Simplify Dental Software Migration With a System Audit

February 13, 2024 | 3 min read

A dental software migration is complex enough without being bogged down by junk information. You'd likely port over a lot of outdated, redundant, or inaccurate data if you move everything but the kitchen sink from the old system to the new one — increasing the cost of the migration while hampering operational efficiency down the road.

The Ultimate Guide to a Hassle Free Migration

Poor quality data impacts revenue cycle management (RCM) the most — it can increase friction along your revenue cycle, slow down cash flow, and negatively impact profitability. As such, you should audit existing information in your system and remove junk data before a dental software migration project.

Audit and Update Your Fee Schedules

As your DSO grows and acquires more practices, you have multiple specialty codes for the same procedures — creating confusion and impacting claim submission efficiency. Additionally, fee schedules for individual dental offices are often less favorable than those for large-scale DSOs. If you’re still using fee schedules from solo practices, you may be leaving money on the table!

You can negotiate better prices if all the practices in your DSO follow one set of fee schedules. Moreover, consistent fee schedules across the enterprise can help you save significant costs while improving efficiency.

Instead of moving all existing fee schedules to the new software, perform an audit before the migration. List out all fee schedules and identify duplicate or inactive treatment codes. Then, consolidate and standardize the codes and ensure each procedure is broken down accurately. Also, use the outcomes and insights of the audit to inform your future payer fee negotiations.

Close Out Outstanding Accounts Receivables (A/R)

Before migrating to a new dental practice management system (PMS), resolve all pending financial transactions to start fresh with up-to-date financial records in the new software. Doing so helps ensure data integrity, simplify the reconciliation process, and increase financial reporting accuracy on the new platform.

Generate a comprehensive report of outstanding A/R balances. Send reminders, statements, or follow-up communications to patients and payers. Establish deadlines and offer payment options or discounts to incentivize prompt response. Investigate and address disputes or billing issues that may contribute to late payments.

Implement a work-down plan with standard operating procedures (SOPs), thresholds, approval requirements, etc., to systematically collect A/R. Consider the collection effort's return on investment (ROI): If it takes $1.25 to collect $1 of an aged A/R, you may benefit from writing it off. Also, patient balances take at least twice as long to collect than insurance ones.  

“You may seize this opportunity to revamp an underperforming collection process. Migrating to a new system offers a prime opportunity to examine current processes to see where they have become unproductive — and to identify changes that will create the most impactful improvements.” ~ What to Expect When Switching Practice Management Systems and How to Master Your Data Migration Journey

Review and Consolidate Insurance Plans

Insurance management is an essential component of RCM standardization. Accurate and high-quality plan data helps minimize payment delays, maximize revenue generation, and ensure patient satisfaction. Cleaning up your insurance plan data and only migrating up-to-date information will help you make the most of your new PMS.

Like treatment codes, DSOs are more likely to have duplicate or inactive insurance plans or carriers in their systems as they acquire individual practices. You should take inventory of the active plans in your system and identify potentially duplicate ones. Compare their details to determine the primary plan to retain and transfer all relevant information under one entry.

Also, review your list to identify plans or carriers your practice no longer accepts and deactivate them. This process should leave you one instance of each plan your DSO accepts. When you import the information to your new system, verify deductibles, maximum benefits, coverage details, and other details are transferred correctly.

Operations Optimizations for Dental Software Migration

Operations optimizations like RCM standardization set the stage to help you get the most out of your new PMS by streamlining the transition and easing user adoption. But there's more to consider than data and processes. 

Download our white paper, What to Expect When Switching Practice Management Systems and How to Master Your Data Migration Journey, in which we share our from-the-trenches insights into dental software migration best practices gained from serving dental practices of all sizes for over a decade.

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