Rising costs and the increasing hassle of running a practice are putting pressure on dentists. An increasing number of dentists are leaving private practices for larger ones due to declining reimbursements, business hassles and the high cost of sustenance. Many are opting to join dental groups or multi-specialty groups owned by health organizations as they offer more benefits and allow dentists to concentrate on treating patients rather than having to deal with payroll, accounting and filing claims as well.
Private dental practices can struggle to compete with larger practices that have bigger budgets and more manpower for administrative tasks. However, cloud based EHRs and Practice Management (PM) systems can greatly alleviate some of the struggles faced by smaller practices and give them a competitive edge. Here are three prime benefits an EHR can offer a private practice:
1. Improve insurance reimbursements
Dentists are seeing more patients than ever but aren’t earning more due to the complexities of payment procedures. Project management systems that integrate billing, coding and electronic filing of insurance claims can greatly reduce denial of claims and shorten the revenue cycle. Shorter payment cycles ensure that the practice is not starved for cash flow and greatly contributes to the overall health of the practice. Most practices can also reduce costs for dictation, postage and printing by switching from paper records to electronic ones.
2. Reduce the costs of doing business
Dentists in small practices need to manage many business processes including scheduling, billing, coding, etc. Cloud platforms can automate these tasks and save on admin expenses while saving valuable time. Cloud-based EHRs can also be accessed from anywhere at any time using a mobile device and can be managed by one person, negating the cost of an IT specialist.
3. Focus on patients, not on managing a practice
Most importantly, cloud software allows the dentist more time to focus on their patients. EHRs include patient portals that allow dentists to connect with patients outside the clinic. In addition, patient engagement can be improved by following up on screening tests, preventive care and treatment regimens. This allows the dentist to provide superior care and leads to better health outcomes for the patient.
– Dr. Pietro Di Battista
Dr. Pietro Di Battista, Dovetail Founder & Chief Executive Officer, runs a successful private periodontics practice, and is a senior lecturer at different dental venues, study clubs and professional conferences. Pietro has served as Director of Clinical Periodontology at McGill University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Concordia University, and a D.D.S. and a M.S.D. from Case Western Reserve University. His hobbies include hockey and mixed martial arts.