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Sally McKenzie's

Weekly Management e-Motivator


Issue #44

Click here to print this
e-motivator Article.

December 27, 2002

Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management

1-877-777-6151 Ext. 11

Turn Treatment Rejection into Acceptance

Dr. Orator couldn’t figure it out. He had superb presentation skills. Patients listened attentively, vigorously nodded their heads in affirmation, and confirmed as they walked out of the operatory, “Oh yes, I really need to pursue your recommendations, doctor.” But somewhere between the dental chair and the front desk uncertainty, ambivalence, or fear interceded and the treatment plan that appeared sealed just five minutes ago was suddenly relegated to the patient’s list of things to “think about.”

Dentists frequently find themselves wasting precious time presenting treatment plans that are either dismissed or half-heartedly pursued by patients. While there are many factors in securing treatment acceptance, rethinking some basic patient communication strategies can yield significant improvements.

Sally’s Recommended Actions

  • Consider removing yourself from treatment presentation. Dentists are often surprised to learn that patients are more comfortable discussing their treatment plan with an auxiliary than with the dentist.
  • Appoint or hire someone to serve as a Treatment Coordinator and provide professional training.
  • Recognize that patients may not feel comfortable taking up the doctor’s time asking detailed questions. However, providing patients access to a trained Treatment Coordinator who can answer their questions fully and completely is essential to gaining treatment acceptance.
  • Avoid discussing fees and financial arrangements with patients. Patients see dentists as being in a very high-income bracket, and they perceive that the dentist may not understand their financial limitations. For the patient, talking to an auxiliary about financial options is far easier than talking to the dentist.
  • Level the playing field for the patient. Do not present treatment plans in the operatory. Logistically, it may be easier. However, this is the worst place for the patient because it is not conducive to conversation. Changing the setting alone to an office or consultation room will improve case acceptance immediately.

Many patients are ill informed about comprehensive dentistry. They require an investment of time and education before they understand the treatment and can be sold on the benefits. This investment pays huge dividends when a well-trained Treatment Coordinator handles it.

Technology Tool Box

Mark Dilatush
VP of Professional Relations

for McKenzie Management


1-877-777-6151 Ext. 28

A weekly series of chores designed to keep the return on investment in technology at its highest level. Print this "Tool" and hand it to the team member in your office who is directly responsible for the associated business system.

If you missed any of the previous issues CLICK HERE.

Rolling Over Insurance Benefit Calculations
In a few days 2002 will end. What happens at the end of every year for most of the insurance industry? That’s right! Benefits for most of your patients roll over and renew themselves! Last week I wrote an article about making the end of the year and the beginning of the year your best ever. Now it’s time for some house cleaning.

What to do?

Most of the major practice management systems have something called a “utility” which will search out your insurance plans and recalculate deductibles and benefits. If you do not know how (or the practice has never done this before) you might want to read the manual or call the service line the first time. Your expectations should include... ...

  1. Back up your system and verify the backup before running ANY data utility on ANY of the practice management systems.
  2. Randomly select five or so patients with different insurance plans and different used benefit amounts. Print their benefit information.
  3. Run the utility at a time when you are the only one on the network. You cannot run a utility while someone else is logged onto the database.
  4. Go back into the database after the utility has been run and look at the five or so patient records that you printed prior to running the utility. Check to see that their benefits reset properly. If they did not, check the insurance plan window for the correct benefit rollover month information. Most plans roll over in January – a few roll over on different months.
  5. If it ran correctly, you are done. If it did not, do not wait to call customer service to seek their advice. Any change you make to the database will be clobbered if the service department tells you to restore your backup!

Technology Tool Box for 2003

Many of you have emailed me for Tool Box topics. In 2003 I would like to make this section interactive with the audience. Dentistry is NOT a cookie cutter business. Many of you travel parallel technology paths and can learn from each other's experiences. Please feel free to email me your technology questions. I will put them in upcoming editions of Technology Tool Box.


You have now run out of work days to reach your year end GOALS . . .

• Did you increase your production by 25%?
• Did you add days of hygiene each week?
• Did you increase your paycheck?
• How much staff turnover did you have?

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

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


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 01/03/03 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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