3.15.13 Issue #575 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter
 


Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
Instructor/Consultant
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Treatment Acceptance and the Sales Process
Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

When asked “What percentage of the treatment proposed is actually accepted and completed?” most dentists say: “I’m not sure, I guess about 80% or so?” The percentage may change, but the response is usually the same - they aren’t sure, and they have never measured this important system in their practices. It is important to know this statistic to measure the effectiveness of marketing systems, treatment presentation systems and delivery of care systems in your practice.

Up until recently most software could not measure this percentage either, so we had to calculate it manually. You can get a total dollar amount from the unscheduled treatment plan report, but this report is often inaccurate with treatment that has been completed but was not removed from the treatment plan, or there are patients on this report going back several years who are not going to return to the practice. The first step is to clean up the database of unscheduled treatment to reflect the last two years and verify accuracy of the treatment on the plans. If a patient has not been in for more than two years you can indicate that the treatment was rejected and do not delete the plan entirely. If the patient returns to the practice after more than three years, a comprehensive exam should be completed and appropriate diagnostic tools used to re-establish the patient and create a new treatment plan.

Contact your software company for a report that shows how much treatment was planned, how much was accepted (scheduled) and how much was completed by date range by provider. If your software does not have the capability of producing this report, or you are on an outdated version, then you will have to track it manually. Create an Excel spreadsheet to manage the numbers.

The next question is:Who is going to do this job for the practice? In small solo practices this is a task for the Business Coordinator, but it can be delegated to a Dental Assistant. In larger practices with multiple providers, a Treatment Coordinator would be responsible for tracking treatment acceptance statistics. In order for the information to be accurate, all staff should be trained on the importance of entering treatment services and products recommended into a treatment plan in the computer. There should be no paper treatment plans or scanned treatment plans. The proper ADA code and the standard or PPO fee would be documented on each treatment plan.

When you know that the numbers are being entered correctly, you can track them and measure them. The sales process of treatment flows with the following progression:

Scenario One

  1. New patient is diagnosed and computer treatment plan created.
  2. New patient schedules for treatment.
  3. New patient returns for treatment until treatment plan is completed depending on the number of appointments necessary.
  4. If the patient completes treatment the patient is placed in the recall system.

Scenario Two

  1. New patient is diagnosed and treatment planned, but does not schedule an appointment.
  2. Treatment Coordinator must follow-up within the week. A personal phone call is the most effective means of communication.
  3. Treatment Coordinator will document why the patient does not schedule for treatment and will continue to follow-up including sending out a retention letter if there is no response to calls or emails.
  4. Patient will be on the unscheduled treatment plan list for continued follow-up.

Scenario Three

  1. Patient is treatment planned either as a new patient or at the hygiene visit.
  2. Patient is referred to an outside specialist for care.
  3. Patient is appointed at the specialist office by the Treatment Coordinator who then records the appointment date in the follow-up notes record.
  4. Treatment Coordinator calls the specialist office at the end of the day the appointment was scheduled to see how the patient responded. Treatment Coordinator or the dentist calls the patient that night to get feedback.
  5. Treatment Coordinator records the estimated time the patient would be returning to the practice for continuation of care in the patient computer chart and on the appointment calendar. Example: if the patient was appointed for endodontic treatment it would be necessary to see if the tooth would need a crown and build-up to restore or an access filling. Getting the patient back for completion of care requires follow-up.

In any of these scenarios where treatment is not completed, you will be able to track it from the unscheduled treatment plan report. The Treatment Coordinator will work this report daily by making 5 outbound calls a day to patients with unscheduled treatment and record the outcome. 

Learn the ins and outs of Treatment Planning by enrolling today in the Treatment Acceptance Training Course through McKenzie Management.

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’s Training Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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