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Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management

Sally McKenzie's
Weekly Management e-Motivator

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September 23, 2002

You have 3 MONTHS ... and 6 days to reach your year end GOALS. Will you make it? Find out here!

What if your Business Staff had the
Training, Efficiency, Knowledge, Expertise and Organization
of the Nation’s Top Dental Management Consultants?
Now they can...
Courses designed with your specific practice needs in mind.
By Appointment Only The Center for Dental Career Development
1-877-900-5775. www.dentalcareerdevelop.com

Sally McKenzie's Weekly Management e-Motivator---Issue #30

Come On and Take a Free Ride

Dr. Warmheart is the nicest person you would ever want to meet. This fella is so compassionate he makes Mother Teresa look callus. Kind, generous, understanding, and nearly bankrupt. His patients play him like a fiddle. He sees so many emergency cases the office motto should be “Dental Care – Never Before, Never Again.”

Patients call in routinely with problems, and Dr. Warmheart is standing by ready to either provide minimum care because he’s convinced the patient can’t afford more or give them the Cadillac at the price of a Yugo. No discussion regarding the importance of ongoing preventive care and don’t even think about asking for payment when the patient is discharged. Accounts receivables are so high the number sounds like a Carl Sagan reference to stars in the galaxy.

Compassion and kindness are wonderful and essential traits for a dentist, but they don’t pay the bills.

Sally’s Recommended Actions

  • Diagnose based on providing the best dental care for the patient, not the bare minimum.

  • Speak to patients about the need for comprehensive treatment. For example, “Jim, you know I am more than your dentist, I am your friend. But I cannot in good conscience continue to treat you only when something goes wrong. I need you to make a commitment to me that we’ll work together to take care of these problem areas before they turn into painful emergencies.”

  • Do not begin any treatment over $200 without the trained financial coordinator arranging a payment plan with the patient.

  • Collect today. Establish a financial policy you are comfortable with, inform patients in writing, and stick to it.

  • In lieu of extending credit to patients, partner with a patient financing company.

  • Require insured patients to pay a portion of their payment responsibility today.

  • Consider offering a slight adjustment in the fees for more costly procedures paid in full. Refer to this as a bookkeeping adjustment not a discount.

Habitually giving patients a free ride is a disservice to both the practice and the patients. Provide quality care and expect fair payment.

Visit the McKenzie Management Book Store for your management educational resources: Hygiene, Personnel, and Practice Management.

Technology Tool Box
A series of short weekly chores designed to keep the return on investment in technology at its highest level.

Mark Dilatush
VP of Professional Relations

McKenzie Management


1-877-777-6151 Ext. 28

World Class Service

Purpose: Ever been to an all inclusive resort? You know how “world class service” makes you feel about a company? Do you know their secret? It’s information, systems, and attention to detail. It’s not magic. Providing this level of service doesn’t have to be that hard. And, your practice management system can help.

Patient says, “I always get my prescriptions filled at CVS.”
Patient says, “Billy has soccer practice in the fall, I can’t get him here till 6pm on weekdays”
Patient whispers, “I would rather have my teeth cleaned next time by Sharon, Wendy hurts too much.”
Patient says, “We go to Florida in January and February, we’ll have to make my appointment after March.”

Your whole team knowing specific patient preferences and using them to provide a level of service only experienced in YOUR dental practice.

What to do:
Check the capabilities of your practice management system. Look for a centralized area for personalized notes and/or a pop-up messaging/alert system. Some practice management systems allow you to set up alerts depending upon what activity you’re doing at the time. For instance, when scheduling, you might want just patient preferences related to scheduling to appear. Or, when opening a patient's chart, you might want a message to appear that tells you the patient inquired about bleaching the last time they were in the office.
If you do not know if your practice management system supports this type of service, find out. If it does, understand it and begin to implement it at your next team meeting. My guess is, your practice management system DOES support this type of service and you’re just not using it.

They’re your patients. Treat them like royalty!


12 Hours CE Credits


Sail the Eastern Caribbean on Holland America World's most luxurious Ships the MS Zaandam

March 29 - April 5, 2003 -
Work with two of the most dedicated knowledgeable experts on Finance and Management in the United States — Sally McKenzie, CMC and Dr.Hugh Doherty, CFP. They will share sound advice on how to develop a profitable practice which will lead to your future financial security.
It will be a "one of a kind" vacation where you come back richer!


This issue is sponsored in part by:

McKenzie Management - A full service, in-office dental management consulting company specializing in the business, clinical, and hygiene areas of practices nationwide.You can find McKenzie Management at http://www.mckenziemgmt.com

CareCredit - More than 30,000 healthcare practices nationwide use CareCredit as an alternative means of helping their patients finance treatment. You can find CareCredit at http://www.carecredit.com

The Center for Dental Career Development - Providing Advanced Business Education for dentists and training for business employees as well as Team Building Retreats for the entire dental team in Beautiful La Jolla, California. You can find The Center for Dental Career Development at http://www.dentalcareerdevelop.com

DentalTown - Never practice solo again! DentalTown.com is a free community, hosting dentistry's MOST ACTIVE message boards, classified ads and a dental event calendar.The site is open to dental professionals throughout the world, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Once you visit, you'll wonder how you ever practiced without it! Log onto http://www.dentaltown.com TODAY!

Lares Research - Make Your Practice Profitability Soar! SoftCare boosts your hygiene department profitability to a new level. Treatment of periodontal disease with the Lares' PocketPro Lasers is easy to learn and offers a quick and dramatic return on your investment. Lares lasers will also make your dentistry faster and easier. Visit us at http://www.laresdental.com/products/lsc/default.asp or call 800-347-3289, ext. 1 and schedule an educational presentation.

HPSC - Finances, via lease or loan, dental and office equipment, leasehold improvements, working capital and supply contracts at fixed competitive rates, with no points, variables or hidden fees. HPSC also offers a variety of financing programs to dental professionals seeking to set up, expand, buy into, or acquire a practice.

INFORMS - Allow InForms to participate in your successful practice by becoming the "ONE STOP SOURCE" for your front office needs. We carry a full range of products including: recall and appointment cards, registration forms, exam forms, statements and envelopes, folders and labels. Call us at 1-800-722-4884 or email us at informs@bellsouth.net today to receive your catalog.


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Copyrights 2002 McKenzie Management - All Rights Reserved.