Your Practices Business Health Checkup

In today’s economy, it is more important than ever to understand the top metrics to measure on a monthly basis. Below are the key metrics to monitor. For this article, we will use the “average” office – Solo G.P. with six hygiene days per week.

Active Patient Count:

Active Patient Count is the number one number to know about your practice. It represents the number of patients that have been in your practice at least one time in the past 18-24 months. That number should be 1500-1700 active patients.

New Patients:

How many new patients is your practice welcoming in each month? On average we want to see 20-25 new patients per provider for a healthy replenishment rate.

Production and PPO write-offs:

Here we need to track two numbers: the monthly full fee production, the offices “U.C.R.” and the “Net” collectible production, after the Insurance write-offs and in-house discounts. Most offices are tracking only the “Net” production and calling that their monthly production. The practice really needs track the number of writes offs each month in total broken out by each insurance payer to see which ones are costing the most to be in-network.

Net Collections:

How much of the net-collectible production is your office collecting each month? It should be minimally 98-100%.

Accounts Receivable:

Unfortunately, this number has risen over the past five years in most offices. Ideally, you should not have any more than 2-3 weeks of net collectible production owed to you. So if your office is producing $100,000 per month, you would not want more than $50K-75K owed to you in total. Most of that owed money should be in the 30-day bucket.  Ideally, we would never see any money out into a 90 or worse yet past 90-day category. Unfortunately, we see many offices today having tens of thousands of dollars in the 90-day and past 90-day categories. In many cases this is “legacy” money and the office should make the attempts to collect what they can, then turn over the rest to a collection agency (if collectable) and move off their books what they do not want to send to collection agency to start with a clean slate you can now manage going forward.

Practice Goals:

Less than 3% of Dentists have clear written and communicated (to the team) practice goals. Most offices just hope and wish this year will be a better year. The saying is true if you do not know where you are going any road will take you there. What do you want to produce and collect this year? Then how many days will your practice be open this year? Divide your days worked into your annual production number to see what you need to produce daily.

Hygiene Percentage of Office Production:

On average your hygiene team should produce 25%-30% of your practice production. And with a good Periodontal versus Preventative mix, you should see 30%-40% of total office production being generated from your hygiene team.

Case Acceptance:

This metric is rarely tracked when asked most dentists feel their case acceptance is 75%-90%. However when that number is actually tracked we see it much closer to 55-60%. Increasing your case acceptance just 10% could increase your production another $75K-$100 this year.


Jim Philhower is the Director-North America Dental Sales Leadership & Development for Henry Schein Dental. Jim is a 35-year veteran of the dental industry. His career includes six years as a Regional Manager and 12 years as a Field Sales Consultant. Jim trains Managers along with Henry Schein Dental sales leaders throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia on techniques to help dentists reach their practice goals.