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October 7, 2002
You have 57
days to reach your year end GOALS
. . .
Will your production exceed last year minus fee increases?
Will your patient retention increase to add days of hygiene?
Will you take home more money?
Will you make it? Find
McKenzie's Weekly Management e-Motivator---Issue #32
When It Comes
to Collections, Step Aside
“No problem, Tom. I’m sure
Erin my financial coordinator can work up a little arrangement for
you to pay – oh say, $50 per month?” Uhhh, how ‘bout
$25, Doc?” “Well, yeah sure. We’ll take care of
you, Tom, just like we always do.”
Erin wanted to plunge the good doctor’s
head in the autoclave. Once again, he had completely undermined
her efforts to establish a reasonable payment plan for the patient
and collect what the practice is owed. Profitability and collections
are the Siamese twins of dentistry. One doesn’t go anywhere
without the other, and Erin knows it.
If you expect your trained financial
coordinator to be showing you the money, you would be wise to quit
blocking the view. Once you’ve empowered your trained financial
coordinator, you must mind her advice. When good buddy Bob is coming
in for two crowns and three fillings and the financial coordinator
suggests that some of that work be put on hold because this good
buddy’s got a $550 balance from last month and despite his
promises there’s been no check in the mail, doctor needs to
Sally’s Recommended Actions
- Assign a member of the staff to
be the Financial Coordinator and have performance measurements
in place such as collection ratio 98%, over the counter collection
35-45%, accounts receivable no more than 1 x monthly production,
over 90 days past due accounts less than 15%.
- Provide professional training.
(Send them to me at The
Center for Dental Career Development and I'll "whip"
them into tip top performance)
- Give the Financial Coordinator
uninterrupted time to follow-up on delinquent account calls every
week. If for example, you see patients 4.5 days a week, the Financial
Coordinator should work 5 days a week and on the 1/2 day with
no patients she should be directed to focus on telephone calls
to patients who have not paid within the last 30 days.
- Accept credit cards and participate
in patient financing programs. These payment options are essential
tools the Coordinator needs to make it easier for the patient
- Trust your Financial Coordinator
to know how and when to turn over an account to an attorney or
collection agency. However, any patient turned over to outside
collection must be confirmed with the doctor first.
- Consider using an electronic billing
service through your computer software program.
- Have the Financial Coordinator
review over all patient's accounts and report to the team any
patients who have account issues that need to be dealt with before
the patient is seen.
- Communicate with your Financial
Coordinator so she can communicate with the patient. Spell out
what a patient’s next appointment will entail, for example,
DF #9, F #10 - $242.
- Place a pen holder with a small
plaque on the check out counter that says Please make checks payable
to Dr. April Flowers.
With a competent and fully trained
Financial Coordinator on staff, the best thing the doctor can do
is get out of the way and let her do her job.
OFFER this week for our
newsletter subscribers only! Improve YOUR Cash Flow!!!
Buy the "CASH FLOW
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A series of short
weekly chores designed to keep the return on investment in technology
at its highest level.
VP of Professional Relations
Technology Do’s and Don’t’s
What Not to do:
My practice management software company was acquired by one of the
larger companies. Now I have to choose something else! Which is
the best system for my office?
Do not flip out. (you’ll begin
to notice, this is the first one each week)
Do not assume all practice management systems (or companies) are
Do not make a hasty decision –
you have time.
Do not get “pressured”
into making a decision.
Never, never, never implement a new
system until your business systems, office/personnel policies,
and operations blueprint are complete and understood by your team.
What to do:
Use this unfortunate incident to
create a positive result.
Determine what kind of technology
team you have.
Are you going to just use the minimum capabilities? Are you going
to pay more attention to your next system and squeeze more benefits
from your technology? Or, are you a technology motivated team
who is always looking for something else to implement?
At your next team meeting, create a list of qualities and/or features
for your next system. Create three columns on a piece of paper.
Immediate (things you have to implement the first week you’re
up and running), within one year (things you do not do now that
you have prioritized to do with the new system), within three
years (things you’re dreaming about but won’t do until
the one year list is complete).
Evaluate software independently by
department and then together. In other words, have the business
administrator go through the software completely, making objective
and subjective notes along the way. Then, the clinical team gets
their turn. Finally, compare notes together.
Make your choice and make your purchase.
Next week, we talk about data conversions……
12 Hours CE Credits
Sail the Eastern Caribbean
on Holland America World's most luxurious Ships the
29 - April 5, 2003 -
Work with two of the most dedicated knowledgeable
experts on Finance and Management in the United States
— Sally McKenzie, CMC and Dr.Hugh
Doherty, CFP. They will share sound advice
on how to develop a profitable practice which will
lead to your future financial security.
It will be a "one of a kind" vacation where
you come back richer!
This issue is sponsored in part by:
- Never practice solo again! DentalTown.com is a free community,
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you'll wonder how you ever practiced without it! Log onto http://www.dentaltown.com
Management - A full service, in-office dental management
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areas of practices nationwide.You can find McKenzie Management at
- 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
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
Research - Make Your Practice Profitability Soar! SoftCare
boosts your hygiene department profitability to a new level. Treatment
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investment. Lares lasers will also make your dentistry faster and
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or call 800-347-3289, ext. 1 and schedule an educational presentation.
- Finances, via lease or loan, dental and office equipment, leasehold
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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
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forms, exam forms, statements and envelopes, folders and labels.
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today to receive your catalog.
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