Writeoffs, Overhead and Holidays

Episode 055

Happy Holidays! This week we review some numbers related to insurance write offs and average overhead. I also discuss a new online resource that I think you will enjoy. Thanks for listening to episode 55 of the Business of Dentistry.

More About This Show

The day I recorded this episode was a rarity: the office was closed on a Friday. I came in to record this show, but also to look at this year’s numbers. I like to look at what we’ve done, where we are at and where we are going for the next year.

On this episode I will give you percentages, but I’m not going to go into specifics. Instead, I’ll share information from a report I pulled. I wanted to see what percentage of production we are actually collecting because it comes from multiple insurance companies and programs like PPOs, fees for service, Medicare and state Medicaid. I wanted to run a report to give me a good composite view of the practice.

When I looked at total production versus collections and write-offs, I saw that we are collecting about 73% of everything we charge out. We charge full fees, even if it’s an insurance company that we have contractual write-offs with. We are really good with our collections, it’s the write-offs and adjustments where we fall off.

Ideally of course we would collect 100% of what we charge, but I’m simply sharing to show you how I gauge the health of the practice. And I’m also sharing to encourage you to look at your write-offs versus your charges and see where you are at, and where you want to be next year.

As a practice, we are also looking at specific insurance plans in the new year, to see what is working and what is not. There are certain insurers we get killed by, especially when performing wisdom teeth extractions. So we’re looking at what patterns we’re seeing and will look at which plans we want to continue working with, or will stop.

Another number I’ve been looking at is the year to date average overhead for my practice. I’ll qualify this by saying my overhead is generally lower than general practitioners because I’m an oral surgeon.

But we track this and the key to this is tracking and understanding what your overhead is and your profit margin. Before I pay myself my average is 47.4%, about a point less than last year. We’ve improved by one point over the past year, which is something I am happy with! We’ve improved our overhead percentages this year, and we are doing okay on our adjustments.

Finally I wrap up today’s episode with a resource I want to tell you about: the Dental Hacks Nation. it’s a Facebook group with about 900 members, many of whom are regular contributors. It’s a great group with a lot of input, feedback, humor and positivity. I think it’s a great platform to check out.

Listen in to today’s episode to hear more about the group, and then let me know if you join. I’d also love to hear from you about your end of the year numbers, and what you are aiming for in 2017. Happy holidays and happy new year from the Business of Dentistry!

Tweetable: “Many people have the same pain points and successes you do.”

Episode Resources

Dental Hacks Nation on Facebook
Voices of Dentistry

Business of Dentistry on Facebook

Connect with me on Twitter

Case Video Conferences Using Zoom

Episode 054

After a two week hiatus I am back with another episode. This week I introduce a couple of new resources that show promise within the office. Listen in and find out how Zoom might be helpful to you on episode 54 of Business of Dentistry.

More About This Show

The first new resource I wanted to share with you is Zoom. Recently, one of my orthodontic friends and I had a complex treatment plan we were working on together for a mutual patient. He wanted to look at some of the CT scans of the patient’s teeth so we were sharing discs of the scans back and forth.

It turns out he wasn’t comfortable manipulating the software to look at the scans to see what he needed to see, so one of his associates contacted me for help. She asked if they could come by and if I would show them how to use the software, how to look at the images, etc.

By the time we could meet for lunch, she was out on maternity leave. Rather than have him drive 20 minutes each way, I decided to try video conferencing with him, and that is how I found Zoom.

I’m sharing it with you because Zoom was simple to use. I sent him a link, he clicked on it and joined me from his office. I shared my screen with him and we looked at the CT scans he had questions about as well as the images he sent me. It really felt like we were in the same room together!

Even though I’m a techie person, I’ve always been a bit intimidated by live video conferencing and webinars, that type of thing. But he’s a friend so I knew he wouldn’t mind if we had some roadblocks on our first try, happily we didn’t!

There are other paid options, but I tried the free plan at Zoom.us. I think this is a good solution if you have a multi-specialty complex case; you could use Zoom to drive the conference and share the images, the photographs, models through your webcams, etc. This is a great way for us to communicate better, the technology is readily available!

The other technological resource I’ve recently found is Rev.com. Rev.com is a recorder that allows you to do recordings on your phone, your desktop, or iPad/tablet.

I’ve used it for an educational site I have about wisdom teeth called I Need My Wisdom Teeth Out. To create the content for the web site I used Rev.com. I would dictate into my phone the different segments of the site, save each one and send them to Rev.com.

It costs $1 per minute and they turn around the transcription very quickly, they typically sent my segments back to me within 24 hours.

Most of my segments for the web site were under 20 minutes so I would record them while driving to work after dropping off my kids at their school. It didn’t take long before I had the content created, and now I have an audio version and a text version of each area of the web site.

If you are like me and you speak faster than you can write then you could use it for content creation or for journaling or your office notes; it has a lot of different uses!

Now that I’ve shared my recent finds, I’d love to hear if you have different resources or ideas, too. I wanted to share these with you and get your thoughts: have you used either of these tools? If you did, what did you use them for and did they work well for you?

Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on Zoom and Rev.com, and I appreciate you taking time out of your busy life to be here to listen to the show!


Tweetable: “There is no reason for us not to communicate better.”

Episode Resources

I Need My Wisdom Teeth Out web site
Voices of Dentistry

Business of Dentistry on Facebook

Connect with me on Twitter