Utilizing Your Dental Software Reports
For those of us who have been in dentistry for a long time, remember the days of appointment books, ledger cards, peg boards, filing every paper claim and EOB in a patient’s chart, and the dreaded month end reports we have to calculate by hand? Well, those days are long gone, and for those who have never had to endure an office with no computer, I have one work for you….spoiled! All kidding aside, the implementation of computers and dental software systems are a lifesaver, more so when it comes to generating office reports for your dental practice. Here are a few of the important ones.
Dental Insurance Reports
Insurance reports help keep your accounts receivables in line by allowing you to print outstanding insurance reports and keeping up with unpaid claims. This is a tedious job that requires you to be diligent about printing it and contacting insurance companies or resubmitting dental claims. Most offices have a policy in place that requires the patient to pay the balance if insurance does not pay in a specific amount of time, anywhere between 30 – 90 days. With the introduction of electronic claims, 30 days can be a fair amount of time for an insurance company to pay if proper documentation was attached to the claim.
Dental Recall Reports
This report keeps your hygiene department running efficiently and productively. These reports can tell you who is scheduled and who is due to be scheduled. The scheduled report will assist you in printing reminder postcards and labels. The report of patients that need to be scheduled can be utilized to ensure that your hygiene appointment book is kept consistently filled for your hygienist.
Dental Account Aging Report
Possibly the biggest and most important report to run in the dental office is the Account Aging Report. This report allows you to see any outstanding balance in your office, how many days past due it is, and when the last payment was made. The end of this report will tell you how much is owed in outstanding balances in your practice. This report can be utilized during your office’s billing cycles and when taking measures for collections, such as letters, phone calls, or forwarding the account to a collection agency. This report should be generated frequently and discussed with your dentist, manager, or financial coordinator on a monthly basis.
Day sheets are printed daily, just like they say. This will tell you every procedure, charges, payments, discount, and missed or broken appointments that was documented in the system on that day. It will also generate credit card deposits and a bank deposit for that day. Upon review of the day sheet draft, after everything is reviewed and corrections are made, the day sheet must be finalized before the next day begins, this can also be called “closing out your day”.
Referral reports are important for your practice by enabling you to keep track of who referred patients to you. This allows you to see which patients, dentists, and marketing tools are referring patients to you. Your office might want to know who to send referral thank you notes or gift cards to in appreciation of the referrals or where your marketing is paying off. This report will only be accurate if you have asked your patients who referred them and you document it in the patient’s charts.
There are many more reports that should be utilized for proper dental practice management, these are only a few. All front office team members should not only be trained in how to print the reports, but they should also know why each report is important to the office. If you are not utilizing your dental software reports, now is the time to start, they are the key to the success of your dental practice.
© Warschaw Learning Institute, 2012