The holidays are a special time for everyone. Most dental practices are closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. While taking a break off from work is crucial for both dentists and their staff, the holidays can potentially slow down busy practices and significantly impact cash flow. The good news is that there are many things you can do to increase your dental practice revenue and serve patients better too, during the holidays.
As a dental billing company, we recommend that dental practices consider staying open for a few days to make the most of the holidays financially:
- Help patients use their plan benefits before they end: Many patients wait till the end of the year to get their dental work done and annual benefits don’t roll over. With family, school, and work obligations keeping them busy, many people don’t have time to think about maxing out their benefits before they expire. Patients who don’t take advantage of their dental benefits will end up leaving money on the table.
Educating your patients about how to use their annual maximum before the New Year can improve their oral and overall health as well as financial wellbeing. For instance, scheduling appointments for preventive and maintenance care can help patients make the most of their benefits before the end of the year. Planning ahead and communicating early can help your dental practice manage volume better by encouraging patients to schedule appointments as early as they can and increase revenue during the holidays.
- Automate appointment reminders: People tend to forget about their dental appointment when they are busy with shopping and other holiday activities. This can cause a negative impact on practice revenue during this “slow” period. Automating appointment reminders and cancellations can help ensure that patients are aware about their upcoming appointments and will confirm them. Waiting list management is a great way to monitor patients with outstanding treatments, dental emergencies, and preferred appointment dates. Emails and text messages reach patients immediately and they can confirm or cancel their appointment in real-time with just the click of a button. This will lower cancellations and reduce no-shows and also help patients get the care they need. Automated reminders cut down on front office phone calls and frees up the staff to focus on more productive tasks.
- Schedule appointments for patients coming home for the holidays: Most kids attending school or college far from home tend to see their hometown dentist rather than a dentist in the place where they study. Seeing these patients over extended holiday breaks can help resolve their dental concerns before they head back to class while keeping your schedule full.
- Reach out to patients on social media: Leverage social media to engage patients during the holidays. Sharing office decorations on social media can attract new patients. Create ads with catchy slogans that reflect the holiday mood. Increase promotions on the platforms your practice is active on. For instance, Facebook Ads are a powerful marketing tool to boost practice visibility and reach. Here are 4 strategies that www.yourdigitalresource.com recommends that dentists can use to increase engagement using Facebook ads during the holiday season:
- Choose the right Facebook ad placements – for e.g., running Instagram Stories ad can help you target specific segments of your target patients and optimize your ad spending.
- Create Custom Audiences to reach users who will likely convert when shown relevant holiday ads.
- Craft clear, simple and attractive offers to stay competitive. According to Digital Resource, giving away free teeth whitening kits or dental hygiene kits could be more effective than small discounts.
- Increase your ad budget and track your spend limit.
- Optimize ad images
- Follow A/B testing best practices to get the most out of your holiday ad campaign
- Track campaign performance daily to stay on top of your holiday social media ads
Working with a digital marketing expert can ensure a custom FB ad strategy to attract new patients during the holiday season and beyond.
- Sync data across multiple software applications: Dental offices work with different types of software tools such as dental office management software, booking and dental scheduling software, appointment scheduling software, texting and email reminders, patient communications tools, digital marketing tools, and more. Client contact information spread across multiple databases can make it difficult to send out emails and holiday ecards. Syncing relevant applications can ensure the most recent contact information is available, prevent duplication of data, and allow you to connect with patients more easily and quickly.
As your dental practice makes plans to stay open during the holidays, following these strategies can help increase patient volume. Keeping your practice open for a few days or only for half of the day for a few days during the holidays will benefit both you and your patients. Schedule the open hours so that you and your practice staff get enough time with family and friends to enjoy Christmas and New Year. Dental billing services can help you bill services provided using the appropriate CDT, ICD-10 or HCPCS codes, send claims on time, and optimize your revenue.
Outsource Strategies International provides complete revenue cycle management support for dental practices – from billing and coding and dental insurance verifications and authorizations to payment posting, claim submission and collections. Our team can help you optimize revenue and stay compliant with industry rules and regulations. Call (800)-670-2809 to speak to one of our Solutions Managers.