Home Practice Management The “Need to Know” Value of 2 Critical Numbers

The “Need to Know” Value of 2 Critical Numbers

by Dr. Tyler Williams

Recently I interviewed Flint Geier on my podcast. He’s the son of Jay Geier and the Scheduling Institute team leader responsible for their well-known phone certification program.

We spoke a lot about how funds are handled by team members and how valuable one new patient especially someone looking for advanced treatment or someone to potentially join your in house savings or membership program can be. A lot of their phone research demonstrates just how valuable each new patient (an existing patient for that matter) in your office can be.

So how can you determine the potential of a membership plan, and if you should offer more membership programs in your practice and insurance or drop some insurance plans?

Though the exact recipe for each practice is different for a profitable growth trajectory, here are two reports I suggest you run in your practice tomorrow. Any practice management software should be able to produce these in just a few minutes. Sit down with your office manager or another team member and take a look at these then set some time aside as a team to discuss them and it will help you make some very wise decisions about the future of your practice and the people you are serving. 

  1. Patients with and without insurance reports. You will use a filter for patients with insurance and without insurance and total up the total number of active patients in your office and then divide uninsured and insured patients by that number. Now you have your ratio. 
  2. Then run a report for the number of patients who are insured and the annual production associated and compare that to patients who are uninsured and the annual production associated with that. 

Now you can compare the two reports and figure out how much revenue is generated per average insurance patient versus average non insurance patient. If you have a practice that is highly dependent on insured patients, then dropping plans could really hurt you. 

Even though we’d all like to think that all of our patients are totally loyal to us, the truth is if your practice is highly dependent on insurance, you need to realize that going out and trying to stick it to the man by dropping plans could have some very damaging financial effects on your practice, at least if you do it too rapidly. (By the way, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with insurance offices or accepting plans by the way. It is a proven model that works. But if you’re looking for a different way to build relationships with your patients and call your practice without slashing your fees, this may be it.)

However, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t phase out or drop the lowest reimbursing plans, but you need to have a plan for doing it. Take a minute to discuss this with your team, have printed handouts ready and have some options for your patients and let them know they’re still welcome to use their benefits at your office. 

If you have 50% or more of your patients who see you out of network or self pay, then insurance isn’t quite as critical of a factor in your office. Now may be a great time to really ramp up your membership plan or in house savings plans. 

If you have questions on how to run these reports, or would like some more information on how to do this please reach out to me and my team and we’d be glad to help you out. 

Have a great month!

TPD Editor

Dr. Tyler Williams

Dr. Williams  has written numerous articles for the Utah Dental Association, The Profitable Dentist and other journals. He is the author of three books, including The Owner’s Guide to a Productive Dental Practice: 7 Pillars Every Dentist Needs to Grow in the New Economy.

Dr. Williams has been featured on ABC’s Good Things Utah, NBC News Radio, the ForbesBooks Radio podcast, The One Thing marketing podcast, Sirius XM Radio, UK Health Radio, KTALK Utah radio and in several national dental research publications, and he has been recognized as one of the most influential dentists in Utah by Kleer's list of Most Influential Dentists in America. He also hosts a bi-monthly podcast called The Practice X-Factor.

To contact Dr. Williams, please email him at twilliams@yourpracticegrowth.com, text/call (801) 268-2323, or visit yourpracticegrowth.com.

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