Sikka Software White Paper Tracks Health of US Economy Through Dental Industry

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New research correlates performance of American Dental practices with recession and recovery of American economy from 2008 to 2014

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"We have an unprecedented ability to see real-time trends and data that can help over a half a million providers optimize their businesses and improve patient care and outcomes for more than 90 percent of the country’s population," said Sikka.

Sikka Software, the leading innovator in business intelligence software for the healthcare and small business communities, today announced the release of its latest white paper, the Sikka National Dental Economic Report. The research, written by CEO Vijay Sikka offers an in-depth, year-over-year analysis of the recession, transition, and recovery of the American economy from 2008 to 2014 through the lens of the U.S. Dental industry.

Analyzing real-time benchmarking data from more than 12,500 solo and group U.S. Dental practices, Sikka found that their performance closely mirrored macroeconomic indicators, including a recent transition period between downturn and a recovery. The whitepaper illustrates trends from hundreds of key performance indicators from the past six years, including the following:

Doctors Net Production

  •     In 2014, doctors spent 12 percent less working hours in their practices than they did during the peak number of hours worked in 2011, a transition period.
  •     Doctors’ average daily net production is trending downwards in 2014 and did not show the usual surge in June noted in all previous years.

Gross Production Per Chair Hour

  •     Gross Production Per Chair Hour is a "forward" indicator, as it shows how much successful scheduling and work is being done on patients.
  •     2014 is trending worse than 2013.

Total Indirect Restorations to Comprehensive Exams

  •     Total indirect restorations are discretionary, often cash-driven treatments - crowns, veneers, implants - and thus considered a forward indicator of consumer confidence.
  •     By that measure, 2014 is among the worst recovery years.

Implant Services Production by Practice

  •     In 2014, 29 percent more implant procedures were done on average compared to 2010 and 2011.

Number of Patient Referrals

  •     In 2014, there were 26 percent more existing patient referrals compared to 2010, indicating increasing practice success in asking for referrals.

Cash vs. Insurance Patients

  •     In 2014, dentists saw more patients with insurance than in previous years, in line with stronger employment figures. Compared to 2010, the ratio of cash patients to insurance patients has dropped by 34 percent.
  •     In 2014, cash patients to insurance patients decreased by 12 percent, as compared to 2013.

Comprehensive Exams

  •     During recession, practices did more comprehensive exams in order to identify more treatment opportunities, but production of practices was down.
  •     From 2013-14, the number of comprehensive exams has dropped by around 69 percent, compared to 2010.

“This is the first research of its kind to be published in the Dental industry,” said Vijay Sikka, CEO of Sikka Software. “We have an unprecedented ability to see real-time trends and data that can help over a half a million providers optimize their businesses and improve patient care and outcomes for more than 90 percent of the country’s population. What is happening in these providers' practices, with more than 300 million American patients represented, is tied to broader economic trends, and we can learn a lot from that.”

“Distilling this from the national level to the practice level, achieving mass practice success is all about knowing your ideal outcome, developing an action plan, and monitoring results,” said Dennis Marvel, a dental practice management expert. “Monitoring is arguably the most important step and no solution does it better than Sikka Practice Optimizer and the Sikka Success Report. The key to an optimized Dental practice is getting real actionable insight into your business so you can adjust course when necessary.”

Sikka Software’s solutions to big data in outpatient healthcare are not limited to the Dental industry. The company also offers business intelligence apps to optimize Animal Health, Hearing Care, Optometry, and Chiropractic practices. Using data from the company’s cloud-based platform, Sikka Platform Utility®, Sikka has identified 10 success criteria. Sample best practices include:

  •     Successful practices should have 100 percent of new patients undergo comprehensive exams.
  •     Collections, a metric of office managers, should be 100 percent of the adjusted production. An increase or decrease from that amount indicates either missed payment collection opportunities or over-collection, which can result in time-intensive refunds.
  •     Practices should minimize their ratio of total no shows to total patient appointments, a metric that indicates how well the team is educating patients on the importance of appointments to their good health. This number should be less than one percent.
  •     50 percent of a practice’s existing patients should refer at least one or more patients to the practice during their patient “lifetime” to have a solid word-of-mouth campaign.
  •     Fees should be aligned with how dentists practice, such as their style and frequency, with factors taken into account such as differences in production goals and overhead costs.

Sikka customers can access their own Success Reports after registering online. To download a copy of the economic white paper, please visit the Sikka Software website.

About Sikka Software

Sikka Software provides a platform for small and medium-sized business healthcare apps. The company's products help healthcare providers and other small businesses optimize their business via a series of easy to use cloud-based applications. With over 26 apps built on Sikka Platform Utility with over 12,500 installations, Sikka Software is the leader in the U.S. Dental, Animal Health and Hearing Care markets. The company is now supporting a real time optimization and information network with providers, patients, consultants, manufacturers and financial service providers.

A privately-held company, Sikka Software is headquartered in Milpitas, California with offices in the United States and in India. More information including may be found at

Press Contacts

Trafton Kenney                                                                                    
(415) 442-4027                                                                                 

Vijay Sikka
Sikka Software
(408) 659-8397

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Trafton Kenney

Vijay Sikka
Sikka Software
(408) 659-8397
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