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Sally McKenzie's

Weekly Management e-Motivator


Issue #43

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e-motivator Article.

December 20, 2002

Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management

1-877-777-6151 Ext. 11

The Buried Treasure of Unscheduled Treatment

They are the gold mines, diamond mines, and rich oil fields of the dental practice, buried right there in your office. Many doctors never notice although you look at them every day, dozens of times a day, in fact. Your patient charts, quietly tucked away in the file drawers, are likely holding tens of thousands of dollars in unscheduled treatment. Case after case that was recommended to patients but never pursued, relegated to the dark recesses of the filing cabinet because the office doesn’t have a procedure for follow-up and securing the treatment appointment.

The dollar figures are astronomical. In one dental practice alone, nearly $400,000 in unscheduled treatment was languishing in the patient charts/computer system because there was no system or accountability in place to transfer that $400k from the computer to the check book.

Sally’s Recommended Actions

1. Designate a member of the business team to serve as Treatment Coordinator but also train other members, so that if she is unavailable, others can step in.

2. Use a presentation format, similar to the one below, that is logical and enables the patient to make an informed decision about treatment.

  • Review the treatment plan and treatment options before the pursuing the follow-up. This will involve reviewing the patient's progress notes, clinical chart and it may involve sitting down with the doctor.
  • Clarify any aspects of the plan with the doctor or other provider including alternatives to the treatment plan to maintain the patient's health that may result in less financial obligation.
  • Review over insurance pre-estimates if that is part of the office routine so you are clear on what the patient's portion will be.
  • Review over the Unscheduled Treatment Plan Report with the entire team in an hour meeting. Generate the report for the last 12 months.
  • Be prepared with all of your financial options, i.e., fee over # of appointments, Care Credit patient financing, Visa, MasterCard, etc.
  • Be prepared to send digital x-ray photos to the patient. Many times they have forgotten why they needed to have the treatment. Explain the benefits and possible concerns of not having the treatment.
  • Follow up the conversation with educational handouts to underscore the case presented and a cover letter in the mail
  • Every month, have the Treatment Coordinator report to the team the $ amount of treatment added to the report and $ amount deleted.

As charts are pulled for hygiene and other upcoming appointments, conduct chart “audits” to determine which patients have outstanding treatment and schedule a case presentation in conjunction with those appointments.

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.

If you missed any of the previous issues CLICK HERE.

End of year cleanup will BOOST the new year:
Use the “down time” within the holiday season to your advantage. Prepare for the very best December and January you’ve ever had. Use this exercise to create a monthly habit for next year.

What to do?

  1. Run your outstanding treatment plan report. Call anyone who has a treatment plan younger than 90 days AND has the opportunity to maximize ’02 benefits. Put whoever does NOT make an appointment in the tickler file.
  2. Call anyone who has a treatment plan younger than 90 days AND has maximized their ’02 insurance benefits. Offer them first priority appointment times in January. Put whoever does NOT make an appointment into the tickler file.
  3. Review and clean up any treatment plan that is past 90 days old, is not in the tickler, and is not scheduled.
  4. Use the overdue treatment plans from the tickler to fill cancellation gaps that are more than 24 hours into the future.
  5. Put the important notes from each phone call into each patient record (contact note area of your software).
How often should I do this?
You really want your Treatment Coordinator to maintain this important aspect of your practice management system at all times. Most dental offices do not. Try to make ’03 the year you pay attention to your treatment plan management! Steps 3, 4, and 5 should be done every month during the year, not just December. The results should be reported at the team meetings.


You have 3 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?

The TOP 4 concerns of 2002
•Staffing •Scheduling
•Hygiene •Cash Flow

Will you make it?
Take this test to find out!


What if ...
Your business staff had the training, efficiency, knowledge, expertise and organization of the
Nation's TOP Dental Management Consultants?

"I have GREAT employees and know they could be even better with the proper training, but that's not my area of expertise. HELP!"

How do I know if my staff needs Advanced Business Training?
Find out by clicking here!

The Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental Professionals


Are you achieving an 85% or higher case acceptance from your patients?

Learn how to get patients to say "yes"

A Team Approach to Treatment Plan Acceptance
Audio Tape Series

Special Rate for this week's newsletter subscribers-$47!!!

Order before 12/31 and receive as an added bonus…
Sally McKenzie's Most Popular Lecture on DVD
Breakdown: The Hidden Signals of Practice Erosion


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This issue is sponsored in part by:



Secure Data Express™ (SDX™)


McKenzie Management




The Center for Dental Career Development


Lares Research




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