Down the Barrier #3
Make Sure the Buck Stops at Your Bank Account
Establish a financial
policy to collect most, if not all, of the fee at the time
the services are rendered. Tell your patients about the policy.
Periodically remind patients in writing of your office
policies, including financial policies. Use the opportunity
to educate them on your services, so they are reminded not
only of what you expect of them but also what they can expect
Remember, you don’t
get what you don’t ask for. Often patients don’t
pay because they are not asked. When dismissing the patient,
explain the services provided and request payment.
If the patient
does not have their checkbook, give the statement
to the patient along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Smile at the patient and say, “Thank you Mrs. Peterson,
and if you would drop your payment in the mail to us when
you get home, we would greatly appreciate it.”
cases, be prepared to offer the patient payment options that
are beneficial to both the dentist and the patient.
Establish a relationship with a patient financing company
that enables the patient to secure low or no-interest loans
for dental treatment.
offering a slight adjustment in the fees for more
costly procedures paid in full. Refer to this as a bookkeeping
adjustment not a discount.
to post-dated checks. These amount to slips of paper
in the drawer and nothing in the bank account.
Make one employee
accountable for collecting money, generating accounts receivable
reports, and following up on delinquent accounts. Expect your
financial coordinator to achieve daily collections
of 45% or higher.
your money monthly. Review the aged accounts receivable
report every 30 days. It should list each account with an
outstanding balance and date of last payment
Total all monies over 90 days delinquent. The percentage should
not be over 15% of your total accounts receivable.
dental practices to have specific policies. Implement
an appropriate financial policy for your practice and stick
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
Employees use of your computer system
You have a new employee who has responsibilities involving
the computer system. Or, you have a new practice management
system. Or, you have neither but want to expand your
team’s use of your computer system.
Track the progress of your team’s learning curve
so you know when to implement the next step in your
- Set up
your user level access properly. Some practice management
systems are very basic while others have elaborate
and extensive access rights. For instance, some systems
allow the user to run “any” report. Others
allow you to choose the reports a user is allowed
- At first,
assign access rights to only those areas of your practice
management system that are directly involved with
the employee job description (if you have job descriptions
the employee (better yet, invest in professional training).
- Run your
system’s audit trail once every two days. Sort
the audit trail by user (employee).
a mental or physical note of the deletions and/or
corrections made. Also, keep an eye out for redundant
entries and deletions. For instance, patient Mary
Smith scheduled, cancelled, rescheduled, cancelled,
rescheduled – all within two minutes of one
another. This employee is having a hard time with
the electronic scheduler!
you should expect to see:
Expect your team to make lots of mistakes at first.
We all do until we get used to the routine. Every time
you add a new employee, a new computer system, or add
a new automated routine, you should set aside some refinement
time. Some offices bring in lunch once a month for “computer
refinement” meetings. This is especially useful
if you are adding clinical computing to your office
and team for the first time.
In my experience,
a new user (of a system or feature of a system) will
cut their mistakes in half every work day (depending
of course on the breadth of the new routine). The first
day they may make 28 mistakes and corrections. The second
day 14, then 7, then 3, then 5 a week, and so on and
so on. Once your team has the new routine down pat,
you should be ready to implement the next step of your
Missed any past
issues of Sally's
(click an item to view
is sponsored in part by:
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
Flow Performance Measurements
your overhead expenses
REDUCE your accounts receivable
Everything you need to know about cash flow is in this
information-packed book written by
Sally McKenzie, CMC
Cash Flow Management
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For an extra $75 add
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Rate for this week's newsletter subscribers!!!
Order before 2/14/03
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