February 2022 Dental Practice Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas

February 2022 Dental Practice Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas

Hello Friends,

I hope that this year is off to a happy and healthy start for you and your team. Are you on track to meet or exceed your first quarter goals? Today, I am sharing some office management and leadership tips and ideas to help you enjoy a fantastic February.

Are you looking for marketing and practice growth tips and ideas for February 2022? Check these out: February’s Children’s Dental Health Month and Marketing and Practice Growth Tips & Ideas for February

Do you enjoy the complimentary tips and ideas that I share each month?   I would love and truly appreciate it for you to please take a second to leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK – Thank you!!!

February 2022 Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas

Team BuildingNational Chili Day 24th – Have an in-office chili cook-off lunch. Everyone brings in a crockpot of chili. Have prizes for the best tasting, most unique, etc.

Random Acts of Kindness Week: 13-19 – Do something special for your employees this week. Bring in an unexpected sweet treat or small gift to let them know just how much you appreciate them. (By the way, your doctor would also appreciate an unexpected act of kindness this week!)

Reappointments and Reactivation – Now is a great time to reach out to your unscheduled patients both active and inactive patients. Do you know how many of your active patients are unscheduled? (If your practice management software is Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental I can help you quickly get those numbers. Just send me an email to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and let me know that you’d like to get the FREE data analysis.)

Make a plan to reach out to your unscheduled 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 all the different communication methods to reach your patients – telephone, text, email, letter/cards, and your social media pages.  You’re planting little reminder seeds that you are still here for them during these crazy times.

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Insurance Claims – Send out “clean” insurance claims with the correct information, provider, date of service, Xrays, attachments, and documentation.  Your goal is to not have any unpaid claims sitting out there past 30-60 days.  (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. Worse yet, you run the risk of the claim not being paid at all!)

What does your insurance aging report look like? How often are you checking on outstanding insurance claims? Who is monitoring and working on your aging reports, daily?

February is National Time Management Month – Respect others time and your time will be respected

Review your office systems and protocols to ensure that everyone is using their time efficiently and effectively. Arriving at the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, expecting your patients to arrive on time, never waiting 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.

If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate 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. Respect your team by sticking to the scheduled work hours. Be sure that they are not habitually working through their lunch or having to work late. They need breaks to refresh and refuel. Give them that.

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 to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea.

I would love the opportunity to work along with you and your team to help you set and exceed your practice goals. If you would like to schedule a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to learn how our coaching program works, please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

As always, wishing you a happy, healthy, and productive month!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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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