Dental Practice Management Tips and Ideas for February 2021

Dental Practice Management Tips and Ideas for February 2021

Hello Friends,

How is your first quarter looking so far? What are you doing to ensure this is a healthy and productive year for you, your office, and your team?

Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.” – Walt Disney

Here are a few Practice Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas for February.

February is National Time Management Month: When was the last time you reviewed all your office systems and protocols to ensure that you’re using your time efficiently and effectively?

If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to the reason(s) why. If you know the why… change whatever it is causing you to stray from the schedule.

You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” – Tony Morgan

Arrive at the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expect your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculate the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, control the schedules, these things will help you stay on time.

Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Reappointments and Reactivation – Now is a great time to reach out to your unscheduled patients both active and inactive patients.

Rather than just calling to ask if they would like to schedule an appointment, use this occasion to simply check in to see how they’re doing and let them know you’re thinking about them. This is about building and strengthening relationships. 

Take advantage of the different methods to reach them – telephone, text, email, letter/care, and your social media pages.  You’re planting little reminder seeds that you are still here for them during these crazy times.

Here is an idea: February 24th is Forget Me Not Day – This is a day to remember family, friends, loved ones, and unscheduled patients.

Remind your patients to not forget to schedule their all-important dental cleaning, examination, and oral cancer screening!

Friends, do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month?  To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence  – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities.  I am happy to assist you with this at no charge and with absolutely no obligation to do anything further with me. 

Telephones – As a team, create your Telephone Principles (scripting guidelines) which include your goals & expectations for each call.

Practice, Practice, Practice how to effectively handle different types of calls and questions until you feel comfortable. A few tips:

  • Answer the phone during hours/days that patients are most likely to call.
  • Avoid putting callers on hold – first, find out who it is and how you can help them.
  • Call Steps: Smile, Reassure, Get Name, Discovery, Relationship Building & Scheduling.
  • NP’s – Always get their referral source. Also, ask if they have any other family members that they would like to schedule an appointment for.

To learn more, see: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/01/30/dental-office-telephone-principles/

Insurance Claims – Send out clean claims with the correct information, provider, date of service, xrays, attachments, documentation.  Your goal is to not have any unpaid claims sitting out there past 30-60 days.  What does your insurance aging report look like? (Did you know that your collection percentage drops significantly after 90 days past due? Over 120 days past due it drops to about 30% – you lose a lot of your money the longer these claims sit out there.)

For Dental Marketing Tips and Ideas for February visit here: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2021/01/05/dental-office-marketing-tips-and-ideas-for-february-2021/

As always, wishing you the very best!

I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email inbox each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

How To Quickly Increase Dental Office Collections

How To Quickly Increase Dental Office Collections

Hello Friends,

Fear of cost moves many people to put off visiting the dentist or to cancel their appointments for scheduled treatment. Fear of presenting fees causes many team members to dread or avoid presenting treatment plans/financial expectations and asking for payment. These fears do not help the patient or the office.

I know this is true because as I coach dental office teams, during my in-office visits we quickly discover that in most cases solid collection protocols are lacking.

Would you like to see more patients not only accept treatment but pay for it before or at the time of service?  Would you like to see an increase in production and office collections?  Would you like to decrease the amount of time and money being spent on making collection calls and sending patient statements/letters? Great news, I can help you!

Dental Office Help to Increase Collections

Today, I’ll share with you a few tips to help make that happen.

  1. See the true value of dentistry – With each day and each patient you and your team have the privilege and opportunity to potentially change someone’s life or at the very least, help them smile healthier. A healthy smile is part of a healthy body, healthy smiles and bodies create healthy communities.  The entire team must believe this. The entire team must also wholly believe that you’re providing the best quality care. Having full confidence in the doctors and hygienists’ ability to provide quality care and to create beautiful and healthy smiles is a must. Give every patient the opportunity to say yes or no to your very best care!
  2. Be confident with fees The entire team should role play presenting small and large treatment plans and financial arrangements until everyone is comfortable saying the dollar amounts out loud and with pride.
  3. Financial policy Have a written financial policy that is kindly reviewed with the patient at their first appt. Have them sign and take a copy with them. For your existing patients, review with them any changes to your financial policies, have them sign and give them a copy to take home.
  4. Avoid assumptions and judgment Don’t make decisions for the patient as to whether they can afford the treatment based on your assumptions or reality. Remember this, Sympathy vs Empathy: Sympathy is feeling for the patient… deciding for them that they can’t afford the dental care, Empathy is feeling with the patient… yes, this is more than they were wanting to pay, however, you’re going to give them hope… you’re going to offer third-party financing, break up the treatment plan if possible or allow them to make payments as a credit until they have enough money to get started with treatment. Always offer the best treatment and flexible payment options and allow the patient to decide what they want to accept or not.
  5. No surprises! – Present treatment plan and financial portion before treatment is started. Make sure your numbers are as accurate as possible, especially when estimating the insurance portion. If you accept their insurance, have up to date eligibility, a breakdown of benefits and the insurance fee schedule on file for the patient and enter into your practice management software.
  6. Payment due before or on the day of service No billing the patient for co-pays or payment for services. (Hint: Collecting prior to appt. will reduce cancellations and no-shows. Another Hint: Collect co-pay before the patient goes back for treatment, especially if they’re having a lengthy or difficult appt. No one wants to stand at the front desk fumbling for money or to write a check with gauze hanging out of their mouth after an extraction, or numb and exhausted after a long appt. Make it more comfortable for them by collecting their payment and making any necessary follow up appts before they go back.)
  7. Make it easy for them to pay In addition to accepting cash, check and charge cards, offer third-party financing. Avoid in-office payment plans!
  8. Incentives Offer incentives for patients to pay when they make the reservation.
  9. Dealing with forgetful patients When a patient says they forgot to bring money…they can either call the payment in over the phone when they get home or give them an envelope with payment due date for them to mail in a check. Call the patient if payment isn’t received by the due date.
  10. When Insurance is involved – Always give the full treatment fee, the estimated insurance amount and the patient’s estimated co-pay that is due today. Let the patient know you’ll send in the claim and inform them if anything changes with the estimated insurance portion. Watch your insurance aging report closely. Promptly follow up on any unpaid claims, insurance rejections, and requests for add’l information.

There you have it, 10 tips to successfully collect payment before or at time of service.

Once you make a plan to consistently collect payments before or at time of service and hold your team accountable to follow through with that plan, you’ll wish you started it sooner.

Here are a few more tips to help make this a true success for you.

  • Daily, Weekly and Monthly, monitor your patient and insurance accounts receivables, collection and credit reports.  (Carefully review write-off’s, discounts, credits, charges, and payments.)
  • Avoid “Statement Groundhog Day” – Stop sending statement after statement to patients that are past due on making a payment. They ignore them and it costs you a lot of money. Get collection letters out and make some calls.
  • Each day, look at the day prior, what were your total production charges & collections? Pay close attention to the total patient responsibility vs patient payments, these numbers should be close to the same. If not, why not?
  • ALWAYS send out clean insurance claims! If your administrative team needs any training in this ever-changing insurance world with how to estimate co-pays, send out claims (daily), post insurance payments and adjustments…get them the proper training asap!
  • Insurance Claims Aging Report – Run your insurance aging report and start from the oldest and work down to the current claims… how old are some of those claims? What is the status of the claims? Where is your money? Now is a great time to clean up that report.
  • Don’t assume… know by who, when, what and how your money is being handled. It’s important for the entire team to understand why this information is necessary.
  • Set goals, share with your team what your production and collection goals are and how it benefits them to all work together as a team to reach or exceed these goals. Consider offering a small bonus or incentive when these goals are reached.

Print out these tips and suggestions and review them at your next team meeting.

If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I  would love for you to please leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.

Friends, if your office is struggling with collections please don’t wait to seek help. The longer that money sits out there the less you collect.  You deserve to be paid for the amazing dental care you provide.

Do you know what your accounts receivable totals look like? Do you know how many insurance claims are over 60+ days old? Do you know how many of your patients have made a payment within the last 30 days and how many are past-due? If you do not know what your office numbers look like, please examine, record, and measure these and other important key practice indicators. You need to know where you’re at currently to know how to best care for your patients and what your potential for increasing collections looks like. To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence  – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities.  I am happy to assist you with this at no charge.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for November 2019

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for November 2019

Hello Friends,

Can you believe that the New Year is just around the corner? Where are you at with your goals for this year? Have you created opportunities to celebrate reaching (better yet, exceeding) your goals?

Are you working in harmony with your mission, vision, and goals for the practice? If not, what is holding you back? If you really want to reach your goals, you must be willing to get uncomfortable enough to implement change. I am here to help.

How do you want to end this year? What do you want November and December to look like? If you are ready to increase your production, collections, and new patients for November and December – please take a few minutes as a team and together decide which of the following ideas you want to implement. These ideas WILL help you attract more new patients, build relationships within the community, as well as exceed your current patients’ expectations.  As always, my goal is to also help you all stress-less and have more fun at work!

November Dental Ideas Betty Hayden Consulting

Leadership Tips & Ideas:

Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.” -Unknown

Employee Appreciation –

Random Acts of Kindness Week: 17th – 20th – Surprise your team with a random gift of appreciation. (Cash, Lunch, Breakfast, Gift Card, Snack, Etc)

Practice Management Tips & Ideas:

Scheduling  – What steps have you taken to ensure your schedules will be able to accommodate those patients that wait until the last minute to use their dental benefits before the year ends?

Reducing last-minute cancelations – If you’re not already doing this now would be a good time to start collecting the patients co-pay at the time of scheduling. Be sure to also remind your patients that the appointment time is being reserved exclusively for them.

Use it or Lose it Reminders – Have you followed up with a call(s) to your patients that haven’t responded to your use it or lose it letters/emails? If you didn’t get your letters and emails sent out I encourage you to take action now. Would you like a sample Use it or Lose it letter? Email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will gladly send one over to you.

Dental Office Insurance Renewal Reminders Betty Hayden Consulting

Marketing Tips & Ideas

Monthly Theme Idea: Gratitude (November is National Gratitude Month)

For your patients: Invite your patients to share what they’re grateful for (turn it into fall decorations by having them fill out fall leaves that you hang on the wall.)

For the community: Visit local businesses with a gift and a note of gratitude for what they do for the community. Or each week feature a local business on your FB/IG pages that you are grateful for.

Reviews/Recommendations – Set a goal to get a certain number of reviews/recommendations to your Facebook and Google pages during the month of November.

 

Patient & Community Educational Idea:

November is Diabetes Month –

All month-long share posts on your social media platforms regarding the importance of regular preventive dental visits to the dentist. When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums.   https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/11263-oral-health-problems-and-diabetes

Dental Office Tips and Ideas for Diabetes Month

X-Ray Day: 8th – Create a short video about why radiographs are necessary and their safety to share on your office social media pages.

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement during the month of November

Daylights Savings: 3rd

National Candy Day: 4th

Red Lipstick Day: 11th

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day: 15th

Great American Smokeout: 21st

Flossing Day: 29th

Did you enjoy these tips and ideas?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please take a second to leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. Or send me your email address and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

30 Little Things That Make Big Things Happen for your Dental Practice

30 Little Things That Make Big Things Happen for your Dental Practice

 “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

~John Wooden

Hello Friends,

It’s the little details, the little things that can make the biggest impact on your practice growth and the happiness of your team.  Best of all, the little things (ideas) that I am sharing today are FREE or very low-cost and most only require seconds of your time.

betty hayden consulting ideas to grow your dental practice

Here is a list of 30 little things you can do starting today to greatly improve your office and in turn your personal life too!

  1. Hello, Good Morning! – Make it a point to greet your fellow team members’ every morning. Let people know that you see them and acknowledge them with a hello.
  2. Smile More – Smiles are contagious. Smile before you pick up the phone, smile to passersby, smile to your teammates, and smile in the mirror. Smiling will boost your mood, put people at ease, and makes you more likable.
  3. Say My Name – Everyone likes to hear his or her name. Greet your patient’s by name. Use their name during treatment. Thank them by name for coming in or calling.
  4. Thank you – Express your appreciation.  Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and the patient’s experience.
  5. Choose to be Positive – Your attitude is a choice and that choice is 100% within your control. Avoid spreading negativity by sharing bad patient experiences, personal problems, or problems with other team members. Choose to be happy and positive.
  6. Be Kind – Be kind to your patients, strangers, sales reps, and callers.
  7. I’m Sorry – Accept responsibility when you are wrong. Be honest; simply say “I’m sorry I/We messed up”. (Tip: Keep small ($5) gift cards for coffee to give to your patients when you’ve messed up, i.e. running late, lab case mistake, appt. mix up, etc.)
  8. Friendly Greeting – Warmly greet every person that visits the office. Even if you’re on the phone or taking care of a patient, you can acknowledge the other person with a smile.
  9. Say Please – Make it a habit to say please every time you ask for something.
  10. Offer a Proper Handshake- A nice, firm handshake shows confidence and makes a good impression. (Tip: When a new patient comes into the office, come from around the desk and welcome them with a handshake.)
  11. Check it Twice – Before you send that email, letter, or text, check it for spelling errors.
  12. Social Media Sites – If your office is using social media sites be sure to like and follow the pages of local businesses within your community. Click the LIKE button or comment on their posts. This is an easy way to build relationships.
  13. No Cell Phones – Turn down the volume and put your cell phone away while you’re on the clock. Ask your family and friends to call the office line in the event of an emergency. Be fully present during work hours.
  14. Write it Down- Start and end your day with to-do lists. Write a note or set an electronic reminder to check on that claim, call your patient, check voice mail, etc. Writing things down prevents you from forgetting things that are important. (Tip: Avoid placing sticky notes around your workstation. Clutter is chaos to the patient. Place reminders in a notebook that you frequently refer to or set electronic reminders.)
  15. Commendation – Commend a fellow team member when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale.  (Tip: Commend & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of.)
  16. Business Cards – Carry your business cards with you and use them! Get your team personalized business cards to hand out to patients and people they do business with. (Tip: Use the back of the business card with a call to action invitation.)
  17. Stay on Time – If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate as to the reason(s) why. If you know the why… change whatever it is causing you to stray from the schedule. Running behind schedule sends a message to your patients and your team that you don’t respect their time. Arriving at the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expecting your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculate the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, control the schedules, these things will help you stay on time.
  18. Patient of the Day! – Select a patient from the day’s schedule to be your “patient of the day”.  Give them a certificate, a small gift and take their picture to share on your social media sites. This is a fun and inexpensive way to exceed your patients’ expectations.  SEE Dental Patient of the Day Ideas
  19. Post-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists, call your patients at the end of the day to see how well they are doing. (Tip: Call all patients that received an extraction, perio treatment, difficult procedure, were fearful or new to the office.)
  20. Pre-Op Calls – Doctors and Hygienists start building your relationship with a new patient before they step foot in the practice. Call and give a warm welcome, let them know you are looking forward to meeting them at their appointment. It’s unexpected, takes only a few minutes and will really make your new patient feel special.
  21. Send a Card – In this electronic age, rarely do people get “real” mail. Send hand-written thank you, get well, thinking of you, anniversary, sympathy, and congratulations cards to your patients.  They will truly appreciate it! (Tip: Keep a supply of cards on hand in the office.)
  22. Everybody Clean Up – Pick up the piece of paper from the floor, dust off the plants, keep your workspace and the restroom clean. SEE Clean Your Dental Office
  23. Replace the roll of Toilet Paper – Even if there are still a few squares left to spare, replace with a fresh roll. While you’re at, go ahead and fold the toilet paper into a pretty fan.
  24. Huddle Up – The morning meeting is essential for a successful day. If you tried in the past to have a morning huddle and it didn’t work out… try again! However, this time, please follow these tried and true suggestions & tips for morning meeting success.
  25. Negative Gossip – Refuse to listen to gossip and stop speaking & spreading gossip. Simple. As. That.
  26. Dress the Part – If you want it to be a great day, start by looking great. Wear clothes that reflect the excellent care you give your patients. This means wearing professional, clean and wrinkle-free clothes.  Also, your hair and body should be clean and odor-free. (Yes, I went there.)
  27.  Verbiage Matters – Use these words often: Absolutely, I’ll be happy to, My pleasure, You are very welcome, Certainly, and Right away.
  28. Acknowledge and Reward Referrals – For every patient you must have a referral source, how else will you be able to track what marketing works and what doesn’t? Especially if you want more referrals from your current patients, then reward the behavior that you want to see more of. Acknowledge and Reward your referrals.
  29. Answer the office Phone – This one is KEY to your success. All of your marketing efforts lead people to the phone first. Answer the office phone during the times when patients and new patients are most likely to call. This includes lunch hours. SEE How to Effectively Answer The Dental Office Phone
  30. Memorable Goodbyes – Make a great last impression with a friendly goodbye…be sure to use the patient’s name.

 “I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually, they make the difference between winning and losing.”

~Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Do the right thing, as a team work together to implement these little things in your office every day. Print this list and review it at your next team meeting.  Enjoy practice growth with a happier team and happy patients.

Did you enjoy these tips and ideas?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Seriously, your kind words always warm my heart! Thank you!

Looking for even more ideas? Check out my articles Ten Ways to Stay in Touch with your Dental Patients and How to Attract and Cultivate Loyal Dental Patients

If you would like help implementing these or other ideas into your practice and daily life, contact me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to learn more about my coaching services.

Are you receiving my dental marketing and practice management tips and ideas via email each week? If not, start following today this way you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest