Dental service organizations (DSOs) and small dental practices alike are struggling with revenue cycle management, collections, patient satisfaction and more. Many are relying on multiple practice management (PM) systems, when an all-encompassing solution may serve them better.
At the Becker’s Future of Dentistry Conference in Chicago, 19 DSO executives attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Rectangle Health. James Swan, Rectangle Health’s senior director of enterprise solutions, provided them with a primer on how they can improve processes and speed up the revenue cycle at their various practice locations.
Catching Up to Other Industries
A recurring theme that emerged during the roundtable and throughout the entire conference was that dentistry as a whole has lagged behind other industries in terms of technology. Many dentists and DSO executives at the event agreed they need to catch up. And they’re taking action!
For example, one DSO executive was intrigued but apprehensive about implementing automated payments. He explained that he has heard of incidents where a card on file was automatically charged when a patient balance was due. It spurred negative sentiments—even if though the patient may have previously signed a consent form. “You’ll see these reviews on Google saying, ‘All of a sudden, I saw this $500 charge. They didn’t get my consent,’” he said. “How does automation deal with that?”
Swan responded that Rectangle Health has solutions that automate payments, but avoid unexpected charges and, ultimately, these types of negative responses from clients’ patients. “Once their consent is captured digitally and a patient’s card is stored on file in Practice Management Bridge®, practices can set up recurring payments or use it to collect any balance due,” he said. “If there is a bill that is above a threshold dictated by the patient, the system can send a text message to notify them that their card will be charged in 48 hours. It gives them the time to prepare for the charge and a number to call if there’s an issue.” he explained. Keeping patients’ cards on file is one of the best ways to improve the revenue cycle and cut down on the cost of paper and labor-intensive billing.
Streamlining PM Systems
Many dentists and executives at the event also indicated a need to bolster their practice management (PM) systems. For example, some PM systems aren’t equipped to store card information on file, due to the risks involved. Fortunately for dental practices and DSOs, Practice Management Bridge conveniently stores card information on file and adheres to the highest security standards, keeping PCI data safe.
Additionally, PM systems are exceptional at specific tasks—payments, compliance, patient engagement, etc. However, many DSOs are looking at ways to consolidate technology with one system. Since acquiring multiple other companies and integrating their solutions with Practice Management Bridge, Rectangle Health has become a one-stop shop for providers’ needs. “We want to be everything that your PM system is not,” Swan said. “What we’ve found is PM systems that are much better at some of these things than others, but we can provide an a la carte offering that’s going to solve the challenges of digital payments and many other time-consuming business processes.”
PM systems can also be costly, especially if an organization is using multiple systems in conjunction with one another. As a result, some DSOs are exploring other options. One CFO at the roundtable explained that he used Practice Management Bridge with a previous organization, and it was highly effective; he is now in the process of adopting it for his current DSO. “We’re probably going to save $500,000 a year,” he said.
A True Partner
Technology itself is only part of the conversation. There are many technology developers out there with great products. DSOs also need to be able to rely someone with proven expertise to help guide them through what can be a challenging process.
Before wrapping up the roundtable, attendees asked about the total value that Rectangle Health brings to DSOs, as opposed to other vendors. Christian Drbal, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Rectangle Health, responded that what DSOs and dental practices need is a true partnership, rather than a vendor/customer relationship—and that is the Rectangle Health difference. “We’re not a vendor,” he said. “We’re a true partnership in this endeavor. Everybody’s looking to grow, and you need a true partner with a scalable solution to do that. That’s the main pillar of what we provide to our partners.”