Participate in Dental Plans without Sacrificing Patient Care!

Participate in Dental Plans without Sacrificing Patient Care!

“Don’t swallow that watermelon seed, or you’ll grow one inside of you.” “If you keep doing that, your face is going to stay that way.” “Don’t sit too close to the television, or you’ll go blind.” Do any of these sound familiar? As a child, our parents would tell us these pearls of wisdom thinking that they were keeping us from harm. The truth is, however, that these are not true. How many watermelon seeds did you swallow as a child, or how often did you make faces when no one was looking? Did you grow a watermelon? I never did. My face, while I will admit did go through some changes, did not stay “that way,” and I probably still sit too close to the television, but not because I am blind. (Ok, I do wear reading glasses now.) Much like the tall tales that mom told us to try to protect us from some unseen danger, there are also many myths out there about becoming a participating provider with dental benefit carriers. People mean well. They want to protect us from the “evil” dental benefit carrier who is only out to steal your profits and force you to work harder, but is that really true? One of the more common dental myths goes something like this – “If I participate with a dental benefit plan, they will tell me what I can and cannot do in my practice.” Much like those tales from our childhood, it is simply NOT true. It IS possible to participate in dental plans without sacrificing patient care! Whether the practice participates or...
Is a lack of front office systems making your practice feel chaotic and unorganized?  Stop the Chaos and Confusion!

Is a lack of front office systems making your practice feel chaotic and unorganized? Stop the Chaos and Confusion!

Administrators, have you ever been asked by your dentist: “Why did Mrs. Smith cancel her appointment?” “Why didn’t Mr. Anderson schedule that crown?” Doctors, have you ever felt frustrated with your administration team? Or wondered what your admin team is doing ‘up there’? Is a lack of front office systems your practice feel chaotic and unorganized? Stop the Chaos and confusion! ___________________________________________________________   Incorporating and utilizing front office systems into the daily routine can – and will – help dental practices avoid the chaos that occurs in the dental practice. One such system addresses treatment acceptance and follow up procedures: Delayed Treatment/Case Acceptance-Follow up Case acceptance starts with the new patient phone call. We must ask the right questions, and no, it is not “Do you have insurance?”! Empathize with the caller. Find their fear. Are they talking fast and wanting to get right to the point? Are they asking how much it will cost? If so, we have just unlocked a little of what is important to the patient. We know the three main reasons patients don’t schedule – fear, time, and money, but are we really prepared for these reasons? Document in the patient’s digital record which of these reasons is a trigger from the new patient call, and then discuss these notes in the morning huddle and cater to the patient accordingly. The second step is after the patient sees the dentist. Be sure that your treatment coordinator knows the trigger. If it changed (and it can), your clinical team should inform your coordinator as soon as possible. It is critical that the entire team be...
To Pre-appoint or Not. That is the Question.

To Pre-appoint or Not. That is the Question.

Is pre-appointing killing your production? Establishing value for a hygiene visit is crucial, and the best part is it can be done without pre-appointing.  The majority of patients do not know what they are doing six months from now at one o’clock, so why not schedule differently? You Must Have a System The system works with a pre-appointing structure or without pre-appointing.  Too many dental offices have open hygiene time because of last minute changes in the schedule.  If you have problems with openings in your schedule, or you spend countless hours working on filling an opening, this system will reduce open chair time and therefore increase productivity. What if we had reports to run every Monday, which are date specific and could ensure a productive hygiene schedule? This is how to avoid pre-appointing and creating open chair time. NO, patients slip through the cracks. Years of systematically fine tuning this process in dental practices has led to increased productivity. This system’s timeline eliminates the question; how much contact is too much and how much it too little? It is a pro-active system rather than a reactive system, and patients love it! Specific Strategies: Be prepared to pre-block your hygiene schedule to accommodate the new patient Be prepared to have a priority list that will be so long you will need to get very specific with patients who want to get in on the soonest date possible   Keep your hygiene schedule productive This is crucial! Your new patient appointments are readily available and if you have a last minute change in your schedule, you can easily fill that...