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Elevate your DSO revenue: DCS eliminates these 5 problems for you

February 1st, 2024 | 7 min. read

Elevate your DSO revenue: DCS eliminates these 5 problems for you Blog Feature

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Dental service organizations (DSOs) move through the revenue cycle management (RCM) of individual dental practices on a larger scale than private practices, and even emerging groups. Because of this, their need for an organized, streamlined revenue cycle is critical. 

But this is easier said than done, especially at the DSO level. There are more moving parts, more players, and more personalities, so it can be hard to get every dental office you oversee to use the same billing process. 

That’s why DSOs and emerging groups turn to RCM experts who will provide a universal billing workflow for every location. DCS works with DSOs, as well as private practices and emerging groups, to generate consistent cash flow through an efficient revenue cycle.

 From working with dental businesses of all sizes since 2012, one thing is clear: The simpler the workflow, the more efficient it is and the better it scales. 

Let’s dive into these challenges and learn more from Jon and his decades of experience working with DSOs. 

Problem #1: Inefficient billing processes

Most revenue problems in a DSO, or even in a private dental practice, come down to one or more flaws in their billing workflow. 

Picture your billing process as a riverbed that your revenue flows through. When there are errors or hold-ups in your billing process, they act as debris, diverting the current and clogging your river — slowing and stopping your cash flow. 

And when you’re running a DSO, the challenges of getting a billing process to run efficiently are multiplied by dozens of offices.

It’s all too easy to create random workarounds to get through dental billing processes as quickly as possible. But quicker isn’t always better, especially if the workflow becomes convoluted and confusing — and non-compliant — in your team’s urgency to just get things done. 

We’ve found that simplicity and clarity are best. DCS eliminates inefficient billing processes by implementing one master process that will be used by and for every dental office you oversee.

Related: Broken workflows tanking your dental profits? Repair the problems in 3 steps

Our seasoned account specialists have standard operating procedures (SOPs) for every phase  of the revenue cycle, and depending on which DCS services you’re utilizing, we will share these steps with you and your team.

Applying this knowledge will improve your processes, and you’ll see additional improvement as your DCS account specialist manages more of your workflows for your dental team.

These refinements, clear-cut steps, and hands-on help from RCM experts will speed up processes and reduce errors, leading to higher efficiency and more consistent revenue. 

Problem #2: Inadequate claims management

Every dental professional who has a hand in billing will tell you that insurance claims management is the most difficult part of their billing process.

This is because it’s hard to submit clean claims — error-free claims that receive reimbursement from insurance companies on first submission — and DSOs who don’t submit clean claims have to deal with slow claim reimbursement in large volume.

Remember the administrative debris that clogs your revenue river? Claim denials are a large part of what slows your cash flow because they add these steps to the billing process:

  • Payers process the claim and return a denial
  • Your team receives the denial, then figures out why it was denied
  • Your team corrects the claim and submits an appeal
  • Payers receive the appeal and re-process the claim 

Appeal aren’t always approved right away, and may require talking directly with a representative at the insurance company. This means your team is spending time tied to the phone, much of it on hold, when they could be caring for your patients.

As a DSO, the dental offices are trusting you to handle their insurance claims, and when you partner with DCS, you can trust your account specialists and our DCS Knowledge Network to continuously submit clean claims. 

In Dental Economics, a dentist describes their concerns and frustrations with claim filings in a DSO: 

“What if a DSO employee gets overwhelmed and back-burners filing claims? If the dentist is paid on collections, there can be a huge impact on their remuneration. I once discovered an employee hadn't filed insurance claims for over a month. 

Another time I found out an employee, for some reason, hadn't filed $30,000 in claims for services. So, even though I don’t have to physically process any claims, I still have to keep a watchful eye over those who do.”

This is why it’s so crucial that your insurance claims process is accurate, efficient, and consistent: Your dentists’ revenue depends on it — and indirectly, so does yours.

But that’s the day-to-day work. What about your A/R backlog?

When DCS experts take on your insurance aging report, the transformation can be monumental — and it can happen faster than you’d expect. We once collected $800,000 for multi-location Sprout Dental in just 30 days.

Read the Sprout Dental’s Case Study here

Problem #3: Poor patient payment systems

Patient payments tend to present issues, especially in the dental industry. There are a variety of causes of poor patient payment systems, including miscalculation of patient out-of-pocket costs, and last-minute insurance verification.

These, specifically, can lead to sending your patients an additional bill, which results in an annoyed patient who thought they were done paying for their treatment, but needs to send more. If this is the case across all the locations you oversee, your offices might lose patients due to these billing frustrations, and you’ll certainly suffer from slow cash flow due to delayed payments.


Two more problems with collecting patient payments: a lack of payment reminders, and manual payments and processing.

DCS offers automated patient billing services that streamline your patient billing system and encourage quick payment from patients. Our AI-assisted system promptly sends payment links — and when needed, payment reminders — to your patient’s preferred mobile device via email or text. From there, the patient can view account credits and insurance payments, as well as pay their balance online with their chosen form of payment. 

Related: $1,000,000 collected from dental patients in just 6 Months? Wow! Here's how…

Automated billing eliminates the time and cost of issuing paper statements and reminders, and also the 3 or more days of postal delivery, so your payments are received sooner with fewer headaches for your team and your patients.

Problem #4: Lack of financial reporting and analytics

Every DSO needs detailed and accurate financial reporting and analytics to present information and insights to the dental offices they oversee. 

Financial reports paint the picture of how each office is performing, and can give clues as to what needs to be changed or improved to enhance that performance. When you don’t have accurate financial reporting and analytics, it’s like you’re running a race while blindfolded. 

Without accurate and timely business data, you won’t know when there is a leak in revenue or a costly mistake that’s being made over and over again. 

At DCS, we see financial reports as the pillars of your revenue cycle. When you partner with us, we will provide the following reports regularly

  • Production report
  • Write-off report
  • Collections report
  • A/R or Accounts Receivable report (both insurance and patient)
  • Daily Deposit report

The dental teams who have implemented a system for tracking and responding to these reports see big boosts to their bottom line.

When you partner with DCS, you’ll also have experts running and tracking these reports for you. This means we’ll not just generate the reports, we’ll also talk through any issues we see and implement solutions.

When you know how your DSO is performing, you can make informed decisions for optimal growth. 

Problem #5: Lack of compliance and staying abreast of regulatory changes

Remaining compliant and keeping up with insurance regulation changes can be a huge ongoing challenge for DSOs. 

If your DSO doesn’t have dental insurance billing experts on your team, you might face compliance issues without even realizing it  — and without any warning. 

DSOs should develop, implement, and maintain written policies, procedures, and standards of conduct designed to ensure the quality of dental care provided to patients. 

These policies and procedures should include measures to ensure compliance with all Medicaid rules and regulations regarding the provision of and billing for dental and orthodontic services. DSOs also should regularly assess the effectiveness of these policies and procedures and update them accordingly.” — McGuire Woods

Regularly assessing whether your DSO is staying abreast of the latest insurance regulations is easier said than done. But this is another problem that DCS will eliminate for you. 

When you have someone else ensuring your DSO remains compliant and up to date with insurance changes, it’s a huge load off you and your team. You’ll operate your DSO assured that everything your team does is legal, and there’s no accidental fraud happening behind the scenes. 

Ensure your DSO’s growth, stability, and profitability with DCS Special Projects

To recap, DCS eliminates the following problems for DSOs: 

  • Problem #1: Inefficient billing processes
  • Problem #2: Inadequate claims management
  • Problem #3: Poor patient payment systems
  • Problem #4: Lack of financial reporting and analytics
  • Problem #5: Lack of compliance and staying abreast of regulatory changes

DCS will work with your DSO to implement efficient processes and workflows that ensure you collect all you’re owed without delays.

We offer Special Project services to DSOs looking for help with business growth initiatives that are slow or shelved due to a lack of expertise, time, or attention.

When you partner with DCS, you clear your revenue river of debris so that it can flow freely and quickly. Get cash flow you can count on: Book a free 30-minute call with an expert at DCS.

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