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Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management

Sally McKenzie's
Weekly Management e-Motivator

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November 1, 2002

You have 37 work 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 #36

    You Built It; They Didn't Come

    The place is gorgeous. If only you had more patients to appreciate it. You bought into all the bells and whistles in the design of that new office hook, line, and sinker. And, yep, you are sinking - up to your eyeballs in debt. But you ran the numbers. Monthly rent was going to increase a mere $1,450 – just a couple more crowns per month. So, it's understandable that you nearly stroked when you realized that for a $2,500 rent bill you were going to have to rake in $50 grand in collections to keep your rent costs within the 5% of monthly collections target.


    Sally's Recommended Actions
    1. Increase Collections
  • Collect down payments of no less than one-third of charges on services over $200.
  • Provide financing options through companies such as CareCredit that offer low-payment plans for patients at little or no interest.
  • Make delinquent account calls starting at 31 days or before.
  • File insurance daily by electronic claims transfer.
  • 2. Consider Raising Fees
  • Evaluate the time required for each procedure, fixed expenses necessary to run the office, variable expenses such as supplies and lab fees, and income required per hour to compensate yourself.
  • Establish a standard fee schedule for each service.
  • Increase practice fees 5% yearly, if not twice a year 2% and 3%.
  • 3. Market Services to Existing Patients
  • Educate patients on the services your office provides, including cosmetic dentistry.
  • Use before and after photos to show patients the benefits of elective procedures.
  • Give patients brochures and information about your services; don’t just set materials out in your waiting room.
  • Provide excellent customer service.
  • Call patients at the end of the day to see how they are doing and answer questions.
  • Send a small gift and thank you note to patients referring new patients.
  • 4. Consider Renting Space in the Office
  • Determine if the renter will pay a specific amount each month or a percentage of their production.
  • Determine if the renter will provide their own staff and telephone.
  • Determine what hours they will work.
  • Remember, patients will view the arrangement as a professional affiliation between you and the other doctor.


    Technology Tool Box

    Mark Dilatush
    VP of Professional Relations

    for McKenzie Management


    1-877-777-6151 Ext. 28

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

    Top Ten Technology Do's and Don't's #6

    Every week we will publish one of the top ten. Unlike the “Tonight Show”, these are not in any particular order. These are compiled from watching 20 years of mistakes and helping to fix those mistakes. We would rather our clients just avoid the mistakes!
    My dental team is pretty good on our management system. Everyone seems to have the steps down to a fairly efficient routine. How do I make sure each team member is doing what they are supposed to be doing? How do I make sure I am not being embezzled? How do I set up areas in the software I want to keep private?
    What NOT to do:
    Do not leave it up to your team to implement. It won’t happen. Do not assume anything. Do not leave it for a rainy day. The rainy day will never come.
    What TO do:
    Line up your team’s job descriptions with the functions of the software they need to use. Go into your software’s system security feature and assign user names, passwords, and function access to the areas of the software to match their job description. You should expect to have to add function access to their user name over time. It’s no big deal to change. It takes maybe two minutes to add function access to a user name.

    Reinforce with your team that this is for THEIR protection as well as yours. It’s just like a cash register in WalMart. You wouldn’t want someone else in your cash register if you were responsible for having it balance at the end of the day would you? Also, use it for a training tool. Assigning them passwords will allow you to see where they are making the most mistakes. Tell them you will be reviewing the activity periodically and will get them help in the areas that are needed.

    View or run (print) the systems audit trails on at least a weekly basis. Look for things like deleted transactions, edited transactions, multiple cancelled and rescheduled appointments for the same patient. At the beginning of implementation you will see lots of mistakes. The mistakes and corrections should all but go away over time. When the system is fully implemented, you should only see a handful of corrections every week.

    ALWAYS keep your security access the highest level access and NEVER give your username and password to an employee.


    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 - The nation's leading patient financing program - offers 3, 6, & 12 Month Interest Free Payment Plans and low-interest Extended Payment Plans for treatment fees from $1 to over $25,000. All plans offer low minimum monthly payments and a revolving credit line for additional treatment or add-on charges, without the need to reapply.
    Call 800-300-3046, x519 and let the representative know you're ready to increase production, reduce accounts receivable, and increase cash flow with CareCredit patient payment plans. Or visit the website 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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    Copyrights 2002 McKenzie Management - All Rights Reserved.