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Revamping Smiles: The Remarkable Transformation of Southern Pine Dental

June 11th, 2024 | 6 min. read

Revamping Smiles: The Remarkable Transformation of Southern Pine Dental Blog Feature

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Dive into the Cinderella story of Southern Pine Dental: A “fixer-upper” dental practice with revenue problems, that was transformed after partnering with DCS.

Southern Pine Dental is a single, private dental practice located in Dothan, Alabama. Customer experience consultant Carl Haynie partnered with his brother-in-law, a dentist, to open this practice.

As a business-minded person, Carl noticed something immediately about Southern Pine Dental: they needed a better revenue strategy — something many dental practice owners aren’t thinking about. 

On his quest to resolve that issue, it didn’t take long for him to find DCS. Carl explains: 

“We bought a ‘fixer-upper,’ to put it mildly. We had no systems in place, and were only collecting 60% of production. When I watched a patient walk out the door without paying on my Day One, I knew I was going to need some help. DCS came to the rescue and helped manage the entire revenue cycle.”

As an end-to-end dental revenue cycle management (RCM) provider, DCS knew exactly what Southern Pine Dental needed to do to find success.

Through our partnership, Southern Pine was able to find financial growth unlike anything they’d had before because they partnered with DCS — higher collections, smoother workflows, and a less stressed out in-house team.

Key takeaways from the Southern Pine Dental case study: 

  • Think of your dental practice as a business, as well as a healthcare provider.
  • Smooth, efficient processes will bring high financial growth.
  • Better business decisions are based on accurate data. 

You can read the full case study here. But for now, let’s dive into a quick overview of Southern Pine Dental’s story of success. 

Starting with a “fixer-upper” and a business-minded owner

Carl and his brother-in-law bought a “fixer-upper” dental practice from a retiring dentist, and pretty immediately noticed they had inherited problems, such as: 

  • Low collections — only 60%
  • Poor patient experience
  • Outdated revenue processes

Carl explains: 

“It wasn’t just one problem. It was clear that there was going to be problem after problem, after problem, because that whole patient lifecycle — the patient experience — had not been run the way it should have been run.”

Read more: 6 common billing problems solved! Dental revenue cycle solutions to the rescue

Dips in revenue, inefficient processes, and unhappy patients are signs of an unhealthy business. Soon expenses will become harder to pay, staff turnover will increase, and you’ll see patients drop off. It could even affect your practice’s reputation within your community. 

The weak spots in Southern Pine Dental’s revenue cycle were glaring, but Carl had been a business consultant for customer experience, so he knew right away that he needed to be proactive about finding a solution.

He was more than ready to put in the sweat equity to make the ailing practice more pleasing and more profitable — he just needed some help. 

A noble quest for expert revenue cycle management begins

To turn around their new dental practice, the new owners of Southern Pine Dental would have to make changes. Right at the start, Carl sought revenue cycle experts to optimize and take control of their billing processes. After searching high and low for a company worth partnering with, he found DCS. 

“I interviewed multiple companies to find the right vendor to help us decentralize. I was really impressed with DCS’s knowledge of how things should be done, and also the way they set up their pricing.” — Carl Haynie

And thus, a partnership between Southern Pine Dental and DCS was born in June 2023. They started out with DCS Insurance Billing services, then later added DCS Patient Billing and DCS Credentialing.

This took a huge administrative load off the front desk team, allowing them to focus on improving the patient experience while, behind the scenes, the experts at DCS handled the revenue cycle. After a few months working with DCS, the inherited problems began to disappear, and the profits started to pop up.

The improved workflow and better cash flow were expected from DCS, but Carl wasn’t expecting to appreciate his designated Account Specialist so much. We paired Southern Pine Dental with Terresa Urbanowski, and it turned out to be the perfect match. 

Carl explains,

“Terresa would not only file claims, follow up on claims, and make sure we got paid, but she was checking in with me every day. On my ride home from work, she would call me and say, ‘Here’s what I’m seeing...’ and she would coach me through things, giving me advice every day on how to do things better and more efficiently.”

This investment in our customer’s success is what sets DCS apart: We earn our customers’ trust — and help them achieve their goals — through our exceptional and personal customer service. 

The big takeaway: Results should drive decisions

Something DCS and Southern Pine Dental have in common? Better business decisions because they’re based on real, accurate data. And results supported by good data are why Southern Pine has stayed with DCS to this day. 

In the 6 months between June and December of 2023, DCS increased Southern Pine’s collections from 60% to 100%. Carl says— 

“Our collection benchmark is now 98% and above, and DCS got us there — and keeps us there.”

And DCS doesn’t just deliver results — Terresa tailored her relationship to Southern Pine Dental to be exactly what they needed. During Carl’s evening commute, Terresa called and recapped the day’s numbers, and also flagged breakdowns in his staff’s new workflow. This helped both of them determine where adjustments needed to be made for further improvement. 

With the financial success they’d been aiming for, plus personalized support from a trusted RCM expert, Southern Pine Dental was running more smoothly, at last.

The staff was no longer stretched too thin, no one needed to stay late to finish billing work, and Carl was actually able to rest easy, confident that their business was on track for continued success. 

Carl could safely detach from the day-to-day worries because his team, with the help of DCS, had things under control. And finally, he could focus on their primary goal: building a small group practice.

Are you ready to start your dental business’ Cinderella story?

Southern Pine Dental’s collections were at 60% when they first partnered with DCS — and had likely been that way for years before Carl Haynie and his brother-in-law purchased the practice and brought on DCS.

After just 6 months of partnership, DCS was able to deliver 100% collections, and collections remain around 98%–100%. With this boost in revenue, steady cash flow, and a lighter workload, Carl is now freed to work towards their primary goal of opening more locations — and his team has more time and energy to devote to patients. 

“Growth will bring with it new problems to solve. And it’s nice to know that we have a partner like DCS waiting in the wings to help with whatever those problems are.” 

–Carl Haynie, Co-Owner of Southern Pine Dental

DCS works with dental businesses of all shapes and sizes — single private practices, small group practices, and DSOs — to streamline administrative processes and increase cash flow.

Our experts will optimize and support your revenue cycle, so your in-house team can focus on creating a memorable and positive experience for every single patient

We offer end-to-end revenue cycle management services. Will you add our expertise to yours? Book a free 30-minute consultation with an RCM expert today.

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