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Case Study

Great Lakes Dental Partners Reduces A/R by Nearly 65%

Great Lakes Case Study

Great Lakes Dental Partners is a rapidly growing Dental Support Organization (DSO) with over 30 practices throughout the Midwest. Dedicated to advancing dental healthcare, Great Lakes is committed to providing practice management support and services to its many dental offices, enabling the practitioners and their staff members to focus on providing exceptional care to every patient.

To provide that exceptional support, the Chicago-based DSO enlisted Rectangle Health as a technology provider. By adopting Bridge™ Payments in each of its practices, Great Lakes has seen savings and process improvements in very short time, including a near 65% reduction in accounts receivable (A/R). Bridge Payments is part of Practice Management Bridge®, a comprehensive platform that helps practices modernize, protect, and grow their organizations. And, as Great Lakes continues to grow, its partnership with Rectangle Health will only strengthen its efforts.

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Payments and Turnover Complications

As a DSO with a continuously expanding portfolio, Great Lakes knows the importance of collecting payments in a timely manner at its locations, each of them having their own brand and logo. The organization’s previous technology vendor complicated the collections process by sending out billing statements to patients under the name “Great Lakes Dental Partners.” This would often confuse patients regarding where the statement came from and whether the balance was something they indeed owed. Delays in payment resulted in an increase in outstanding A/R.

Additionally, Great Lakes has also grappled with an ongoing staffing shortage and high turnover in many of its practices, requiring frequent training for employees.

Realizing that a change was necessary, Great Lakes began looking for a new technology vendor. The organization eventually partnered with Rectangle Health, impressed with Practice Management Bridge’s robust payments functionality, ability to streamline many manual processes, and its scalability.

Results in Record Time

After the switch to Bridge Payments, Great Lakes began to see near-immediate results across its practices.

The most dramatic turnaround was with the DSO’s A/R numbers. The first improvement was the ability to customize each dental practice’s statement based on the location and needs, eliminating the previous patient confusion. Next, Great Lakes began using Text-to-Pay with its patients. Both actions produced quick results.

“We were using a different vendor and our patient A/R levels were rising,” explained Donna Ramadan, vice president of revenue cycle and compliance for Great Lakes. “When we implemented Text-to-Pay, our A/R went from $8 million to below $3 million in a little over 18 months.”

Keeping patients’ credit card numbers on file is another way Great Lakes is ensuring that payments are made on time. They hadn’t consistently been storing card information, but that all changed when its locations adopted Bridge Payments. “We went from nearly zero credit cards on file to about 12% across our portfolio in about four months,” Ramadan said. “It really has been a monumental movement forward in a pretty short period of time. And we’re now approaching 30%.”

Additionally, the DSO has been able to vastly improve collections at the time of service. About a year ago, Great Lakes’ time-of-services collections were about 30% across all its clinics. “Now, we’re up to about 97% with Rectangle Health,” Ramadan said.

Finally, partnering with Rectangle Health has helped ease issues caused by the staffing shortage. Given how frequently the dental offices have had to train new employees, using an intuitive system like Practice Management Bridge has made that process so much easier. “I think one of the genius things about Practice Management Bridge is the self-guided learning module that is embedded on the home page,” Ramadan said. “It assists users in how they learn. They can read it or do a demo walkthrough. And that, for me, has been transformational. It has saved time and resources, by not using other team members for additional training. The self-paced training is at their fingertips, now and always, just one click away.”

What’s Next?

Great Lakes’ experience with Bridge Payments has been so successful that the DSO is now implementing Bridge™ Compliance and Bridge Engagement in Spring 2024. All three products are easily accessible in the Practice Management Bridge unified platform, so users will be able to seamlessly move from one product to another in the system.

As the DSO continues to grow its footprint across Illinois and Indiana, the sky is the limit for Great Lakes Dental Partners. And now, powered by Practice Management Bridge, the DSO’s new locations will be up and running faster, and will be operating more efficiently than ever.

Explore how Practice Management Bridge enables large and high-volume providers to consolidate vendors and technology, empowers teams and locations to collaborate better, and allows leaders to gain valuable and actionable insights that improve operations across the organization. Schedule a demo here.

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