Today I discuss the process for updating your fees in your Dentrix software. I cover topics such as updating office fees, updating treatment plan fees, and strategies for fee increases. Learn a couple great ideas for forecasting revenue based on fee increases when you export your fees into an Excel spreadsheet.
I also offer tips on updating fees for PPO plans and how to forecast revenue based on fee updates. Additionally, I share a tip for copying fees for in-network and out-of-network plans so you get the highest benefit for your patients. Overall, this episode provides valuable insights and guidance for dental practices navigating the fee update process.
- There are different ways to do a fee update, including updating office fees and treatment plan fees.
- Treatment plans do not update automatically, so it’s important to manually update them if necessary.
- Consider a fee increase strategy that focuses on different procedure code ranges.
- When updating fees for PPO plans, it may be helpful to have a buddy assist in the process.
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Hey, welcome back. Okay, we are like right in the middle of first quarter and there are a lot of things that happen in the first quarter of any year. One of those things that happens is you are probably either already have or getting ready to do a fee update. And so a couple of you have already reached out to me.
and wanted to know like, okay, how do I do a fee update? You know, what are your recommendations on a fee update? How do, what do I do with patients that already have an existing treatment plan? How is it gonna affect my production numbers on my appointment book? You know, how do I, what is it gonna do to my hygiene numbers? All those questions that come about when you’re going to do a fee update. So I wanted to tackle all of your questions.
in this solo episode today. And so let’s start from the very beginning, you know, like how do you even do a fee update? And there’s a couple of different ways that you are going to do an update to your fees. Now, one way is as if you’re updating your office fees, you know, so your cash patients, your out of network patients, maybe you’re posting full fee to everybody, even if you’re in network.
and you’re using the allowed amount to calculate. So if you are updating just your full office fees, then what you could do is you could either do a percentage straight across the board. You could say, okay, I just wanna update my fees by 10% this year across the board. And that’s super easy to do. Just go.
So all the fee updates are done in the fee schedule maintenance. So you’re gonna be on the office manager in the fee schedule maintenance. And so you could go into the auto changes and you could just say my office fee schedule, I’m going to update it by 10% across the board. I wanna round up to the nearest dollar so that I don’t have any like, you know, two cents or.
34 cents on each of any of my procedure codes. So I just round up to the to the nearest dollar And then you click save and you have a new fee schedule a new update and If you do that, it will update any of the appointments where you are You know your post setting complete like a hygiene visit. So you’ve pulled it from the procedure code
or you pulled it from the initial reason box, those will automatically post then with your new fee schedule automatically. Now, if you have patients that have an existing treatment plan, okay, treatment plans do not update automatically, okay? So you can, unless you push the button.
Okay, so in your fee schedule maintenance, there is a little checkbox that you could say, update treatment plan fees, and it will then across the board, also update all the treatment plan fees across the board to all patients, if you wanna do that. That is your choice. I would recommend that you do that from the server. I would also recommend that you do that when no one else is on the computer.
because it is a pretty big process. So I would do it like maybe on a day off, maybe on a day where you don’t have any patients scheduled. It’s like an admin day. So I would do that if you’re gonna update all your fee schedules across the board. Now, what I have been recommending to those of you that have reached out to me personally and asked what’s my recommendation, well, my recommendation is if the patient is currently in treatment, or if you have given them a treatment estimate and they are scheduled, then I would honor your previous fee schedule. And you can do that in Dentrix by updating all your treatment plan fees, but using like a expiration date. So if your treatment plans have an expiration date on them, then it will skip over any of the treatment plans.
fees that have an expiration date on them. So you could get around it that way. What I typically will do though is, as patients start to come in for their hygiene visit, if they have a previous treatment plan, like they had a crown diagnosed a year ago, I would then just do a fee update for that particular patient before you re-present the case to the patient. So,
All you have to do is open up the treatment planner module, click on the little update fees icon on the treatment plan. It’ll just update the treatment plan fees for that particular patient’s treatment plan, super easy. That’s what I always did in my own practice. That way I really could be very intentional and very specific about which patient treatment plans I was updating and which ones I didn’t. So.
So that’s if you’re gonna do a fee schedule update across the board for all of your fees. Now, one thing that I used to do in my own practice, and I didn’t mean to kind of get off track there, but what I typically did in my own practice was I would do a fee increase, but I would base it on the procedure code range.
So what I always did is I did a fee increase for all my preventative codes, all my diagnostic and preventative codes. I would do a fee increase for those codes, probably somewhere between four and 5% because patients will notice their diagnostic and preventative codes more often because they’re coming in more frequently for those.
procedures than they will for restorative. Restorative code, so anything above the 2000s, I was increasing by more like 8 to 10% each year. And so that’s what I did in my own practice because I wanted to increase my preventative and diagnostic just a little bit lower. Patients will notice fee updates on the preventative codes a lot more.
then they will restore it in code. So that’s just my little tip. That’s what I did in my own practice. You can take it or leave it, whatever you wanna do. Now, if you’re doing a fee update for one of your PPO plans, like right now, hopefully your in-network insurance companies are also doing a fee update, just like you are. And…
And so you could maybe get on the insurance portal. Hopefully you could download an updated 2024 fee schedule and go in and update your fees. Now this process is gonna take you a little bit longer. I would recommend that you grab a buddy, grab your favorite team member and sit down at a computer together and one person read off the code and one person input.
because you will have to do it code by code. And so the way you’re gonna do this type of fee increase is you’re going to still go into that fee schedule maintenance, but you’re going to have to do the edit by code feature. Yeah, edit feature, you can’t do the auto changes. You have to do the edit feature because you have to go code by code because you have to match whatever the fee is on the PPO or the in-network.
plans schedule. So grab a buddy, grab your favorite team member, you know, maybe you do it, you know, after hours or whatever. Grab an ice cold beverage and sit down at a computer and update your fees. It will probably take you to do a full fee schedule, probably about 20, 30 minutes if you pair up with a buddy. If you have to do it on your own, it probably will take you a little bit longer.
So that’s why I say grab a buddy and try and get it done. Try and hammer it out that way. That’s probably a lot easier for you to do it that way. All right. So we’re gonna take a quick break and you’re gonna learn a little bit about my good friend, Teresa Duncan’s insurance course while we take a quick little break.
All right, welcome back. All right, also my good, my friend, Theresa Duncan, not only does she have an amazing insurance course, but she also has two podcasts that you can dive into. So nobody told me that, or chew on this, is Theresa Duncan’s two podcasts. So I thought I would share with you two of my other favorite podcasts in our network of dental industry experts. Okay.
If you do a fee update, you do have the opportunity to also update all your fees that show up on your appointment book. So that if you are tracking your goals and your actual scheduled production on your appointment book, you know you can click in the little calendar in the upper left corner of your appointment book, and you could look and forecast what you have scheduled.
on your appointment books, you can get an idea of, are we at goal? You know, are we not at goal? Are we, do we need to look for available possibilities for some same day treatment? I always loved tracking my production goals on the appointment book using that little calendar. It was so easy just to look at quickly. So when you do a fee update,
It will allow you to update your fees that are on the appointment book, which is awesome. Then you get more accurate numbers when you’re looking at that. All right, let’s see, what were some other things I was gonna talk about? Fee schedule updates. Oh, another thing that, one of my practices I was working with, this was the coolest thing ever. One of the practices I was working with, what would,
export her fee schedule into an Excel spreadsheet. And you can do this super easy to do. You just go to your fee schedule maintenance, export it into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. And what she would do, this was just fantastic. This was brilliant. What she would do is she would try and forecast, okay, if I did, let’s say that she looked up last year, she did.
you know, 400 crowns. Her doctor did 400 crowns last year. And if we did, you know, the same amount of crowns, 400 crowns this year, but we increased our crown fee just by $10, you know, how much more revenue would that be in our practice? Or if we were to increase our, the number of fluoride treatments we did, then what kind of revenue would that give us projected for next year? So it’s so cool because you can do that in Excel, just export your fee schedule into an Excel spreadsheet and then you can start to play around with some numbers. If I increase my fee by this dollar amount or this percentage, what’s that gonna do to our annual revenue? Or if I just did 20 more crowns per month or I did…
You know, if we did fluoride on every patient that walked in, what would that do to our annual revenue? So that’s kind of a fun thing to do with your fee schedules. You can export them into a Excel spreadsheet and kind of play around with them a little bit, and then do a fee update. So maybe if you increase your fees by, you know, 6%, what’s that gonna do to your annual revenue based on your last year’s actual production?
So you could run a practice analysis report and see, okay, how many crowns did we do last year? If we increase our fee by 6%, what’s that gonna do to our annual revenue? So fun to predict what you may or may not produce in the future just by kind of playing around with your fee schedules. All right, if this year you maybe dropped out of an in-network plan,
and you wanted to, you know, change your fee schedule. Maybe you still have that fee schedule attached to a few insurance plans and you wanted to make sure that you weren’t posting the lower in-network fees anymore. You could copy your office fees into those PPO fee schedules.
just to kind of buy yourself some time before you start like disengaging them or unlinking them from the insurance plans. So that’s kind of a little tip you might wanna do if you wanna copy your full fees into those PPO’s that you’ve now dropped out of. Same thing goes for if you now are in network with some new insurance plans. Where I always start is I always copy my full fee.
schedule into the new PPO fee schedule. And that way I start with a baseline, and then I can go in and edit just the fees that are listed on that fee schedule to the in-network fees. So just in case that I’m performing any procedures that are out of network or are non-covered services, I wanna make sure that I’m gonna bill out my full fee in that regard. So that’s also another little tip that you can take when you’re-
kind of creating a new fee schedule or updating a PPO fee schedule. So I hope that has been helpful for you if you’re doing a fee update right about now that gives you an idea of where to go to update your fees, how you can update your treatment plan fees, and what that’s gonna do to your scheduled production. So let me know if you have questions.
You definitely can reach out to me directly from the Navoni.com website. You can also DM me on Instagram or Facebook. I’ll reach back out to you if you DM me there. All right, my friends, if you found this episode helpful.
Please share it, rate it, review it. I would love to get some five-star reviews, especially if you’re an Apple Podcast listener. Apple does really look at those reviews for getting us pushed up to the new and noteworthy podcasts. That would be fantastic. I hope that you enjoy the rest of your afternoon or morning.
I look forward to watching your journey of becoming a high performing dental team. Until next time.