A new year often brings the desire for better habits, and one habit worth implementing right away is to bill the services you perform. It sounds simple; however uncharged procedures accumulate quickly for overly empathetic doctors and teams.
Consider some common scenarios:
- You prepare a tooth for a crown, and clearly there is insufficient tooth structure so you place a build-up. Then you think to yourself, “That really didn’t take too long,” and the build-up goes uncharged. But consider all of the time spent preparing the tooth.
- A patient comes in for an emergency exam, and you diagnose the problem within minutes. Then you feel bad for charging, so you don’t. But remember dental school when the same exam took half an hour and three consults with your professors to make the right diagnosis? Now you move efficiently because you are highly skilled, which means you earn every dollar of the exam.
- Your hygienist nearly severs her rotator cuff trying to cram two hours of perio therapy into an hour, and when she finishes she codes the visit as a regular cleaning to be “nice.” When did it become mean to educate patients properly, reserve adequate time for the visit, and bill for services performed?
The list can go on and on, which will certainly provide material for future blogs. Enlist the rest of the team to help you and the hygienists “kick the habit.” Consider what leads to unbilled procedures and make appropriate course corrections. And, have everyone review the production report at the end of the day to check for overlooked services.
To ensure you do not keep selling yourself short, bill for what you do.