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Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management

Sally McKenzie's
Weekly Management e-Motivator

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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 out here!

Sally 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 listen.

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 to pay.

  • 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.


SPECIAL OFFER this week for our newsletter subscribers only! Improve YOUR Cash Flow!!! Buy the "CASH FLOW MANAGEMENT" power book today for $35 and save $12 off the retail price. Click here to order.

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


1-877-777-6151 Ext. 28

Top Ten Technology Do’s and Don’t’s

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?

What Not to do:
    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 same.

    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 MS Zaandam

March 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:

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!

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

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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