Down the "No Show" Barrier
days it seems that astrophysics would be easier
to figure out than the ups and downs of the patient
schedule. If the gaps in your patient calendar
rival those of the lunar landscape, you probably
realize your earnings are being sucked into a big
black hole. But take just a few steps and you will
see a truly “stellar” improvement.
First, confirm all appointments. Handled
systematically appointment confirmation is
effective and it gives your office the opportunity
to show its ongoing concern for the wellbeing of
the call. Keep notes
in the patient's personal record regarding a particular
area of concern. When making
the confirmation call, reinforce the need for the treatment,
based on the patient information in the chart. This
personal attention impresses upon the patient both
of the appointment but also the fact that your practice
is truly attentive. Be sure to remind patients about
any premedication needs and offer to call the necessary
into their pharmacy.
Establish clear guidelines:
- Institute and communicate
a policy for broken appointments to new and existing
- When making the appointment emphasize the importance
of the visit and the difficulty experienced
when appointments are cancelled at the last minute
or not kept.
- State the day, date, time, and length of the appointment.
and train the appointment coordinator to handle confirmation
- Make calls 48 hours in advance of the appointment
and don't leave messages.
- Begin to accumulate email addresses for
- Request a daytime phone
number when scheduling appointments to confirm with
- Contact difficult-to-reach patients after
- Keep a list of patients willing to move
their appointments to fill unexpected openings.
- Contact “no shows” within
10 minutes of their appointment time.
- Show concern for their absence.
with patients who cancel, don’t show,
or don’t reschedule appointments.
two “no shows” consider the
patient unreliable. Tell the patient you will contact
them when an opening
is available and they can determine if
time will be convenient.
- Consider offering some appointments in the
evening and/or weekends.
Educate patients continuously on the importance of
dental care and keeping dental appointments.
VP Professional Relations
series of short weekly chores designed to
keep the return on investment in technology
at its highest level.
McKenzie Management Consulting Team see practice
data everyday in your offices and while training
at our Center for Dental Career Development.
It is fairly easy then, to determine “how” a
team is using computer system.
of the office managers and owners of these
want to get a handle on their insurance plans.
More specifically, they want to know which
plans have the highest reimbursement, the lowest
reimbursement, and they want to know the volume
of write-offs for each company.
know this because we get the following questions
and requests from clients on a daily basis.
request: I “think” I want
to drop some of my insurance plans.
request: I am “thinking about” signing
up with additional insurance plans.
problem most of these offices encounter is
having just one code called “insurance
write-off” or “insurance adjustment”.
Having just one code is OK if you only want
to know the total write-off for all of your
insurance plans. It is not OK if you plan to
systematically measure the performance of your
participating plans. A participating office
would be smart to measure the performance of
plans. You might be surprised what you see!
what to do……..
one new transaction code (sometimes called
adjustment code) for every current plan
with which you participate.
the new code in the same code “range”.
That is, if your practice management software
allows you to add codes
within a certain number range – keep the new codes
tightly organized together. For instance, if you have to
add ten codes
and your practice management system gives you codes 00050
through 00080 as insurance adjustment codes – tightly
pack these write-off codes. Some practice management systems
to add payment code modifiers. For instance, code 50 could
to 100 additional modifiers. Code 50.01, code 50.02, code
50.03, are examples. Packing your insurance adjustment codes
together will provide two benefits. The lookup screen to
find the codes
will organize the window “by code”. If they are
tightly grouped, all of the insurance adjustment codes will
be in clear
view for selection. The second reason is reporting. If you
are going to run a detailed report of your insurance write-offs,
can give the report generator a simple range (50.01 through
50.15 as an example).
the new adjustment code appropriately. For
instance, for Delta you might want to name
the code “Delta
This clearly tells the team which code to use when they
process insurance checks. This will also tell the patient
billing statement) EXACTLY what’s going on with their
account. Patients would prefer to see an insurance adjustment
with their company
name on it.
a short meeting with your business team regarding
using the old adjustment code.
the end of the first day of using the new
review the entries with
your business team to make sure
it is being
about a month, run a report for the last full
month on the adjustment code range that includes
your insurance write-off codes. Run another
report (production/collection by insurance
company) for the same date range. Compare the
time goes on, increase your date range to at
least the last 3 months. This will wash the “noise” out
of insurance plan performance.
90 days, you will know (as opposed to “think” or “feel”)
insurance plans have the highest market
penetration within YOUR patient base.
insurance plans pay the highest percentage
of your normal fees.
to rate your participation by percentage
of revenue, percentage
of patient base,
and percentage of normal fees.
line? You want control! The above steps are
SIMPLE to implement. Implementing it is FREE
(you already own the practice management system).
hope you find it useful and actually use it!
in having Mark speak to your dental society
or study club? Click
Insurance Coding Handbook - 4th Edition
manual is an office essential!
more than just codes and definitions, this
manual helps you speed up insurance reimbursement,
reduce requests for "more
information" and decrease payment delays! Additionally,
under the provisions set by the HIPAA Act,
all dental offices and insurance carriers
that transmit health information
electronically must use the current version
of dental procedure codes found in this Handbook.
In addition, you will receive
information on treatment estimates and how
to talk to patients about insurance.
Insurance Coding Handbook - 4th Edition
By Carol Tekavec
your present operations be able to overcome the obstacles
of today and prepare you for the future?
information and the way it’s delivered was essential
to my training. If used, there is no way it will not work.
My understanding of the numbers
and what they represent have really given my confidence a
boost. I can track and monitor the systems now. This information
never become outdated, you’ll just get better the more
you use it. Implementing everything I learned at The Center,
will make my performance like night and day. I highly recommend
The Center to anyone who wants their office to run smoother
and make more money."
Leslie, Office Administrator
· Patient Coordinators
· Scheduling Coordinators
· Treatment Coordinators
Your Skills NOW!
Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental
737 Pearl St. Ste. 201
La Jolla, CA 92037
For Course Information firstname.lastname@example.org
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This issue is sponsored
in part by:
Center for Dental Career Development