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GPS Managing Finances

Managing Finances

Running a dental practice requires a lot of hard work and attention to details that aren’t related to the clinical care of your patients; in other words, it isn’t easy. Successful private dental practices have owners who understand the importance of tracking expenses systematically, maximizing revenue, and minimizing risk.

Managing Finances

  • Managing Finances: Introduction

    Running a dental practice requires a lot of hard work and attention to details that aren’t related to the clinical care of your patients.

  • Managing Finances | Resources

    A compilation of all of the resources found in the Managing Finances module of Guidelines for Practice Success

  • Considerations in Developing a Financial Policy

    Many practices have policies that explain the different methods patients can use to pay for treatment.

  • Patient Direct Pay Practices

    Some dental practices are essentially all-cash operations, meaning that no outside or third-party method of payment, such as assignment of payment to the patient through a third-party benefit administrator, is accepted.

  • Discounts

    Patients who pay up front occasionally expect a cash discount and many dentists are willing to extend that courtesy if the payment is made by cash or personal check.

  • Barter

    The idea of trading a few hours of your professional expertise for someone else’s talents can be very appealing, especially when you know and trust the patient.

  • Collecting Payments

    Collecting payment is literally the bottom line of your practice. Developing and implementing a workable financial system is critical to ensuring that patients pay their bills promptly.

  • Overdue Accounts

    If your staff reports that collecting fees is requiring more time or becoming more difficult, make it a point to review your internal financial policies and protocols.

  • Overpayments

    While state laws on this topic vary, the appropriate and ethical response to an overpayment is to return the money to the patient or, if it’s allowed, credit the overpayment and apply it towards future treatment.

  • Credit Card Disputes and Chargebacks

    If credit card disputes arise, you should first contact the cardholders to see if there’s a way to remedy the problem. Listening to their concerns and frustrations may help you find a mutual solution that maintains the doctor-patient relationship.

  • Patient Financing Options

    Sometimes the cost of a patient’s treatment plan is higher than the patient expected, even with the cost-sharing available through their dental benefit plan.

  • Dental Benefit Plans

    In many practices, a significant percentage of patients direct the financial coordinator to “bill the dental plan” and then pay the balance due directly to the practice.

  • Indemnity Plans

    Under an indemnity plan, the carrier pays claims based on the procedures performed, usually as a percentage of the charges.

  • Managed Care Plans

    Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are networks of dentists enrolled in specific plans using discounted fees for cost savings to the purchaser of the plans.

  • Capitation/DHMO Plans

    Dental health maintenance organizations require patients to select primary care dentists from within a particular network.

  • Medicaid

    Medicaid is a joint and voluntary program between the federal government and the states intended to provide health insurance coverage to the nation's poor, disabled and impoverished

  • Medicare Enrollment to Satisfy the Part D (Drug) Requirement

    Medicare Part D only covers a few limited dental services that are related to certain covered medical procedures, such as extractions done in preparation for radiation treatment for neoplastic diseases involving the jaw.

  • Medicare Advantage Coverage Explained

    Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are offered by private companies that contract with Medicare to provide Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) benefits.

  • Risk Management

    Every year, the ADA receives calls from members about risk management matters, some of which involve complicated legal issues.

  • The Dental Record

    Information contemporaneously entered into the dental record can oftentimes help you defend yourself if a patient files a malpractice claim against you.

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