Welcome

to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

10 Ways Your Systems Will Increase Your Dental Practice Profits

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 22, 2013

What grade would you give your business systems? What grade would you give your business systems?

A “C” is a passing grade but an “A” will take you a lot further in your practice sustainability.

Employees come and go and many dental practice owners tell me that they “fly by the seat of their pants.”

Do you know what the pay day looks like when all your systems are running efficiently?

As a dental practice management consultant I notice most dental practices we assess do not have effective systems. Many offices have no systems in place at all.

This article will discuss 10 ways your dental practice systems will increase your profits.

Make no mistake; good systems will increase the profits in your dental practice, as well as your personal take-home dollars!

Systems Increase Production and Lower Your Costs

Below is a list of ten ways that having effective business systems will provide a direct and measurable return on the investment of your time, effort, and financial resources.

  1. Effective systems generate more new and returning patients
  2. Good systems will elevate your customer satisfaction and loyalty (Happy patients refer friends and family and most of them will refuse to see any other dentist!)
  3. Effective systems improve employee efficiencies in the office
  4. Well-designed systems increase efficiency, productivity, as well as improve customer service
  5. High-quality systems minimize patient complaints
  6. Effective systems accelerate the turnover of accounts receivable (Faster collections, and accelerated cash flow decrease costs).
  7. Good systems reduce the number of employees required to get the work done (fewer employees reduce your labor costs).
  8. Systems enable your employees to perform above what you may think is their status-quo (employees will perform higher-level tasks, which can also lower your employee salaries).
  9. Effective systems require less supervision and management oversight
  10. Grade “A” systems mean you are more likely to have a sustainable dental practice. (Recession proof!)

Don’t Be a Skeptic!

It makes perfect sense to learn or update the art and science of your business systems. If you wish you have a sustainable dental practice I can tell you that you must spent time to develop effective business systems and processes.  If you would like to get to that “Next Level” in your dental practice think about and look at your business systems. STOP blaming your lack of productivity on the economy.

Take a look at your business systems or possibly the lack of many systems you should have in place today. This can be the one missing link to increase your dental practice profits. It is one way to improve your satisfaction daily at your office.

Do not wait another day! Pick one area in your dental practice that is giving you the most pain and create a system in this area that shines—a system that pleases your patients, you and the entire team.

At Dental Practice Solutions we assess hundreds of dental offices each year and the one reason for inefficiency in the dental office that we discover is “no systems are in place.”

The cost of not having effective systems is hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next year. This costs you millions of dollars over the life-time of your practice. Wouldn’t you rather have that money in your bank account?

When was the last time you reviewed your systems? Let us know how often you update and/or review your systems.

Please let us know about the systems in your dental office below. What is lacking? How are they working today?

10 Ways Your Systems Will Increase Your Dental Practice Profits

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Gears

What grade would you give your business systems? What grade would you give your business systems?

A “C” is a passing grade but an “A” will take you a lot further in your practice sustainability.

Employees come and go and many dental practice owners tell me that they “fly by the seat of their pants.”

Do you know what the pay day looks like when all your systems are running efficiently?

As a dental practice management consultant I notice most dental practices we assess do not have effective systems. Many offices have no systems in place at all.

This article will discuss 10 ways your dental practice systems will increase your profits.

Make no mistake; good systems will increase the profits in your dental practice, as well as your personal take-home dollars!

Systems Increase Production and Lower Your Costs

Below is a list of ten ways that having effective business systems will provide a direct and measurable return on the investment of your time, effort, and financial resources.

  1. Effective systems generate more new and returning patients
  2. Good systems will elevate your customer satisfaction and loyalty (Happy patients refer friends and family and most of them will refuse to see any other dentist!)
  3. Effective systems improve employee efficiencies in the office
  4. Well-designed systems increase efficiency, productivity, as well as improve customer service
  5. High-quality systems minimize patient complaints
  6. Effective systems accelerate the turnover of accounts receivable (Faster collections, and accelerated cash flow decrease costs).
  7. Good systems reduce the number of employees required to get the work done (fewer employees reduce your labor costs).
  8. Systems enable your employees to perform above what you may think is their status-quo (employees will perform higher-level tasks, which can also lower your employee salaries).
  9. Effective systems require less supervision and management oversight
  10. Grade “A” systems mean you are more likely to have a sustainable dental practice. (Recession proof!)

Don’t Be a Skeptic!

It makes perfect sense to learn or update the art and science of your business systems. If you wish you have a sustainable dental practice I can tell you that you must spent time to develop effective business systems and processes.  If you would like to get to that “Next Level” in your dental practice think about and look at your business systems. STOP blaming your lack of productivity on the economy.

Take a look at your business systems or possibly the lack of many systems you should have in place today. This can be the one missing link to increase your dental practice profits. It is one way to improve your satisfaction daily at your office.

Do not wait another day! Pick one area in your dental practice that is giving you the most pain and create a system in this area that shines—a system that pleases your patients, you and the entire team.

At Dental Practice Solutions we assess hundreds of dental offices each year and the one reason for inefficiency in the dental office that we discover is “no systems are in place.”

The cost of not having effective systems is hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next year. This costs you millions of dollars over the life-time of your practice. Wouldn’t you rather have that money in your bank account?

When was the last time you reviewed your systems? Let us know how often you update and/or review your systems.

Please let us know about the systems in your dental office below. What is lacking? How are they working today?

ABOUT DEBBIE

ME not too high jpeg

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is founder and CEO of Dental Practice Solutions. Dental Practice Solutions is the largest business for laser-focused hygiene department systems. Dental Practice Solutions has clients worldwide and a unique learning style for offices to implement systems from anywhere in the world. Debbie and her team are results oriented which is what makes their clients experience superior results!

Debbie has been in the world of academia for over twenty years. First as an assistant clinical professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She also taught the senior dental students at USC the practice management course. Most recently, in 2008, she wrote the accreditation and started a dental hygiene program in Portland, Oregon.

You will find that Debbie has a no non-sense style which keeps teams in-check and held accountable. Contact her for a no-fee assessment to find the hidden potential in your dental practice: 503-970-1122 or toll-free: 888-816-1511 Email: support@dentalpracticesolutions.com

 

HIPAA Training: What Your Dental Practice Needs to Know

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 15, 2013

As Dental Practice Management Consultants we do our best to keep your dental office current on relevant topics to help your practice run smoother, more efficient, within the rules and regulations to help prevent violations that can compromise your practice. We also want your dental practice to provide the highest value to your patients while consistently increasing your dental practice profits.

Our topic for this week is an update on  HIPAA training and what your dental practice needs to know. The above video provides that latest update on HIPAA. This information had an implementation date of September 23, 2013. Our office is still receiving calls on what the newest regulations are and what a dental office needs to do. The above video provides a short presentation on the highlights.  Our office has the latest – updated HIPAA form. Please contact us directly if you still need the latest form which is suggested on the short video. Pleaseview the presentation to learn the lastest HIPAA Training and what your dental practice needs to know.  Have a happy successful day!

Some of the recent violations are:

■ A MarionCounty jury Friday awarded a woman $1.44 million after finding Walgreens and a pharmacist violated her privacy when the pharmacist looked up and shared the woman’s prescription history.

The lawsuit filed in Marion Superior Court spun out of a tangled relationship between the pharmacist, her husband and the man’s ex-girlfriend. The verdict and seven-figure award came at the conclusion of a four-day jury trial.

May 23, 2013 IdahoStateUniversity will pay $400,000 to the U.S. Department of Health Human Services to settle alleged violations of the HIPAA Security Rule. The settlement comes after ISU’s Pocatello Family Medicine Clinic disabled server firewall protections for a period of at least 10 months, resulting in the breach of electronic protected health information for 17,500 patients.

August 14 2013

Under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Affinity Health Plan, Inc. will settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules for $1,215,780.  Affinity Health Plan is a not-for-profit managed care plan serving the New York metropolitan area.

This settlement illustrates an important reminder about equipment designed to retain electronic information: Make sure that all personal information is wiped from hardware before it’s recycled, thrown away or sent back to a leasing agent,” said OCR Director Leon Rodriguez.  “HIPAA covered entities are required to undertake a careful risk analysis to understand the threats and vulnerabilities to individuals’ data, and have appropriate safeguards in place to protect this information.”
■ Physicians should check apps’ privacy protections before suggesting them to patients. A new report says most apps — especially free ones — don’t offer much privacy.

 Posted Aug. 5, 2013

Physicians might think twice about advising patients to use some mobile health and fitness apps. A July report indicates that many of those apps compromise patients’ privacy. Just recommending apps may put doctors at risk for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

State attorneys general are now able to bring actions for damages on behalf of their state residents and enjoin further violations of HIPAA. ttps://www.ada.org/news/5807.aspx

On Feb. 22, HHS announced it had imposed a civil monetary penalty of $4.3 million on Cignet Health of Prince George’s County, Md., for violating the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Of the $4.3 million, $1.3 million was because Cignet violated 41 patients’ rights by denying them access to their medical records when requested and $3 million was for the company’s failure to cooperate with the OCR investigation, according to the HHS announcement.

A password-protected laptop computer containing protected health information was stolen from the personal residence of Nihal Saran, M.D.  The laptop contained the information of about 2,300 individuals.

HIPAA Training: What Your Dental Practice Needs to Know

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

As Dental Practice Management Consultants we do our best to keep your dental office current on relevant topics to help your practice run smoother, more efficient, within the rules and regulations to help prevent violations that can compromise your practice. We also want your dental practice to provide the highest value to your patients while consistently increasing your dental practice profits.

Our topic for this week is an update on  HIPAA training and what your dental practice needs to know. The above video provides that latest update on HIPAA. This information had an implementation date of September 23, 2013. Our office is still receiving calls on what the newest regulations are and what a dental office needs to do. The above video provides a short presentation on the highlights.  Our office has the latest – updated HIPAA form. Please contact us directly if you still need the latest form which is suggested on the short video. Pleaseview the presentation to learn the lastest HIPAA Training and what your dental practice needs to know.  Have a happy successful day!

Some of the recent violations are:

■ A MarionCounty jury Friday awarded a woman $1.44 million after finding Walgreens and a pharmacist violated her privacy when the pharmacist looked up and shared the woman’s prescription history.

The lawsuit filed in Marion Superior Court spun out of a tangled relationship between the pharmacist, her husband and the man’s ex-girlfriend. The verdict and seven-figure award came at the conclusion of a four-day jury trial.

May 23, 2013 IdahoStateUniversity will pay $400,000 to the U.S. Department of Health Human Services to settle alleged violations of the HIPAA Security Rule. The settlement comes after ISU’s Pocatello Family Medicine Clinic disabled server firewall protections for a period of at least 10 months, resulting in the breach of electronic protected health information for 17,500 patients. 

August 14 2013

Under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Affinity Health Plan, Inc. will settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules for $1,215,780.  Affinity Health Plan is a not-for-profit managed care plan serving the New York metropolitan area.

This settlement illustrates an important reminder about equipment designed to retain electronic information: Make sure that all personal information is wiped from hardware before it’s recycled, thrown away or sent back to a leasing agent,” said OCR Director Leon Rodriguez.  “HIPAA covered entities are required to undertake a careful risk analysis to understand the threats and vulnerabilities to individuals’ data, and have appropriate safeguards in place to protect this information.”
■ Physicians should check apps’ privacy protections before suggesting them to patients. A new report says most apps — especially free ones — don’t offer much privacy.

 Posted Aug. 5, 2013

Physicians might think twice about advising patients to use some mobile health and fitness apps. A July report indicates that many of those apps compromise patients’ privacy. Just recommending apps may put doctors at risk for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

State attorneys general are now able to bring actions for damages on behalf of their state residents and enjoin further violations of HIPAA. ttps://www.ada.org/news/5807.aspx

On Feb. 22, HHS announced it had imposed a civil monetary penalty of $4.3 million on Cignet Health of Prince George’s County, Md., for violating the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Of the $4.3 million, $1.3 million was because Cignet violated 41 patients’ rights by denying them access to their medical records when requested and $3 million was for the company’s failure to cooperate with the OCR investigation, according to the HHS announcement.

A password-protected laptop computer containing protected health information was stolen from the personal residence of Nihal Saran, M.D.  The laptop contained the information of about 2,300 individuals.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Older photo

Susan brings decades of hands-on dental experience to the Dental Practice Solutions team.

She is passionate about dentistry and enjoys helping the dental team experience a smooth and productive day.
This is done by supporting the team with effective communication skills to increase high-end treatment and case acceptance.

This can also include some or all of the following:
Efficiency with OSHA, HIPAA, basic assisting skills, standards for mastering quality anterior (etc.) bridge temporaries,
systems for ordering supplies, lab management and fabrication,treatment plan presentation,
coorination, enhancing the new patient experience, streamline scheduling systems, improving work flow, improving business operations,
general computer/software skills, (SoftDent, DENTRIX, etc.) necessary reporting for consistent and maximum profitability, developing job
descriptions based on your practicegoals, front office -back office-patient communication = closing this gap, referral follow-up, insurance fee
assessments, setting up e-claims/e-attachments, and going paerless.

Susan is very personable, very knowledgeable, confident as well as empathetic. She is your voice and advocate to share knowledge with your team.
Susan will bring you and your team to that next level!

Dentists are known to contact Susan, just out of the blue, asking if she can work for them. How can Susan help your dental practice get where you want to be?
Give us a call or contact her by email to meet her. Discover what she can do to take you and your team to that NEXT LEVEL: 888-816-1511 or EMAIL SUSAN at: support@dentalpracticesolutions.com

The Healthcare Reform: 5 Things You Should Do to Keep Profits in Your Practice

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 9, 2013

As a Dental Practice Management Consultant my job is to research and analyze systems and various areas of practice profitability.

Recently, I wrote about the Healthcare Reform (aka: Obama Care) and what that may mean for your dental practice. The National Dental Association recently reported that pediatric patient numbers may be increased for dental offices.

On October 1, 2013, the new reform began and I want to update you on what we know to be true at this time. Of course, since this is all new, expect more changes to occur.

Read on for information about the healthcare reform and 5 Things you should do to keep profits in your practice.

 

The New Healthcare Reform now requires that everyone who resides in the USA have health insurance. What does that mean for parents and their children?

If you have children, you must buy or sign up for your children to be covered by the Healthcare Plan now available in the United States. It was originally thought that parents would need to purchase oral care for their children and thus, pediatric dental patient numbers would increase.

This didn’t not take place. What did take place is that the final documentation states that all children must have healthcare and optic coverage. The document neglected to make oral care madatory.

If you are in a specific population and made over $45,000.00 last year, you may not be happy when you see the rates at which your healthcare will cost you. AND imagine for many people this insurance plan will not cover oral care. That will be an additional cost.

I know for my husband and I we plan to pay just under $1,000.00 each month for our health insurance under this new Healthcare Reform! OUCH! This of course does not include dental insurance.

What we do is maybe not the norm for most Americans but I believe that we can, if we begin to talk to our patients, create this paradigm shift.

What is that shift?

The shift begins with your mindset that without optimal oral health other systemic health problems will occur. This also means that for those who believe this statement will have a higher level of self care and also believe that routine preventive oral care is important.

We need to be the messengers of this important information. It will not happen overnight if you are only now giving your patients this important message.

BTW: My husband and I have never paid for dental insurance because of course, being married to a hygienist means this message of routine preventive oral care is high priority and we have our own bank account for oral care!

Do you believe that people buy what they want? I believe this is true! If you can educate your patients about their oral health and how this is very important to support total health, will they sit up and listen? Will they take your advice seriously?!

Maybe not all of your patients will change their thoughts about routine preventive oral care but if you can continue to deliver this message over a period of time they will get the message.

How can you deliver this message consistently?

I will list a few tips that are sure to make a change in many of your patients today:

  1. Create a patient reactivation system that sends a message to your patients that they need to return for preventive care to support not only their oral health but that this is what creates insurance for a longer health status
    1. Send a letter to patients who you can’t reach with a phone call to schedule their overdue hygiene appointment. Provide information about the science of the oral and systemic link
    2. Do you know of any patients who choose NOT to live a longer healthy life? NO! I have not either!
  1. The oral/systemic link message needs to begin now – -today while all patients are in your office. Let them know how much you really care about their total health!
  1. Use visuals: Brochures in your reception area, in the treatment rooms, (To explain when they are in your char) take photographs of their mouth, use the intra-oral camera
  1. Send text messages, newsletters and post on your social media accounts information that relates to patients oral and systemic health
  1. Offer incentives for patients who do return for routine care in your office and do not cancel without appropriate notification

These are only a few ideas that come to mind to keep your patients returning to your dental office for your care. The best thing you can be doing today is COMMUNICATE with your patients.

Most people today are very confused about this new Healthcare System that all of use are instructed to “buy into”. What do people do when they feel confused?

NOTHING! Usually a confused mind is paralyzed so I recommend that you reach out and speak to your patients: while they are in your office, if you have electronic communication, use this to create valuable information to keep your patients coming back to your office.

Let them know how much you care and they are sure to care about returning to your office sooner than later!

The Healthcare Reform: 5 Things You Should Do to Keep Profits in Your Practice

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

HealthCareReformGraphic

As a Dental Practice Management Consultant my job is to research and analyze systems and various areas of practice profitability.

Recently, I wrote about the Healthcare Reform (aka: Obama Care) and what that may mean for your dental practice. The National Dental Association recently reported that pediatric patient numbers may be increased for dental offices.

On October 1, 2013, the new reform began and I want to update you on what we know to be true at this time. Of course, since this is all new, expect more changes to occur.

Read on for information about the healthcare reform and 5 Things you should do to keep profits in your practice.

 

The New Healthcare Reform now requires that everyone who resides in the USA have health insurance. What does that mean for parents and their children?

If you have children, you must buy or sign up for your children to be covered by the Healthcare Plan now available in the United States. It was originally thought that parents would need to purchase oral care for their children and thus, pediatric dental patient numbers would increase.

This didn’t not take place. What did take place is that the final documentation states that all children must have healthcare and optic coverage. The document neglected to make oral care madatory.

If you are in a specific population and made over $45,000.00 last year, you may not be happy when you see the rates at which your healthcare will cost you. AND imagine for many people this insurance plan will not cover oral care. That will be an additional cost.

I know for my husband and I we plan to pay just under $1,000.00 each month for our health insurance under this new Healthcare Reform! OUCH! This of course does not include dental insurance.

What we do is maybe not the norm for most Americans but I believe that we can, if we begin to talk to our patients, create this paradigm shift.

What is that shift?

The shift begins with your mindset that without optimal oral health other systemic health problems will occur. This also means that for those who believe this statement will have a higher level of self care and also believe that routine preventive oral care is important.

We need to be the messengers of this important information. It will not happen overnight if you are only now giving your patients this important message.

BTW: My husband and I have never paid for dental insurance because of course, being married to a hygienist means this message of routine preventive oral care is high priority and we have our own bank account for oral care!

Do you believe that people buy what they want? I believe this is true! If you can educate your patients about their oral health and how this is very important to support total health, will they sit up and listen? Will they take your advice seriously?!

Maybe not all of your patients will change their thoughts about routine preventive oral care but if you can continue to deliver this message over a period of time they will get the message.

How can you deliver this message consistently?

I will list a few tips that are sure to make a change in many of your patients today:

  1. Create a patient reactivation system that sends a message to your patients that they need to return for preventive care to support not only their oral health but that this is what creates insurance for a longer health status
    1. Send a letter to patients who you can’t reach with a phone call to schedule their overdue hygiene appointment. Provide information about the science of the oral and systemic link
    2. Do you know of any patients who choose NOT to live a longer healthy life? NO! I have not either!
  1. The oral/systemic link message needs to begin now – -today while all patients are in your office. Let them know how much you really care about their total health!
  1. Use visuals: Brochures in your reception area, in the treatment rooms, (To explain when they are in your char) take photographs of their mouth, use the intra-oral camera
  1. Send text messages, newsletters and post on your social media accounts information that relates to patients oral and systemic health
  1. Offer incentives for patients who do return for routine care in your office and do not cancel without appropriate notification

These are only a few ideas that come to mind to keep your patients returning to your dental office for your care. The best thing you can be doing today is COMMUNICATE with your patients.

Most people today are very confused about this new Healthcare System that all of use are instructed to “buy into”. What do people do when they feel confused?

NOTHING! Usually a confused mind is paralyzed so I recommend that you reach out and speak to your patients: while they are in your office, if you have electronic communication, use this to create valuable information to keep your patients coming back to your office.

Let them know how much you care and they are sure to care about returning to your office sooner than later!