Getting Ready for the End of the Year

Tools in Dentrix you can use to help you finish the year strong and start with your best foot forward in the new year.

As we begin the last quarter of 2021, it’s time to start thinking about things to do before the end of the year. Here are some suggestions to help you finish strong in 2021 and start with your best foot forward in 2022.

The first thing I would suggest you do to finish strong in 2021 is to use the Treatment Manager to find patients with outstanding treatment plans who also have remaining insurance benefits for this calendar year. The Treatment Manager is a great tool for finding these patients because you can filter by patients who have outstanding treatment within a specific date range or treatment plans that contain specific procedure codes. You can also filter by treatment plan total. This is a great feature because it allows you to find patients that may have large treatment plans, and you can schedule some treatment in 2021 and complete the remainder of the patient’s treatment plan in 2022 to help them make the most of their insurance benefits. You can also filter by remaining insurance benefits to ensure you are only contacting patients who have enough insurance benefits left to pay some benefits towards their treatment plans.

Once you have found the patients with remaining insurance benefits, you can contact them by phone, by mail, or by email using Patient Engage. Be sure to make notes in the Office Journal of the communication you send and any correspondence you have with patients.

The next thing I would suggest is that you evaluate your fees, both office fees and insurance contracted fees. For your office fees, meet with your doctor or practice owner and evaluate if you want to increase your office fees for the next calendar year. You can meet with your Henry Schein Field Sales Consultant, and they can create a practice analysis to compare your office fees to the averages in your area. Then you can request fee increases from the insurance plans your office is contracted with. The end of the calendar year is a good time to do this so that it’s done annually and gets you on track for the following year.

Another thing to think about at the end of the calendar year is what your office schedule will be like for the upcoming year. It’s a good time to set up the holidays and other days the office will be closed and get them set up in the Dentrix Appointment Book. I always like to get this set up for the beginning of the year so that the team is aware and can adjust their schedules accordingly. This also helps avoid having to reschedule patients that get scheduled on days you plan to close.

The end of the year is also a great time to think about your practice goals for next year. You can evaluate the production for 2021 and use that information as you consider projected goals for 2022. You can set up production goals in the Practice Analysis in the Office Manager. I’m always a big proponent of setting production goals and helping your team stay focused on achieving them.

Let’s recap the things you can do to before the end of the year:

  • Contact patients with outstanding insurance benefits and outstanding treatment to get them scheduled. This will help patients to maximize their insurance benefits and also create more production for the office.
  • Evaluate both your office fees and insurance contract fees to see if there is potential to increase those fees for 2022.
  • Look at the 2022 calendar, set up days the office will be closed, and make changes to your schedule as needed.
  • Set up your production goals for the upcoming year.
If you have questions about some of these end of year procedures, email me at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.

Learn More

For more ideas about preparing for the end of the year, read “Contact Patients Now to Schedule Treatment Before the End-of-Year Rush.”

To learn how to close the year in Dentrix once you’ve completed all of your tasks for the previous year, read “Closing the Year in Dentrix.”


By Charlotte Skaggs
Certified Dentrix Trainer and The Dentrix Office Manager columnist

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for almost 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at vectordentalconsulting@gmail.com.