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Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management

Sally McKenzie's
Weekly Management e-Motivator

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September 2, 2002


Don't Miss ... McKenzie Management's NEW WEB SITE!!!

  • Find out the TOP 5 REASONS why dentists use management consultants.
  • Find out about the Practice Enrichment Programs that everyone is talking about!
  • Discover how practices are increasing practice revenues EVERY YEAR!
  • Visit the Book Store with educational resources for hygiene, personnel, and practice management
  • Find out where to have your next TEAM BUILDING RETREAT
  • Discover if your practice is operating at peak performance FREE!

    Sally McKenzie's Weekly Management e-Motivator---Issue #27


    “GET OUT! SCRAM! TAKE A LONG DRIVE OFF A SHORT CLIFF!” You could surmise that Dr. HadEnuf was more than a little tired of dealing with insurance companies. In fact, he decided to fire them, each and every one. It was time, by golly, to throw caution to the wind and listen to the “experts” who say, “Dump those blood suckers come first thing Monday morning.” And he did.

    Six months later Dr. HadEnuf is looking at Grand Canyon size holes in what was once a jam-packed schedule. So much for cash-based, this boy is cash crunched. Doc’s move has put a screeching halt to practice growth. Production is down 30%. E-Gad! If that weren’t bad enough there’s a whopping 250 grand in unscheduled treatment. Patients who are sticking around don’t want to follow through on dental work because when the doctor says “open wide” he’s talkin’ wallets.

    This approach may work in your Beverly Hills cosmetic dental boutique, but in most areas, unilaterally ceasing to take insurance is going to have patients reminding you who’s hiring whom for services. Before your dream of the cash-based practice is trampled in the stampede of exiting patients, plan and prepare.

    Sally’s Recommended Actions

    1. Get out slowly and be prepared to increase production in other areas such as hygiene and comprehensive dentistry.

    2. Determine the socio-economic level of your patients. If over 50% of the base is on insurance, begin by not accepting insurance for recall and/or no longer accepting assignment of benefits.

    3. Identify the two worst insurance plans. Explain to patients on those plans why you cannot continue to accept their insurance but that you hope they would consider staying with the practice.

    4. Diagnose based on the patients’ needs and wants not on their level of coverage.

    5. Educate patients on the limitations insurance is placing on them.

    6. Offer patients other patient financing options, such as those offered by CareCredit.

    While cash-based practices can and do succeed, seriously consider your patient base and whether “insurance free” ultimately spells “patient free.”

    You have 4 MONTHS to reach your year end GOALS. Will you make it? Find out here!

    Technology Tool Box
    A series of short weekly chores designed to keep the return on investment in technology at its highest level.

    Mark Dilatush, VP of Professional Relations, McKenzie Management
    Mark@mckenziemgmt.com • 1-877-777-6151 Ext. 28

    Updating your insurance payment schedules
    Purpose: Accurately estimate co-payment, collect more at patient dismissal, provide better service to your patients

    What to do:

    1. Every time you post an insurance check, review how the team updates the insurance payment schedules (also called “bluebook” in some software)
    2. Never update your insurance payment schedules if there is a denial or deductible applied on the EOB
    3. You CAN update the bluebook if the EOB contains an alternate treatment payment.
    4. When there is an obvious mismatch in estimation, review and update insurance payment schedules for that particular plan. Your patients will complain if they’ve paid too much, you will complain if you’ve collected too little.
    5. Roll over your plan benefits and deductibles every month. Most insurance benefits roll in January but a few others use different months throughout the calendar year.


    1. Every day when the mail arrives

    How do I keep everything clean and current?

    1. Staff turnover is usually the culprit. If the person that posts your insurance checks leaves the office, make sure the new person coming in gets proper training. You will be fine if your team has been properly trained.
    Wish Your Business Staff had the Training, Efficiency, Knowledge, Expertise and Organization of the Nation's TOP Dental Management Consultants? Now it's possible at The Center for Dental Career Development. Join us for our Premiere Open House Celebration, September 6th 3-8pm. For more information call 1-877-900-5775 or info@dentalcareerdevelop.com


    This issue is sponsored in part by:

    McKenzie Management - A full service, in-office dental management consulting company specializing in the business, clinical, and hygiene areas of practices nationwide.You can find McKenzie Management at http://www.mckenziemgmt.com

    CareCredit - More than 30,000 healthcare practices nationwide use CareCredit as an alternative means of helping their patients finance treatment. You can find CareCredit at http://www.carecredit.com

    The Center for Dental Career Development - Providing Advanced Business Education for dentists and training for business employees as well as Team Building Retreats for the entire dental team in Beautiful La Jolla, California. You can find The Center for Dental Career Development at http://www.dentalcareerdevelop.com

    DentalTown - Never practice solo again! DentalTown.com is a free community, hosting dentistry's MOST ACTIVE message boards, classified ads and a dental event calendar.The site is open to dental professionals throughout the world, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Once you visit, you'll wonder how you ever practiced without it! Log onto http://www.dentaltown.com TODAY!

    Lares Research - Make Your Practice Profitability Soar! SoftCare boosts your hygiene department profitability to a new level. Treatment of periodontal disease with the Lares' PocketPro Lasers is easy to learn and offers a quick and dramatic return on your investment. Lares lasers will also make your dentistry faster and easier. Visit us at http://www.laresdental.com/products/lsc/default.asp or call 800-347-3289, ext. 1 and schedule an educational presentation.

    HPSC - Finances, via lease or loan, dental and office equipment, leasehold improvements, working capital and supply contracts at fixed competitive rates, with no points, variables or hidden fees. HPSC also offers a variety of financing programs to dental professionals seeking to set up, expand, buy into, or acquire a practice.

    INFORMS - Allow InForms to participate in your successful practice by becoming the "ONE STOP SOURCE" for your front office needs. We carry a full range of products including: recall and appointment cards, registration forms, exam forms, statements and envelopes, folders and labels. Call us at 1-800-722-4884 or email us at informs@bellsouth.net today to receive your catalog.

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    Copyrights 2002 McKenzie Management - All Rights Reserved.