04.03.09 Issue #369 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague


Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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Why is Dr.Lewis So Successful?

Dr. Tim Lewis—Case Study #452

As a practice management consultant, there is nothing more gratifying than to have a doctor and team reach their goals! The purpose of this article is to help other practices look at their success or their struggle by making a comparison to Dr. Lewis’s practice goals. Keep in mind that this is not about reaching a specific production dollar amount compared to other practices. Each practice has its own unique production/collection goal.

How To Determine Your Monetary Goal:
Establishing a monetary goal is the most important standard that you should set. How do you and your team know how well you are doing if you don’t have a goal to reach every day? It would be like playing a basketball game and not keeping score. There is nothing to celebrate at the end of the game. Dr. Lewis learned to set these goals and put in place a course to achieve the goals.

First, review your employee gross wages for the past 12 months and your net collections. Gross Wages / Net Collections = Gross Wage Overhead. Salary standard in the industry is 19–22% of net collections for a general practice. In most cases, you can now establish what your collection goal needs to be for the next 12 months, assuming that no drastic changes are planned for staffing, new facility, etc. (Remember that practice management overhead is not the same as what your accountant calculates.)

Let’s say that your Gross Wage Overhead for your team is at 24% and you want it to be 20%. First, determine what your production adjustments were for last year. These are adjustments that reduced your patient fees such as employee discounts, insurance adjustments, senior citizens courtesies, etc. If your adjustments were 20%, you will need to divide your collection goal by the inversion of 20%, or 80%.

  • Monthly wages / 20% = Monthly Collection Goal
  • Collection Goal / Inverted % of production adjustments = Gross Production Goal

Because your Schedule and Hygiene Coordinator schedule to a production goal and not a collection goal, this step must be performed to correctly calculate your daily goal.

Next:
Determine what your hygiene goal should be based on one of two factors:

  1. Daily salary x 3 = Daily Net Production
  2. Production should be 1/3 of total practice production

Keep in mind that the more they produce the less the doctor needs to produce!

Last:
Monthly Gross Production Goal – Monthly Hygiene Goal (daily ?? x number of days worked) = Doctor Monthly Goal. Divide the Doctor Monthly Goal by the number of days worked = Doctor Daily Goal.

This math can be done on a yearly scale if you prefer not to re-calculate the goals every month. I would recommend that you calculate it yearly to save time and avoid changing the daily goal each month.

What Dr. Lewis Learned:
Once the goals are in place, it is a matter of establishing system goals in order to achieve the production and collection goals. Here are some examples:

  • How to market internally to your existing patients to increase the number of new patients
  • How to properly evaluate the team for efficiency by incorporating Job Descriptions and having the right team member for the assignment
  • How to conduct a “New Patient Exam” to build rapport with the new patient
  • How to diagnose necessary treatment and educate patients about their treatment at a level appropriate to patients’ education levels so they actually understand what is said
  • How to educate patients about their periodontal condition to improve case acceptance
  • The importance of spending “quality” chair time with the new patient to increase trust and rapport = higher case acceptance
  • When a patient is presented to the Schedule Coordinator, all the clinical questions have been answered to their satisfaction. The Schedule Coordinator’s primary task is to schedule the doctor to the daily goal, not to answer clinical questions that should have been answered in the treatment room. Probing questions must be asked by the doctor and clinical staff to overcome any objections that might crop up at the front desk.
  • The importance of Patient Retention in hygiene and increasing the number of active patients in order to grow the practice. The Hygiene Department is a profit center, not a liability.
  • The importance of celebration every day that daily goals are met. Team members want to be recognized for their accomplishments.

How Does This Apply To You?
Doctor, as the captain of your ship, it is important to know where you are sailing and how you are going to get there. Setting daily, monthly and yearly goals are critical to mapping a successful course. You must have a trained crew that understands what they need to do every day. Recognition for a job well done is invaluable to the morale of the office and encourages teamwork for meeting common goals.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Practice Enrichment Programs can help you IMPLEMENT proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com.

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