The Advice One Practice Followed to Increase Production and Profits

By Sally McKenzie, CEO Printer Friendly Version

Last week, I introduced you to a Chicago-based husband and wife duo that wasn’t satisfied with their practice numbers. While the practice was profitable, the doctors knew that with a little guidance, they’d be able to take it up a notch. They were ready to do the work to achieve that next level of success, and I’m happy to say their efforts paid off.

After the pair reached out to McKenzie Management and our practice analysis, we sat down with them to identify their operational weaknesses and help them find areas that could be improved. After following our advice, they were able to increase both their production numbers and collections. More on that later. First, let’s talk about the Practice Treatment Plan we had them follow, and how you can take the same steps to boost your production numbers and your bottom line.

They developed detailed job descriptions. The doctors sat down with each employee to create job descriptions that offered the guidance they craved. This process ensured every employee was accountable for a specific system, and that everyone knew who was responsible for what. Here’s how it worked out:

Business employee No. 1 became first in command of the telephone and scheduling the doctors to meet production goals, which included making sure there were no holes in their schedules.

Business employee No. 2 became second in command of the phone and responsible for posting charges, collecting money from patients, filing and following up on insurance plans, and reducing accounts receivables by 10%.  She also was given a script and trained on how to conduct successful collections calls.

Business employee No. 3 became accountable for scheduling the hygienists to meet production goals and was trained on how to follow up with and schedule past due recall patients.

After their jobs were more defined, efficiencies improved—and that made the practice more profitable. In fact, production increased 33% in just 90 days.

They changed the way they approached case presentations. Instead of throwing expensive treatment plans at first-time patients, the doctors spent more time educating them about their condition and the importance of maintaining their oral health. They made an effort to build a rapport with patients and gain their trust, which led to higher patient retention numbers as well as increased case acceptance.

With their new approach, the doctors identified the most immediate treatment first. They’d then let patients know they needed to review their findings and assured them they understood their chief concerns. The doctors would go over their findings in more detail at the next appointment, as well as their recommendations.

The Financial Coordinator was properly trained and given a script that helped her talk with patients about the cost of treatment, including going over third-party financing options like CareCredit. She also was tasked with following up with patients who didn’t schedule right away.

The result? A 28% increase in case acceptance in the first month.

They fixed the schedule. It was clear there were just too many hands in this practice’s schedule, and it was leading to chaos. To fix this, one of the business employees became the Scheduling Coordinator and was trained to schedule the doctors to meet production goals, not just to keep them busy. She also was given a script to keep her on point when talking with patients.

They focused on customer service. Excellent customer service leads to patient loyalty, an area this practice was lacking in. The front office staff was trained to greet patients with a friendly smile and to make them feel comfortable from the moment they walked through the door. They made the reception area more inviting and started offering patients beverages while they waited. The team also went through phone training to learn how to be as helpful as possible when patients called in, and were taught to never put up barriers by saying words like “no” or “we can’t do that.”

The results

While this practice wasn’t exactly struggling when the doctor owners came to McKenzie Management, it certainly wasn’t meeting its full potential. Making adjustments to weak systems made a huge difference, increasing both practice production and collections. Team members are now more efficient and happier to come to work each day, so there’s less conflict and confusion. The schedule runs like a fine-tuned machine, with fewer broken appointments throwing off their days. These doctors are finally experiencing the success they’ve always envisioned, all because they didn’t want to settle for just OK.

Here’s a look at the numbers the first three years after this practice partnered with McKenzie Management:

Year One

Success Before After Result
Monthly production $91,339 $102,005 11.6%
Monthly collection $89,123 $105,665 18.5%
Hygiene production $27,103 $33,661 24.1%

Year Two

Success Before After Result
Monthly production $91,339 $110,885 21.3%
Monthly collection $89,123 $112,875 26.6%
Hygiene production $27,103 $30,153 11.3%

Year Three

Success Before After Result
Monthly production $91,339 $114,723 25.6%
Monthly collection $89,123 $117,976 32.3%
Hygiene production $27,103 $36,711 35.4%

Want to see similar results in your practice? Feel free to reach out. I’m happy to help you get there.

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