How Much Dentistry Do You Lose to Adjustments

How much dentistry do you give away each month?  The answer is almost always surprising as you review your adjustment report and try to make sense of why things were written off.


In addition to keeping a pulse on production and collections, it’s also very important to monitor your adjustments since each one represents money you will not receive.  Most adjustments are production related: services you are not charging family or staff, or reductions in what you are charging due to PPO contracts, courtesy discounts, or cash and senior discounts.

It can be an eye-opener, for example, when you see that you’ve adjusted off thousands of dollars in production during the month for exams, x-rays, and other services.  Maybe at the time it felt like no big deal, but those adjustments add up, especially when you want to improve your bottom line.  Many dentists gain a greater appreciation for the services they provide after seeing how much is written off, and over time they feel better about billing what they do.


Adjustments can also give you a sense of how much you lose in insurance write-offs, which is good to know if you are assessing the value of having PPOs in the practice.

Finally, when you review your adjustment report you can track how much dentistry you give away to staff and their families.  This is a tremendous benefit offered to the dental team, which is often taken for granted, and therefore it’s important to review this with each team member at least yearly.


If you are not doing so already, consider reviewing your adjustment report daily to keep the numbers manageable and to make it easier to ask questions about adjustments you do not understand.  And also look at the end of month report to gain an overall perspective about your practice.  It’s important to know how much dentistry you lose to adjustments.

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