9.17.10 Issue #445 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Keep the Schedule Full this Fall
by Sally McKenzie CEO
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I don’t know about you, but I am really not interested in Christmas trees right now. So it’s a little frustrating to see some department stores already cluttering their windows and aisles with holiday trappings. And for dentists, the Holidays are likely the last thing you want to be reminded of, as family feasts and office parties typically translate into holes in the schedule and production nightmares. While it may be too early for most of us to think about trees, tinsel, or turkeys, it’s not too early for practices to ensure production doesn’t hit a sour note once the carolers start singing. 

One of the easiest and most effective means of ensuring that your production remains strong throughout the fall months is to alert patients with insurance that they have unused benefits. Last week, I provided you with a letter that you can customize and send to your patients with unused dental insurance benefits. In a challenging economy, I can assure you that patients want to make the most of the benefits they have coming to them - and they are no more willing to throw money away than you are these days.

Yes, your patients are still very focused on spending needs rather than spending wants. And that puts you in an excellent position to remind these patients, who may have put off needed dental care, that in just a couple of months they will lose any unused insurance benefits for 2010. Whether that amount is $200, $400 or a mere $50, it’s theirs to use… or lose, which makes this the perfect time to promote your bread-and-butter dentistry.

In addition to sending patients a letter notifying them of unused insurance benefits, contact them via email, phone, and text message. Your email should be sent a few days after the letter is sent. The purpose is to alert them that you have sent an important letter to them regarding monies that are available to them for dental care. Here’s an example:

Our computer estimates that you still have unused dental insurance benefits available to you. Unfortunately, you will lose those benefits if you do not use them by the end of the year. We want to help you secure the insurance coverage available to you on every dental procedure you schedule, and this is an excellent time to take care of any hygiene visits or dental treatments that you might have been putting off. Just reply to this email or give us a call today at 555-1234, and together let's make sure you get the treatment you need and the most out of your dental insurance benefits.

In addition to alerting patients of unused dental insurance, this is a good time to inform your patients about treatment financing plans like those offered through CareCredit. I readily advocate the use of financing companies because you want to do everything within reason to make it easy for the patient to accept treatment and easy for the practice to receive payment.

Moreover, educating your patients about available insurance funds as well as interest-free financing options can be an essential means of helping the patient get past the financial barrier to receive the treatment they need. Remember, the last thing a patient wants to do is throw away their insurance coverage. For many, all they need is a reminder that funds are available to them. And patients will be sincerely appreciative that you took the time to inform them.

Now that you’ve sent your letter and your email, don’t overlook text messaging. This is proving to be tremendously effective in reaching patients. Moreover, there are many technology programs available that allow you to send a text message to your patients quickly and easily. Keep your text simple and straightforward. For example: 

You have $200 in unused dental insurance benefits that will be lost at year’s end. Get the care you need and use your insurance money. Schedule your professional dental cleaning today. Reply to this text or call Dr. Greg’s office at 555-1234.

Patients want quality dental care they can afford. Give them multiple reasons to secure that care from you.

Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email her at sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com. Interested in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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