“Top Obstacles to Achieving the Ideal Practice.”
This week… one of the barriers likely to be interfering
in your ability to reach your goals. Next week I’ll
discuss proven solutions.
#3 Passing the Buck on Collections
It really shouldn’t require so much psychological analysis
and consternation, after all, you provide a service you should
be paid and promptly. Unfortunately, collections,
or lack thereof, can present a huge barrier for doctors and
their teams trying to achieve not only productivity goals
but also a solid sense of accomplishment.
In some offices,
there is no financial policy for staff to follow,
so the patients are calling all the shots on practice finances.
In others, compassionate Carol can scarcely bring herself
to request payment at the time of dismissal let alone attempt
to collect on delinquent accounts. And in still other situations,
the office is entrenched in a long-established money draining
patient credit system in which patients can rack up huge balances
and settle into meager, no interest monthly payment plans.
troubling, many dentists have empowered their staff
to the point that the doctor is completely out of the loop
when it comes to understanding where their accounts receivables
stand. This figure is the total amount of money owed
to the practice from patients, insurance companies, or other
third parties, and it should never be more than one month’s
production. Where do your accounts receivables stand? If you
don’t know, find out.
not uncommon for doctors to be so oblivious to the day-to-day
financial situations that they never even take notice until
the money gets tight. Then the realization that bills
may not be paid – understandably – sends doctors
into an utter state of panic. Yes, it is a proven fact that
if your patients aren’t paying their bills you are probably
going to have trouble paying yours. So what do you do to keep
yourself from ever falling into this disastrous cycle and
keep your patients from thinking all you want is the contents
of their wallets?
Next week, Sally’s
multi-step strategy to collect what you are owed and keep
the patients content.
VP of Professional Relations
for McKenzie Management
A series of short weekly chores designed to keep the
return on investment in technology at its highest level.
If you missed any of the previous issues
(this section is long this week, read on and you’ll
Dr. Believeitall that the lady at the front desk was
rude to her over the phone the other day. Come to find
out, this patient owes the practice money and the financial
coordinator was following the practice’s financial
guidelines perfectly. Dr. Believeitall has no record
of their recent discussion. Dr. Believeitall has no
choice but to apologize for the staff behavior.
to schedule their next appointment. Mary Myopic (the
scheduling coordinator) quickly and efficiently (I didn’t
say effectively) puts the patient into the doctor’s
schedule for two hours next Tuesday morning starting
at 8am. Mary didn’t know the doctor referred this
patient to the endodontist for retreatment and won’t
be ready until two weeks! Mary didn’t even look!
the office to schedule her recare visit and our hero,
Super Susie Admin answers the phone. Susie greets the
patient with a warm hello. Six seconds later, Super
Susie looks in the computer and notices this patient
has an outstanding balance. She perfectly and professionally
communicates the need for the patient to take care of
her past balance prior to scheduling. The patient understands,
promises to pay her balance in full next month and hangs
up. Two days later, the same patient calls the office
on Susie’s day off. The patient immediately schedules
her recare appointment with someone else on the team.
appointment confirmation, Mr. Toobusy says “I
have got to be out of there by 3:45 at the latest!”
Well, the day of his appointment is busier than expected.
Two existing patients show up in acute pain at 2:00pm.
The dentist already has an endo and a three unit bridge
scheduled. Mr. Toobusy isn’t called to reschedule.
Mr. Toobusy gets out of the office at 4:15!
management system has some kind of central patient note
area. They may call it History notes, Contact notes,
Patient notes, whatever. The point of this is to get
your team to use and review your patient note area of
the software. The benefits FAR outweigh the time invested
in entering the note. Better customer service, better
team unity, and adherence to office policy are just
Take a look
at this area of your practice management system. Teach
everyone how and why you are using it. The dentist,
the team, and your patients will be glad you did. The
single key to effectively using this important tool
is to get everyone in the habit of reviewing the patient
notes EVERY time you make contact with a patient (in
person or on the phone). If your software is designed
properly, it’s just one “click” away
from the patient record in the system.
Missed any past
issues of Sally's
(click an item to view
Doctors Reveal the Top Practice Issues of 2002
Stifling Practice Growth and Profitability
Issues- Turnover resulting in recruitment of "good"
employees as well as internal conflicts and lack of training.
Scheduling-#1 issue was BUSYNESS! Practices
are feeling the effects of the shortage of dentists since 1995.
Schedules booked out far in advance. Concerns over time and motion
Cash Flow/ Overhead-Payroll expense continues
to escalate beyond the 22% limit. Accounts Receivable over 90
days rises above the 15% range.
Hygiene-Perio therapy treatment still below
33%. Openings in schedule.
you be ready to run for the GOAL in 2003?
Find out Here
REDUCE your overhead
expenses, REDUCE your accounts receivable,
And … INCREASE revenues
Everything you need to know about cash flow is in this
information-packed book written by
Rate for this week's newsletter subscribers!!!
Order before 2/7 and receive as an added bonus…
Sally McKenzie's Most Popular Lecture on DVD
Breakdown: The Hidden Signals of Practice Erosion
I moved my chairside assistant to the front desk to be our financial
coordinator after firing the previous one.
I didn't know how to train her and she was quickly becoming
overwhelmed. Knowing that this could no longer go on I decided to
send her to The
Center for Dental Career Development. Sally McKenzie and her
team showed my financial coordinator how to not only do every aspect
of her job but also coordinate her management
duties with the Dentrix Dental System™. I now have
security in knowing that my financial systems are functioning to
the best of their ability and the process even uncovered $110,000
in lost revenues! Bottomline…I made
money on my decision!"
· Patient Coordinators
· Scheduling Coordinators
· Treatment Coordinators
Center for Dental Career Development is compatible with the following
computer management systems: Dentrix™, Softdent™,
Your Skills NOW!
Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental
737 Pearl St. Ste. 201
La Jolla, CA 92037
This issue is sponsored
in part by:
Center for Dental Career Development