Making the Most Out Of Financial Planning

Did you resolve to make better financial decisions for your dental practice this year?

Financial improvements are the third most popular resolution people make on January 1. It’s not too late to make progress for 2017. Use this guide as a starting point to set up your office for success.

Tips for Financial Success from the ADA

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), smart financial planning for dentists begins with a profitable practice. A profitable practice begins with raising fees. A good rule of thumb is to implement a small increase every ten months; that way, you’re netting one extra increase over a five-year period.

Next on the ADA’s list of recommendations is collecting 100 percent net. Make sure you see all the gains from your work. Setting your expectations lower can impact your profitability and your staff’s collection procedures. So if your monthly gross is $50,000 and after insurance adjustments and other write-offs, the net is $45,000, make $45,000 your collection goal. Don’t settle for less.

The third tip for financial success is having a plan for consistent growth. Involve your staff in this discussion, and benchmark at least the following figures:

  • Gross Production
  • Net Production
  • Collections
  • Net Collections
  • New Patients

In 2015, the median gross billing for dentist owners in private practice, including specialists, was $640,000. The top source of gross billings in 2015 was private insurance, followed by direct patient payments, managed care, and government programs.

Other Recommendations

Other recommendations include viewing overhead expenses in terms of revenue, doing everything possible to ensure quality patient care, and properly managing debt.

Don’t be so quick to cut expenses if doing so would negatively impact practice growth. For example, investing in a new patient billing system requires up-front expenses, staff training, and perhaps ongoing maintenance expenses. If the new billing system allows you to serve patients better and more efficiently, it’s a win in the long run.

When it comes to debt, debt that will increase your practice’s profitability and efficiency is good. Think mortgage, software, and better equipment. But any debt you struggle to pay off is problematic.

Practice growth planning is time-consuming and sometimes difficult. But it’s time well spent. Don’t put off your financial planning goals. Put a plan into place now and see the benefits throughout 2017 and beyond.

Contact us today to make the most of financial planning at your dental practice.