Bragging Rights! 5 Front Office Key Performance Indicators

Unlike the clinical team that is guided in large part by a detailed daily schedule of patients, the front office team must work directly with those same patients as well behind the scenes keeping the business of dentistry running smoothly. What indicators are available for the front office to brag about? We will highlight five key performance indicators that will allow the front office to evaluate their role and possibly hone in on systems within the practice that can support their personal achievement and the success of the practice.

1. Collections:
98% of Adjusted Production
If your monthly gross production (the sum of the fees you normally charge patients) is $85,000, and your monthly adjustments (courtesy and insurance writes offs) are $15,000, your total adjusted production is $70,000. Your collection goal would be $68,600 (70,000 x 0.98). If you are collecting less than the goal, look into systems for correction:

  • Emphasize with the team that every patient must check out with a front office team member and not duck out the door.
  • Ensure signed treatment plans are in place prior to treatment. Remind the team to use the “inform before you perform” rule to prevent treatment from being added on chairside that creates financial surprises for the patient and for you!

2. AR over 90 days: 5-10%
Aging AR should be closely monitored and managed. The odds of collecting balances after 90 days become slimmer, with less value on the return after you add in the overhead costs to make calls, send statements and track down overdue accounts.

Is your AR over 90 above the 5-10%?
Review these systems:

  • Are the outstanding balances from delayed insurance payments or the patient portion?
  • Are in-office finance options supporting balances in full
    within 90 days?
  • Do you collect credit card data and authorizations so you can run monthly charges?
  • Are clinical chart notes thorough enough to support narratives for quick insurance reimbursement?

3. Total Accounts Receivable: 3-4 Weeks of Production
Keep a close eye on the total accounts receivable-it should stay equal to 3-4 weeks of production. In other words, if you produce $100,000 per month, the total AR goal would be $75,000–$100,000. Why is this important to monitor? If AR is off, it can indicate a breakdown in several systems.

If it is too high:

  • Are the financial policies in the practice clear from the doctor?
  • Is the patient portion being collected at time of service?
  • Are the estimated patient portions incorrect or are patients seeing themselves out the door rather than having their appointments set complete by a front office team member?

If it’s too low:

  • Are the financial policies in the practice clear from the doctor?
  • Is the practice not offering outside funding options, or is treatment being recommended, but not scheduled, due to financial limitations by the patient? If this is the case, treatment presentation skills need to be honed.
  • Is a consult room being utilized and are good verbal skills from all staff members in place to uncover financial barriers in order to provide options to help patients get the treatment completed?

4. Recare Retention: 88%

Statistics show the average dental practice has an attrition rate of 12%. This would lead us to believe it would be reasonable to maintain an 88% retention of hygiene patients. The new patient flow needs to make up the difference for those losses and any additional growth the practice is targeting. Run a recare report to calculate the percentage of patients due vs. scheduled each month.

Below 88%? 

  • Remind clinicians to schedule chairside, if possible.
  • Review, perhaps “revamp,” the recare system. Hygienists can call overdue periodontal patients as they will be more successful in re-activation.
  • The recare coordinator should print reports and manage the system. The team needs to be involved in making calls and sending reminders.

5. Case Acceptance Rate: 80%
It’s not reasonable to assume the entire case acceptance for the practice falls on the shoulders of the front office team, but it is reasonable for them to track this number. A front office team member should be tracking the number of cases presented vs. scheduled every day. Keep in mind, it is considered scheduled if the next step is scheduled-not the entire treatment plan. When this percentage falls short, it should become a subject of the next staff meeting. There are a number of systems that feed this number:

  • Evaluate presentation skills:
    Make sure the exam is occurring early in the hygiene appointment
    to give the patient processing time, and the hygienist time to reinforce
    the diagnosis.
    Note: When patients are confused about treatment or ask clinical questions at the front desk-this is a key indicator something went wrong during presentation.

How did you rate? If you scored within the benchmark on all five topics, you deserve to brag a bit. If you identified some challenges within your systems-you still deserve to brag a bit as you can now be the conduit for change. The Practice Support Team is a no-fee consulting service for Burkhart’s clients, and we’d love to help you implement systems for greater business success.

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