The window of enthusiasm for acting on New Year’s resolutions is notoriously quick to close. Here’s how to get 2023 off to a smart start… while you and your team are still fresh.

By Kristen Jordan

DO YOU EVER wake up early on Sunday mornings and do some dreaded errands so you can have the rest of the day for yourself? Feels good, right? Everybody also likes to get the new year off to a great start—for a
little while, at least. Why not take advantage of this time of year and run through a few simple checklists? The sooner you get them out of the way, the less stress you’ll have later.

Update your UCR fees. You could be leaving money on the table right now and not even be aware of it. That’s because when more practices in your demographic increase their fees, the natural reimbursement rate from PPOs rises. Plus, many patients who exhaust their benefits become cash patients. Know your state laws and protect your profitability.

Negotiate your in-network insurance contracts. Can you do this yourself? Maybe. Would you want to? Probably not. Negotiations generally consume six months to a year, and if you don’t have the knowledge to generate leverage, you could end up with nothing to show for it.
So yes, hiring a third-party expert or consultant is well worth it. In the meantime, ensure you’re not doing more write-offs than required. Many states have legislation that prohibits PPOs from dictating fees for uncovered services.

Refocus on new patient acquisitions, with an eye toward countering inflationary pressures. Are you making things easy for potential new patients, especially people without insurance? Now is an ideal time to create a membership plan keyed to your desired patient base. No two plans are alike, nor should they be. This is another area where an expert consultant can save you time upfront and help deliver better results over the long term. Plus, when your plan lines up with patient expectations, you won’t need to invest as much effort to market it. Speaking of marketing…

Determine your rate of attrition. It will give you a rough idea of how many new patients you need to acquire while you strategize to reactivate patients who haven’t moved or passed away. If you don’t know how to acquire this data and analyze it, look into software that will help you. Likewise, if you don’t know what kind of marketing you need to do in response, a consultant can help.

Measure twice, cut once. If you always start off with accurate numbers, you’ll never waste time and effort to plan accordingly. Know your new-patient figures per month, treatment plan acceptance and hygiene recall percentages, perio program performance, accounts receivable at 30/60/90 days and collection rates versus production. If you don’t have systems in place to determine these, implement them. Here’s the best part about making those your New Year’s resolutions for 2023: You don’t have to do them by yourself. Consultants and software can take the work out of it. This modest investment will pay for itself many times over. And who knows? With some extra hours and income at your disposal, you can spend more time focusing on your own well-being.

This modest investment will pay for itself many times over.

KRISTEN JORDAN is Benco Dental’s Coaching & Education Manager, specializing in revenue analysis. She has been an office manager, regional manager and operations executive for several large practices. Contact her at