August 14, 2019
Every new patient that walks into your office was at some point looking for a dentist. You spend time and money on newspaper, radio, and other types of ads, making sure they can find you, but the fact is often you were simply a name on a provider list in the patient’s online health portal. Carriers don’t like to recommend one specific provider over another, so they tell the patient to search the provider directory, but carriers do like to tell providers that the patients wouldn’t be there except for their recommendation. Are they worth it? It is working?
“Tracking carriers as referral sources is great for showing just how dependent practices have become on a PPO feed,” says Teresa Duncan, principal at Odyssey Management, Inc.* She recommends you evaluate the return on investment – or ROI – of participation with respect to new patient flow. “Is being on the list actually driving patients to your practice? If not, then there is no value to lowering your fees for a non-existent or slow flow of patients. Carrier ROI is not typically measured, which means practices make big dollar participation decisions mostly on emotions.”
But not you, and not using Dentrix Ascend.
1. Add each of your carriers as a non-patient referral source. If you need a refresher on how to do this, please revisit the blog post Tracking Non-Patient Referral Sources, Part 1.
2. During the first call, the front office team member must always ask the patient how they found the office. If they mention their insurance carrier, that should be entered as the referral source.
3. At appropriate intervals, get the statistics from the Production by Referral Source power report. If you need a refresher on how to do this, please revisit the blog post Tracking Non-Patient Referral Sources, Part 2.
- Measuring participation tells you which carriers work WITH you.
- Do a little math once a year. It could be worth thousands of dollars!
* Our thanks to Teresa for this tracking idea, which she shared while we were preparing for the 2019 Business of Dentistry Conference. Teresa is a speaker and writer with over 20 years’ experience in healthcare. Her podcast Nobody Told Me That! tackles insurance and management information. For speaker and event information visit www.OdysseyMgmt.com.