Treatment Rejection into Acceptance
Dr. Orator couldn’t
figure it out. He had superb presentation skills. Patients
listened attentively, vigorously nodded their heads in affirmation,
and confirmed as they walked out of the operatory, “Oh
yes, I really need to pursue your recommendations, doctor.”
But somewhere between the dental chair and the front desk
uncertainty, ambivalence, or fear interceded and the treatment
plan that appeared sealed just five minutes ago was suddenly
relegated to the patient’s list of things to “think
find themselves wasting precious time presenting treatment
plans that are either dismissed or half-heartedly pursued
by patients. While there are many factors in securing treatment
acceptance, rethinking some basic patient communication strategies
can yield significant improvements.
- Consider removing
yourself from treatment presentation. Dentists are often
surprised to learn that patients are more comfortable discussing
their treatment plan with an auxiliary than with the dentist.
- Appoint or
hire someone to serve as a Treatment Coordinator and provide
- Recognize that
patients may not feel comfortable taking up the doctor’s
time asking detailed questions. However, providing patients
access to a trained Treatment Coordinator who can answer
their questions fully and completely is essential to gaining
- Avoid discussing
fees and financial arrangements with patients. Patients
see dentists as being in a very high-income bracket, and
they perceive that the dentist may not understand their
financial limitations. For the patient, talking to an auxiliary
about financial options is far easier than talking to the
- Level the playing
field for the patient. Do not present treatment plans in
the operatory. Logistically, it may be easier. However,
this is the worst place for the patient because it is not
conducive to conversation. Changing the setting alone to
an office or consultation room will improve case acceptance
Many patients are
ill informed about comprehensive dentistry. They require an
investment of time and education before they understand the
treatment and can be sold on the benefits. This investment
pays huge dividends when a well-trained Treatment Coordinator
VP of Professional Relations
for McKenzie Management
series of chores designed to keep the return on investment
in technology at its highest level. Print this "Tool"
and hand it to the team member in your office who is
directly responsible for the associated business system.
If you missed any of the previous issues
Over Insurance Benefit Calculations
- In a few days 2002 will end. What happens at the
end of every year for most of the insurance industry?
That’s right! Benefits for most of your patients
roll over and renew themselves! Last week I wrote
an article about making the end of the year and the
beginning of the year your best ever. Now it’s
time for some house cleaning.
the major practice management systems have something
called a “utility” which will search out
your insurance plans and recalculate deductibles and
benefits. If you do not know how (or the practice
has never done this before) you might want to read
the manual or call the service line the first time.
Your expectations should include... ...
- Back up
your system and verify the backup before running ANY
data utility on ANY of the practice management systems.
select five or so patients with different insurance
plans and different used benefit amounts. Print their
- Run the
utility at a time when you are the only one on the
network. You cannot run a utility while someone else
is logged onto the database.
- Go back
into the database after the utility has been run and
look at the five or so patient records that you printed
prior to running the utility. Check to see that their
benefits reset properly. If they did not, check the
insurance plan window for the correct benefit rollover
month information. Most plans roll over in January
– a few roll over on different months.
- If it
ran correctly, you are done. If it did not, do not
wait to call customer service to seek their advice.
Any change you make to the database will be clobbered
if the service department tells you to restore your
Tool Box for 2003
Many of you
have emailed me for Tool Box topics. In 2003 I would
like to make this section interactive with the audience.
Dentistry is NOT a cookie cutter business. Many of you
travel parallel technology paths and can learn from
each other's experiences. Please feel free to email
me your technology questions. I will put them in upcoming
editions of Technology Tool Box.
have now run out of work days
to reach your year end GOALS . . .
Did you increase your production by 25%?
• Did you add days of hygiene each week?
• Did you increase your paycheck?
• How much staff turnover did you have?
TOP 4 concerns of 2002
•Hygiene •Cash Flow
Will you make it?
Take this test
to find why!
Your business staff had the training, efficiency, knowledge, expertise
and organization of the
Nation's TOP Dental Management Consultants?
have GREAT employees and know they could be even better with the
proper training, but that's not my area of expertise. HELP!"
do I know if my staff needs Advanced Business Training?
out by clicking here!
Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental
achieving an 85% or higher case acceptance from your patients?
Learn how to get patients to say "yes"
Team Approach to Treatment Plan Acceptance
Audio Tape Series
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Sally McKenzie's Most Popular Lecture on DVD
Breakdown: The Hidden Signals of Practice Erosion
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