12.23.16 Issue #772 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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How to Know if You Need a Consultant
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant

Case Study #301

The doctor’s concerns: Even though this doctor owned what seemed like the perfect practice and was knowledgeable about many key statistics, he still wasn’t happy. He thought he could accomplish more and wanted to know how a consulting company like McKenzie Management could help.

When he came to us, this doctor was tracking everything he could possibly think of, from number of days worked to production and collection totals to how many hygiene patients were seen each day.

Here’s a look at some of the practice numbers:

- Net collections were at 98.5% of net production
- Production adjustments were less than 5%
- There were established goals for the doctor and hygienists
- The practice had no outstanding insurance claims over 60 days
- The practice completed 30+ comprehensive exams per month (new patients)

Pretty good, right? Yes, but the doctor knew he could do even better. He also recognized a few areas that needed improvement. These were his main areas of concern:

- The percent of periodontal procedures were not within industry standards
- The practice was not growing at the rate he felt it should be based on the number of new patients he saw each month
- The number of hygiene days had remained the same for 5 years

Yes, this is a good practice, but the doctor wanted to make it exceptional. Here’s what we did to address the deficient areas to really make this practice shine.

Improving Periodontal Production
To do this at any practice, the doctor and hygienists have to be on the same page from a diagnostic standpoint. For example, does the practice recommend scaling and root planing with 4 mm and bleeding or 5 mm and bleeding? Is bone loss used as a guideline as well? How does the practice diagnose isolated periodontal pockets versus a full quadrant and how are those isolated areas billed? We encouraged the doctor to answer these questions and then established guidelines for both him and his hygienists. This helped improve diagnosis and treatment planning for periodontal therapy in the practice, thus increasing production.

Marketing is also key to improving periodontal production. The practice began handing out educational brochures about periodontal disease and the oral-systemic link at the front desk as well as sending out e-newsletters to reach patients at home. The doctor and team took every opportunity to educate and market to patients, which helped spur an increase in production.

He also started asking patients to fill out questionnaires before their appointments. This gave him the opportunity to learn about any symptoms patients were having, opening the door to discuss periodontal disease and treatment chairside. 

Stalled Practice Growth
For this doctor, practice growth meant increasing his active patient base, with active patients being those the practice had seen in the past 12 months in hygiene who were scheduled or due to be scheduled in the next 12 months.

Why does that timeframe matter? Let me explain. Let’s say you saw a patient who needed emergency treatment seven months ago. This patient wasn’t interested in a comprehensive exam; he just wanted out of pain and had no intention of ever coming back. Or maybe you saw a hygiene patient 14 months ago. This patient didn’t reschedule, or did reschedule but ended up cancelling. The result? She isn’t in the recall system for the next 12 months.

The point is, these patients aren’t contributing to the growth of the hygiene department, which is exactly where growth must take place. This doctor hadn’t added another day of hygiene in the last year, yet was continuing to see 25-30 comprehensive exams each month, a tell-tale sign his system was broken, and he had no idea.

Moving Forward
The team at McKenzie Management worked with this doctor to put systems in place to monitor increases in the active patient base. He is now scheduled to bring on two additional hygiene days as past due patients are put on the schedule. There’s also a system in place to improve follow-up to help prevent patients from falling through the cracks and becoming inactive.

Although his practice was relatively healthy, this doctor knew something wasn’t quite right – he just had no idea how to fix it. That’s where McKenzie Management came in. We worked with him to put the correct systems in place to make the practice even more profitable, and we can do the same for you. Just give us a call and we’ll get started.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Consulting Coaching Programs can help you implement proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com

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