Obstacles to Achieving the Ideal Practice.”
Obstacle #6 – The Word is Fee Not Free for Service This week… one of the barriers
likely to be interfering in your ability to reach your goals.
Next week I’ll discuss proven solutions.
It’s a tough
call, no doubt about it, particularly if you do not have a
regular system in place to address it. I’m talking about
fees, raising them, specifically. Many doctors have
not increased their fees in years and have no system for doing
so. In some cases, fees are so low dentists are practically
giving their services away. Consequently, practice finances
are suffering, and doctors have trapped themselves in a financial
quagmire, many charging only in the 50th to 60th percentile
for their areas.
The dentist down
the street may be charging in the 90th percentile and may
be thriving, but many doctors convince themselves that they
simply couldn’t do that. Why not? Confidence
is a major factor. Fees often reflect the doctor’s personality
not the quality of care delivered. Extroverted doctors
are more likely to charge fees that more realistically reflect
the costs of the practice. They too are concerned, caring
providers, but they recognize that to provide the best care
available, they simply have to charge realistic fees. For
other doctors, compassion comes at the expense of the practice.
Doctors who are more “feeling” in their temperament
unfortunately often sacrifice the business, having a “range”
of fees for a specific procedure, all of them low.
Too often dentists
convince themselves that they can’t charge what they
should because patients won’t pay. But ours
is a culture in which people equate quality with cost.
In other words, you get what you pay for, and, like it or
not, cheap is often equated with low quality. Fee
adjustments are a necessary part of running a high quality
dental practice. You provide excellent healthcare
to your patients. You and your staff routinely engage in continuing
education to ensure that you can provide the latest and most
effective care. You purchase quality materials. You hire competent
staff. The list goes on and on. As feeling and compassionate
as you may be as a healthcare provider, providing the best
care comes at a price. Next week, practical and objective
steps to confidently set your fees.
knew we had great potential to be an exceptional office,
but we did not have the know how. Giving us all job descriptions
really gave us the direction we needed. I feel we now have
direction and our possibilities are endless."
Rhonda, Office Manager
in the people who can make a difference in your practice.
Center for Dental Career Development Advanced Business Education for
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
when you were first starting your practice? Remember
how you used to call some of the patients at the end
of the day just to see how they were doing? Maybe you
still do. Maybe you delegate it to your assistant or
treatment coordinator. Or maybe, it is one of those
things you just can’t find the time to do any
I was at
the Chicago midwinter dental meeting last weekend. It
was Friday afternoon. I stopped at a concession area
to purchase coffee for the McKenzie Management team
at our exhibit booth. While adding sugar and cream to
the coffee, I overheard a dentist calling patients from
his cell phone. They weren’t calling him, he was
calling them. They were the patients he treated during
the morning hours that Friday. After he hung up the
phone, we stopped and chatted for a while…..
World class patient service.
What do to…Depending
on the type of practice management software you use,
first look at the ADA codes. Look for a check box somewhere
on the ADA code screen that says “call back list”,
or “call back reminder”. This tells the
software to enter a call back every time this ADA code
is posted to the ledger.
to all the ADA codes you feel require a quick call at
the end of the day. Endo codes, extraction
codes, and even root plane and scaling codes are quite
each one to create a call back entry.
Now you have
to figure out where to get your list at the end of the
day. Again, depending upon the software, it will be
under “R”eports or “L”ists.
Look for it. It shouldn’t take you more than five
minutes to find.
on yourself first. Post an extraction code to your own
patient record and print the call back list. Make sure
all the information you need is available on the list.
You will need all the patient’s contact numbers,
procedure that created the call back, any medical alerts,
this new tool to your team at your next team meeting.
Present it as an extension of your commitment to providing
the ultimate service experience for your patients. Consider
delegating the calls to qualified clinical personnel
(assistants – hygienists – treatment coordinators).
I will REALLY
be impressed if this call back list ends up on your
PDA! A personal digital assistant (PDA) is most commonly
referred to as a Palm Pilot. I know some dentists who
use the commute home to make these calls – just
be careful while you are driving!
you implement your call back system, stay focused on
the end result – world class service!
Dear Sally, Following your visit to my office
in the late 80's, my practice is producing way over 100% from that
time with 55% overhead. With some fine tuning, I know we have room
for growth. Thanks for all you have done for my practice and my
personal life. Your management assistance has allowed me to live
a high quality life all these years and spend quality time with
my family. I just wanted you to know that you are not just a practice
management consultant. What you do for our professional lives ripple
affects the quality of our personal lives as well. Looking forward
to working with you again.
Scot Mardis, DDS
Terre Haute, Indiana
satisfied are you with your practice?
Take a closer look.
To Make New Patients…Patients for a lifetime
This is a must read for every office that wants to reduce or eliminate
"one-shot" patients, complete ideal treatment and retain
patients in recall.
Sample scripts are included for the entire staff for easy implementation.
Special Price for
this week's newsletter readers…… $27!!
Order before March 14th.
I moved my chairside assistant to the front desk to be our financial
coordinator after firing the previous one.
I didn't know how to train her and she was quickly becoming
overwhelmed. Knowing that this could no longer go on I decided to
send her to The
Center for Dental Career Development. Sally McKenzie and her
team showed my financial coordinator how to not only do every aspect
of her job but also coordinate her management
duties with the Dentrix Dental System™. I now have
security in knowing that my financial systems are functioning to
the best of their ability and the process even uncovered $110,000
in lost revenues! Bottomline…I made
money on my decision!"
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