requires much more than providing life-changing dental care. Like any other business, there are numerous logistical concerns involved, and to keep the ship sailing smoothly, it’s all about finding ways to increase efficiency without making compromises. Continue reading below to learn more about how you can streamline operations within your dental practice and ultimately ensure that you’re managing things successfully and with a purpose!

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Strategies to Improve Case Acceptance in Your Dental Practice

February 19, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 6:41 pm

dentist talking with patient about case acceptance

#case acceptance #treatment planning #patient care #patient relationship #increase revenue #new technology #patient communication

Strategies to Improve Case Acceptance in Your Dental Practice

As the owner of a dental practice, I acquired a distinct talent for persuading patients to wholeheartedly embrace their treatment plans. While the process of treatment planning was a collaborative effort, it was heavily reliant on the expertise of my associate dentist. Being a non-dentist business owner, I wanted to ensure our patients’ affirmative response to treatment held utmost importance. Continue reading to find out my top strategies to improve case acceptance in your dental practice.

I am sure fellow practice owners can relate to the profound impact of being the one solely responsible for covering all financial aspects. Effective case acceptance serves as the cornerstone of profitability, guaranteeing both the financial stability of the practice and the delivery of exceptional oral healthcare to patients. While case acceptance can be influenced by various factors, implementing well-crafted strategies can significantly elevate the case acceptance rates of your dental practice. In this article, we will explore practical approaches that can empower you to enhance case acceptance and propel the success of your dental practice.

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Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Dental Consultant

January 3, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 6:30 pm

a dental consultant meeting with a dentistIf you’ve been working in dentistry for a while, you might be looking for ways to share your knowledge and expertise with others. There’s perhaps no better way of doing this than by becoming a dental consultant! These experts come from a variety of backgrounds, including both clinical and management roles, and their impact on the industry is undeniably positive and profound. Here’s a brief look at what this profession entails, so that if you’re thinking about joining the field, you’ve got a solid idea of what to expect.

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The 3 Biggest Pitfalls of Your Dental Hygiene Department: Plus 3 Tips for Success

December 19, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 8:35 pm

dental hygiene teeth

The Biggest Pitfalls With Dental Hygiene Departments

Maintaining proper dental hygiene is crucial for your patient’s oral health and overall general health. Your practice’s hygiene department plays a significant role in promoting excellent oral care practices. In this article we will cover the key factors that boost the overall care given to your patients. So, let’s discuss the 3 biggest pitfalls that inhibit the effectiveness of your dental hygiene department. We will also discuss the solutions to help you get back on track.

Lack of Communication in Dental Hygiene

Effective communication and collaboration are vital in any healthcare setting, including dental hygiene departments. Lack of proper communication leads to misunderstandings, missed appointments, and delays in treatment. Moreover, this will negatively impact patient satisfaction and overall efficiency within your practice.

To address this pitfall, dental hygiene departments should implement efficient communication channels among the team and with patients. Utilizing digital communication tools, such as email, text messaging, or instant messaging apps, can help streamline communication and ensure everyone is on the same page. Morning huddles and regular team meetings or briefings foster better team collaboration. Providing a platform for discussion and problem-solving allows for a more cohesive dental practice. The success of communication and cooperation heavily relies on the focus and leadership of meetings.

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Next Level’s “BIG Guide” to Buying a Dental Practice

November 27, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 6:34 pm

Next Level’s “BIG Guide”

#buying #dental practice #due diligence #valuation #dental transition #practice acquisition 

What to Look Out For When Buying a Dental Practice

Two people on puzzle pieces fitting together for a business acquisition

How do you properly evaluate a dental practice that you want to purchase without having any past experience in ownership or acquisitions?

You want to be a practice owner and you’re looking to buy, so you likely have many questions bouncing around in your head. Is this practice profitable? How do you make the transition process a smooth one? What makes a practice a good one to purchase? You’ve got the experience and background being a dentist, but stepping into a high stakes business transactions can probably feel like a fish out of water. If this sounds like your situation this blogpost is for you.

Next Level Consultants has helped many dentists through the process of buying a dental practice. Working as a Buyers Representative we provide a peace of mind when making those tough decisions every step of the way. Nonetheless, this guide will also help as you look at and evaluate dental practices now or in the future. Don’t hesitate to get someone to represent you. Sometimes, you just need a professional who’s been through the process before. They will look out for your best interest in the deal. They typically seen hundreds of deals and know what to look out for along the way.

What to Look for When Buying a Dental Practice

You’re ready to start the process of acquiring a dental practice. But where do you begin? One of the first steps to consider is the practice’s finances. You’ll want to closely examine the practice’s financial position and details, such as cash flow. The last thing you want when buying a dental practice is to find yourself in the red. But how do you begin reviewing the financial side of an acquisition? Well, here’s where to start…

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War of the Roses: A Dental Practice’s – Front Office vs. Back Office

October 24, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 7:25 pm

Front Office fighting Back OfficeFront office vs. back office at your dental practice – do you have a  tight team or is it totally out of sync? The front office and back office being disconnected in dental practices is an age-old problem. Unfortunately, this is more common than not in most dental practices. 

For some reason–and who knows how this came to be – there is a very clear “line” down the middle of the office. How does this line happen, and what can we do for better flow and communication in your dental practice? It should never feel like a front office vs. back office scenario!

Next Level Consultants are a team of practice management consultants working to help doctors find holes in communication where scheduling is falling flat. Continue reading for the best ways to manage your team when you are faced with this challenging yet common scenario…

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Handling Accounts Receivable in Your Practice: Common Issues and Solutions

September 29, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — nextlevel @ 6:43 pm

Handling Accounts Receivable in Your Practice: Common Issues and Solutions

#accounts receivable #balance booking #collections #insurance verification #outstanding claims #delayed payments

Account Paid Notification

OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES OF ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE

Efficiently managing accounts receivable is crucial for the financial health of any dental practice.  Many dental practices need help in this area.  In this article we will explore the common problems with accounts receivable, and discuss practical strategies to use to avoid most issues.

Outstanding Insurance Claims

One of the primary problems behind accounts receivable in dental practices is outstanding  insurance claims.  These are claims that have yet to be processed, reviewed, or finalized for payment.  Also, claims that your front office has submitted, but they need additional attention, documentation, or details.  While their status is waiting for resolution, the claims typically remain pending.  As these claims continue as pending for an extended period, it becomes more challenging for your office to provide cost estimates to your patients.  Delayed claim processing also leads to delayed patient billing.  Your patients may receive statements and balances with varying amounts which can be frustrating and difficult to manage.

In addition, because of delayed billing your patients may experience delays in receiving necessary treatments.  When insurance claims are pending for a significant period of time, patients often wait for follow-up appointments in order to receive additional treatment.  These setbacks ultimately affect their oral health needs.

How to Avoid Falling Behind on Accounts Receivable

The solution is a system for tracking the progress of insurance claims.  Your team’s ability to follow up on outstanding claims expedites the decision making process.  This tracking system consists of two items: tracking the claim by the date it was submitted, and tracking the time elapsed since the claim was submitted.  Another key part to processing claims includes the approvals for payment. Once a claim is approved and the insurance payment is received, your staff should reconcile the practice’s accounts receivable.  This approach ensures that all payments are accurately credited to the corresponding patient’s account.

Next Level Consultants’ coaches have proven strategies to help your team excel in handling accounts receivable by introducing “Accounts Receivable Systems.”  By incorporating our processes and protocols, your dental practice will efficiently collect the money owed to you, and reduce the stress of running a business.  In addition, our proven system will enhance the overall patient experience because your patients value transparency and appreciate hassle-free billing. 

Inaccurate Treatment Plan Estimates  

Inaccurate treatment plan estimates stem from a variety of factors.  These factors include:  

1)  Incorrect data entry

2)  Insufficient knowledge of patient’s dental history

3)  Outdated insurance eligibility

4)  Failure to consider the provisions of insurance plans (such as missing tooth or replacement clause)

The above inaccuracies result in unexpected costs for your patients.  For example, your patient may receive a bill from the insurance company that is not the same as your office estimate. This in turn causes confusion and disputes.  A great deal of time and effort from your front office staff is needed in order to resolve billing discrepancies.  In addition, it is frustrating for your patients who are trying to understand their benefits and make payments.

It is important your staff is proactive and capable of explaining to patients what their dental plans are covering.  Your team members must review any limitations or restrictions that affect the patient’s out-of-pocket expenses.  By thoroughly explaining the limitations of the patients’ plans, it allows them to trust your recommendations for treatment.  

Your font office team should practice presenting treatment plans based on which procedures are part of the patient’s insurance coverage.  It is important to engage your patients when plans do not cover a procedure.  More importantly, decisions can be made with the patient’s full understanding.  Also, your office should discuss any waiting period stipulations, annual maximums, and pre-authorization requirements.

Front office team members can improve the accuracy of treatment plan estimates by ensuring that all patient information is up-to-date.  Your team should also be perceptive of any insurance provision changes, such as new insurance policies and/or regulations. Furthermore, establishing relationships with your patients, and their insurance companies makes for an excellent patient experience.

Getting Your Front Office Team Trained

If your team members are not familiar with dental codes and procedures, you may not be giving the best care available. Nonetheless, your patients should be taking advantage of all of the benefits insurance plans’ have to offer.  Patient treatment plans should include a descriptive breakdown of recommended procedures, their purpose, and associated costs. Additionally, it is important to make sure treatment plans are clearly documented in order to avoid misunderstandings. Everyone in the office should know the standardized codes for dental procedures (CPT or ADA) to facilitate accurate billing. 

In addition, encourage team members to speak up when in doubt. Especially when there is more than one interpretation of insurance provisions. If these things are not addressed promptly the difficulty of collecting money will increase as time passes. Consequently it also prevents your patients from receiving the care they need.  Make sure your team is using all available channels of feedback.  As a result you will notice improvement in your processes and team conformity.  Next Level Consultants helps implement solutions that improve these challenges in dental practices. 

Collecting at the Time of Services

Collecting at the time of services is a crucial habit for dental offices that want to stay ahead. Ultimately when you collect upfront it results in a more efficient accounts receivable process that prevents the following issues:

  1. Lack of communication with patients regarding their obligation
  2. Lack of documentation or updates on patients accounts
  3. Delay or lack of account auditing
  4. Identifying past-due balances
  5. In some cases, regulatory requirements stipulate that payments must be collected at the time of service.

As a result patients appreciate clarity and transparency in your billing process. When you inform them about their payment obligation and insurance estimates, patients are more likely to have a positive experience.  Moreover, they will be less alarmed by unfamiliar balances on statements sent in the mail.

Training your staff to collect payments from your patients during service is essential. Clearly communicating payment expectations to your patients will ensure they will comply and pay in a more timely manner. 

Incorrect Payment Posting & Adjustments

Your front office admins play a critical role in making certain payments and/or adjustments are recorded accurately. Furthermore, errors in payment postings and adjustments create confusion and discrepancies in your patient’s accounts.  The following issues are common mistakes made in Account Receivables:  

  1. False credits
  2. Adjustments applied incorrectly
  3. Payments not allocated correctly to the proper patient, within a family file
  4. Some procedures or charges can potentially be subject to contractual write-offs or adjustments with insurance companies. 
    • Failure to apply these adjustments accurately result in overbilling patients.
  5. If insurance claims are denied or partially paid. It is essential to document these denials correctly. 
    • Incorrect updating and documenting claims can lead to inaccurate accounts receivable.

By all means, make sure your front office administrators receive proper training for payment postings and adjustments. Particularly, understanding the different payment types (cash, checks, credit cards, insurance payments). It is necessary for front office admins to have a firm grasp on how to handle handle EOBs (Explanation of Benefits). and how enter data into your practice management software accurately. When you work with Next Level Consultants, we presents a holistic approach toward boosting your front office’s performance. Our coaching system develops your front office to handle these key factors, significantly improving your bottom line.

Lack of Insurance Verification Protocols

Without a solid insurance verification protocol, practices face major issues relating to insurance coverages.  These problems include:

  • Relying on faxed information instead of a complete breakdown
  • Lack of awareness of network participation 
  • Using incorrect or out of date fee schedules

Next Level Coaches also helps with insurance verification:

  • We develop a comprehensive protocol for verifying patient’s insurance coverage–before their next appointment
  • We ensure that you have accurate information on network participation and fee schedules

An Inadequate Patient Billing System

Finally, your dental practice’s billing is a major factor in managing accounts receivables.  An inadequate billing system results in compacted difficulties collecting money that’s owed to you. How are you managing accounts 30, 60, or 90 days past due?  Next Level Consultants understand the importance of having a strong dental front office team. Naturally we want to partner with you and your team to resolve any accounts receivable clean up on your balance sheet.  

Our coaches will clean up your A&R and get you on an optimum track to an efficient system. Mainly we want to work one-on-one with your team when you sign up for our “Front Office Program”. Your front office is the backbone of your business. We take your business seriously, and treat your business like it is our own.  Next Level Consultants prides itself in moving dental practices to the next level.

We invite you to reach out to us for a consultation on how to improve your front office systems like we talked about in this article.  Reach out in order to review your current processes. You can’t do everything on your own and sometimes you just need that extra guide right there with you in order to “double” or “triple your profits on an ongoing basis.

7 Strategies for Scheduling Patients and Keeping Them Scheduled

August 28, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — nextlevel @ 5:00 pm

appointment reminder for dental patients

#scheduling #appointments #patients #followup #recare #hygiene

Did you know that the average dentist needs to schedule 24-50 new patients per month to grow consistently?  When it comes to scheduling patients at your practice–and keeping them scheduled–it can feel stressful and difficult. The good news is that there are several simple strategies that you can implement today to help your practice schedule patients and keep them coming in. Try these 7 techniques to help your dental practice thrive and grow.

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