3 ways to fix a cash flow problem in your practice

June 27, 2017

If your cash flow is dropping, it may be time to reinvest in your team. Your practice is a living, changing organization, and it ends each day a little different than it began. Slight changes in revenue, outstanding receipts, patient load and procedural requirements occur daily and regularly at your practice. These changes not only have an impact your practice on their own, but they also carry quite an effect when combined.

Your practice is a living, changing organization, and it ends each day a little different than it began. Slight changes in revenue, outstanding receipts, patient load and procedural requirements occur daily and regularly at your practice. These changes not only have an impact your practice on their own, but they also carry quite an effect when combined.

Your staff is your front line of defense and your response mechanism to these changes. You have provided clear direction to address the issues and mitigate them, but somehow negative outcomes can still happen. Unfortunately, your staff might not always notice, track or consider these changes, which is completely normal and should be expected. With that in mind, small negative changes slipping past over time can add up to bad results.

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So, now you either know or suspect you have an issue. You have noticed a prime symptom; your cash flow is dropping, yikes! Patient loads are inconsistent and new patients are not rolling in as needed. But why? Is it due to poor follow through? Fewer treatments being delivered? Longer payment cycles? Insurance changes?

There can be any one of a dozen or more issues contributing to a turn in practice performance. Trying to go back and determine all of the issues through forensic efforts can be a real challenge. How many of your staff are trained to do this effectively? There are many reasons for a compromised cash flow, all of which could hurt you, your practice and your success. Where and how to fix the problem is a question most don’t get past. What is clear is that something needs to change in order to reverse the course.

Your solution path lies in a couple of places. The good news is you have options.

Click through the slides to learn about three important options.

 

1. Have someone fix it for you.

Hire a consultant to come in and work through the details with you. If you pick the right one, it can be a very effective solution. This will take some time and money but will likely leave you in a much better place with increased insight and training. Dental PracticePro or Stratus are both great companies to consider. They will engage with you and your office staff quickly and begin to remedy the issue.

 

2. Engage targeted solutions.

Employ a specific service to achieve a deliberate result. If you are confident that you know where the issue lies, then you can get right to a solution quickly. TekCollect, Capital Accounts or TSI can all help you collect outstanding billing, Birdeye can help you retain current patients and get new ones, and Chrisad can help you market for new patients. Each of these companies provides strong engagement options that will produce improved results.

 

3. Elevate your staff.

Ultimately the ability to train, enable and empower your staff will give you the most durable solution. Learning the “business” of the business will help them master the game and deliver efficiencies as a natural byproduct of their work. This means giving them the tools they need in order to drive the solution and grow the practice in a healthy way. There are a number of tools out there in the market professing to be the best at delivering you the insights needed. The critical factor for you to consider is how timely the information being returned is.

If the solution requires data extraction and an extended analysis of past performance by an outside agent, then the information coming back will be outdated already. It would be like trying to drive your car using only the rearview mirror. A better approach is to get a tool that works with you in real time to deliver the insight when you need it. For the ultimate real-time analytics tool, check out Practice Optimizer. It looks at your data on a daily basis and provides your team with the right steps every day to be successful. It is a complete package of reports and dashboards that gives you the control to make change happen. If you need it “to go,” then you can pair it with Practice Mobilizer and never be out of touch with your office.

 

Ultimately, you need to take practice indicators as a warning. Within your reach are the means and methods to improve your practice. It is time to reinvest in your team and step up the game. Take your staff to a team building event, or create one yourself. Connect in ways that step outside of office dynamics so that your team has more than challenges and problems in common. When your team is focused and well-aligned on your objectives, solutions are achievable. Getting them to work better together with the right tools on the right objectives will give you the best chance of success.