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

3 Steps to Expedite Dental Insurance Payment for Your Patients With Periodontal Disease

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 30, 2014

Document Photos electronic claims

 

As a dental practice management consultant and an expert advisor for Trojan  Professional Services, I am frequently asked questions about the dental hygiene appointment. One fact that will remain the same is the patient chart notes.

Why is documentation so important for the dentist and anyone writing patient notes?

Profits are important and patients do not want to pay a lot of their own money especially if you do bill patients insurance.

Many times when working with clients of Dental Practice Solutions, we see offices struggle to receive electronic insurance (via e-submissions made) payments within three weeks. One of the biggest reasons is due to incorrect or incomplete documentation.

As an expert consultant on “Ask the Consultant” for Trojan Dental Professionals“, I get a lot of questions about dental insurance billing, specifically for the periodontal patient.

The number one question I receive is “Can we alternate periodontal maintenance with a prophy when our patient has completed scaling and root planing and their insurance only pays for a periodontal maintenance two times a year?”

Here is the answer I gave an office the other day:

“Once a perio patient, always a perio patient.” If the patient receives CDT Code 2015: D4341 or D4342 they will become a Perio Patient for life. i.e. Perio Maintenance CDT Code 2015: D4910

Similar Example: If a patient has diabetes and they see their doctor and, one day, years later, at the routine doctor visit, their glucose levels look good, they will still continue to be checked routinely to be certain their diabetes is stable. These blood tests will be completed at routine visits and most likely for the rest of their life. Only their medication dose and/or elimination will be changed.

Periodontal disease is a disease with the same inflammatory influences as diabetes. Therefore, you will have your dental hygiene patient return for routine visits (evaluation) and their insurance will be billed as CDT Code 2015: D4910.

So the short answer is that you will keep perio therapy patients in Supportive Perio Therapy = CDT code 2015: D4910

You will never alternate between D1110 and D4910. Please read the definition for CDT Code 2015: D1110. The description of this code states healthy gums. A periodontal diagnosis does not describe healthy gums and may require some light

scaling/root planing subgingivally, etc., etc., at times.

How Does Specific and Thorough Documentation Help Our Office?

Step 1. In real estate they say “Location! Location! Location!”

And in dentistry we need to think “Document! Document! Document!”

When in the trenches working with client offices, most of the time we will see documentation that states the service completed. What is important for your office to be paid is the correct documentation which includes thorough notes.

Hygienists treat patients with periodontal disease daily and in order to receive payment for scaling and root planing followed by periodontal maintenance, you must write down the correct description of the patient’s periodontal status.

The American Academy of Periodontology has a wealth of information on their website to help you get this documentation correct the first time. The American Academy of Periodontology has specific guidelines for documentation and treatment of for example Chronic Periodontitis.

When you treat a patient who has a diagnosis of Chronic Periodontitis  your notes will include words such as: chronic, generalized, localized, moderate, severe, edema, erythema, gingival bleeding upon probing, and/or suppuration. Other information you want to make note of are: edema, erythema, range of probing depths (Include your perio chart attached to the insurance e-claim), radiographic bone loss, etc.

Another great way to not only communicate the disease process is by educating your dental hygiene patient and using intra-oral photos. These photos now become an important piece of your legal documentation, the billing process and your photos will expedite the payment of your patient services.

Step 2.  Pictures paint a thousand words!

If a dental hygiene patient presents with heavy supra-calculus, take an intra-oral photo of the area, show the patient and then use this for your insurance billing.

Does the patient have gingiva that bleeds easily with BOP? Again, take photos, show your hygiene patient and then send these with the e-claim to the patients’ insurance company.

Think about being a proactive advocate for your dental hygiene patient. Show your patient what you “see” in their mouth, share the valuable information with your them and also share this with the insurance company.

Step 3

Once you have this valuable information attach this to the e-claim you will send off to the insurance company.

Conclusion

Net profits are a big concern to every business owner. These three steps will expedite insurance payment and increase profits to your dental office! Using the intra-oral camera will also add value to your dental hygiene appointment for every patient.

Insurance reimbursement will occur more quickly with proper documentation and the intra-oral photos not only assist your patients in understanding the value of the services you have recommended but it will help the insurance companies understand why you have submitted this claim for reimbursement.

Would you like to read more about the American Academy’s Parameter on Periodontal Disease Classification? Just click on this link: AAP PERIO CLASSIFICATION

I would enjoy hearing about you and how your electronic claims are being received on the insurance companies end? Are you receiving payment quickly?

Do you have any insurance billing questions? Please ask away! I always enjoy answering your questions, especially when they are about the dental hygiene department and insurance billing, etc!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ME not too high jpegDebbie is Founder of Dental Practice Solutions, a global consulting and coaching business known as the leader in creating very profitable and sustainable dental hygiene departments.

Debbie is also known as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants for the past 9 years. She speaks about dental hygiene department profitability and services to create sustainable dental practices throughout the world.

You can grab her 7 day Dental Hygiene Profits Program here to see what it is like to work with her. GRAB YOUR NO COST 7 DAY DENTAL HYGIENE PROFITS PROGRAM

 

 

Dental Hygiene Appointment Cancellations are an Epidemic!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 13, 2014

Doc enters to do examDental Hygiene appointment cancellations are an epidemic globally for dental offices around the world.

We can hang our hats on any number of reasons and say “it’s just the economy,” but that doesn’t solve the problem.

We can examine our methods and technologies regarding how we reach patients with our confirmation systems — postcards, e-mails, text messages, phone calls, etc. 

Today I want to bring something concrete to you. I will talk a lot more about contacting your patients on the webinar tomorrow night.

Let’s talk about building value for the dental hygiene appointment and exactly what is said to the patient upon seating your patient, what is said to them during their examination, and also during the treatment planning phase. What does the hand-off at the end of an appointment look like, sound like and feel like to your patient?

A properly completed debrief at the end of an appointment gives patients the valuable reason they should and will return for their next appointment.

Your patient debrief at the end of each appointment is not just about the post-operative instructions, but this is the conversation where patients receive answers to their “why, who, what, and when” questions.

Do your patients really understand what was done at today’s visit? Patients need to understand the why it is so important for your patient to return for periodontal maintenance (since this epidemic seems to be hitting the dental hygiene department most severely) AND just as important is the why a healthy patient needs to return routinely. (Hint: oral health means for most people a longer and healthier life)

Also it is important for patients to understand when their next routine dental hygiene appointment occur. And, why should their routine (or periodontal maintenance) appointment occur during this specific period of time? For some patients it may even mean they will need to return in eight weeks not twelve weeks. For some it may now mean four months not six months. Does your dental hygiene patient understand WHY this is being recommended?

All these issues should be addressed during the debrief – communication –  with your patient.

This debrief will require a simple and open-ended closing question. Here is an example of what an open-ended question may sound like: “What questions or concerns can I address for you about the treatment recommendations we discussed today?” This type of question allows patients to share any concerns they might have about making the next appointment. Make sure you’re sitting “knee to knee and eye to eye” with the patient, not multi-tasking by cleaning your operatory during the very important debrief!

Is this a silver bullet solution to the cancellations and no shows? No it is not! This is only an essential ingredient to a recipe that will lead to great patient relationships.

I will talk more on our webinar about a process to engage with your patients which is full circle = 360 degrees.

See you Tuesday night on our webinar. October 14th @ 8 p.m. Eastern

Did you register for the webinar? If not here is your link: REGISTER NOW.

 

ABOUT DEBBIE

ME not too high jpeg

Debbie is Founder of Dental Practice Solutions, a global consulting and coaching business known as the leader in creating sustainable dental hygiene departments.

Debbie is also known as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants for the past 9 years. She speaks about dental hygiene department profitability and services to create sustainable dental practices throughout the world.

You can grab her 7 day Dental Hygiene Profits Program here to see what it is like to work with her. GRAB YOUR NO COST 7 DAY DENTAL HYGIENE PROFITS PROGRAM

 

Dental Hygiene Appointment Cancellations are an Epidemic!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Dental Hygiene appointment cancellations are an epidemic globally for dental offices around the world.

We can hang our hats on any number of reasons and say “it’s just the economy,” but that doesn’t solve the problem.

We can examine our methods and technologies regarding how we reach patients with our confirmation systems — postcards, e-mails, text messages, phone calls, etc. 

Today I want to bring something concrete to you. I will talk a lot more about contacting your patients on the webinar tomorrow night.

Let’s talk about building value for the dental hygiene appointment and exactly what is said to the patient upon seating your patient, what is said to them during their examination, and also during the treatment planning phase. What does the hand-off at the end of an appointment look like, sound like and feel like to your patient?

A properly completed debrief at the end of an appointment gives patients the valuable reason they should and will return for their next appointment.

Your patient debrief at the end of each appointment is not just about the post-operative instructions, but this is the conversation where patients receive answers to their “why, who, what, and when” questions.

Do your patients really understand what was done at today’s visit? Patients need to understand the why it is so important for your patient to return for periodontal maintenance (since this epidemic seems to be hitting the dental hygiene department most severely) AND just as important is the why a healthy patient needs to return routinely. (Hint: oral health means for most people a longer and healthier life)

Also it is important for patients to understand when their next routine dental hygiene appointment occur. And, why should their routine (or periodontal maintenance) appointment occur during this specific period of time? For some patients it may even mean they will need to return in eight weeks not twelve weeks. For some it may now mean four months not six months. Does your dental hygiene patient understand WHY this is being recommended?

All these issues should be addressed during the debrief – communication –  with your patient.

This debrief will require a simple and open-ended closing question. Here is an example of what an open-ended question may sound like: “What questions or concerns can I address for you about the treatment recommendations we discussed today?” This type of question allows patients to share any concerns they might have about making the next appointment. Make sure you’re sitting “knee to knee and eye to eye” with the patient, not multi-tasking by cleaning your operatory during the very important debrief!

Is this a silver bullet solution to the cancellations and no shows? No it is not! This is only an essential ingredient to a recipe that will lead to great patient relationships.

I will talk more on our webinar about a process to engage with your patients which is full circle = 360 degrees.

See you Tuesday night on our webinar. October 14th @ 8 p.m. Eastern

Time to Create Your Dental Practice Profits Plan for 2015

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 8, 2014

Many of the dentists I speak to when asked “How are you doing?” They tell me: “My dental practice is doing fine!”

Did you ever hear of this acronym WNL? You may have heard a hygienist call this out while probing a patient.

What does WNL mean to you?

To me it means “We Never Look”.

And now the tough question is: “Do you look at your numbers? Do you look at your numbers each day? Maybe at the end of the week? Or do you review your “End of Month Report?”

When you tell me that you are doing fine, will you be able to retire when you want to?

Doctor, how are you really doing? Did you know that your dental practice numbers don’t’ lie? Most of the dentists I talk to never look over their numbers.

Seriously, how do your finances look? Do you really feel better not looking at your numbers?

If you were to look, now allow me to ask you, “Are you doing fine?”

Is your team steering the course for the success of your dental practice? Or are you veering off into the pit of gloom and doomsday?

Now is the time to create your dental practice profitability plan for 2015.

THINK OF A LEADER YOU LIKE AND RESPECT

I want to ask you to think of leaders who you know and respect. Can you imagine them telling you that they are “just fine?”

What about Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Regan, Nelson Mandela or Donald Trump? How would they respond if you were to ask them, “How are you doing?”

I can’t imagine them saying “Just fine.”

Are you really doing “Just Fine?!”

Are you open to reaching more abundance in 2015?

Is your mind-set in the right place to receive more?

It’s time to clear out the clutter in your life and your business.

Now is the time to create your success plan for 2015.

Over the past 3 months several of our client’s increased their bottom line by over 30% and this is ALL because they allowed our team to look at their numbers. We took a close look, assessed their untapped potential and by month 2 all of our clients the past 6 months have increased their net profits by at least 27%. YES! It is true and they are happy to personally share their success if you wish to talk to them.

When you open your eyes, ears and your door to our dental practice management expertise, we can create abundance for you today, not later. It is not a wait and watch game with your finances.

You don’t tell you patients to wait and watch their tooth decay or bleeding gums – do you?

I think if you allow my team to serve you to STOP the financial bleeding, you will be more than just fine. Do you agree?

If you don’t have a success plan in place for 2015 at this time of the year (Last quarter of 2014), then you have planned to fail.

Today is the time to create your dental practice profitability plan for 2015.

I am offering you a No-charge 30 min Discovery Call to serve you and get your success plan in place before 2015 is here.

Let’s talk about creating the most abundance for you in 2015: SCHEDULE YOUR CALL HERE

Can’t find a time that meets your schedule? Please give our office a call to schedule your special time with Debbie today. Call:  503-970-112

Use the comment section below to let us know “How are you doing?” Or leave a comment if you would like to read about another topic, etc.

Time to Create Your Dental Practice Profits Plan for 2015

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

plan

Many of the dentists I speak to when asked “How are you doing?” They tell me: “My dental practice is doing fine!”

Did you ever hear of this acronym WNL? You may have heard a hygienist call this out while probing a patient.

What does WNL mean to you?

To me it means “We Never Look”.

And now the tough question is: “Do you look at your numbers? Do you look at your numbers each day? Maybe at the end of the week? Or do you review your “End of Month Report?”

When you tell me that you are doing fine, will you be able to retire when you want to?

Doctor, how are you really doing? Did you know that your dental practice numbers don’t’ lie? Most of the dentists I talk to never look over their numbers.

Seriously, how do your finances look? Do you really feel better not looking at your numbers?

If you were to look, now allow me to ask you, “Are you doing fine?”

Is your team steering the course for the success of your dental practice? Or are you veering off into the pit of gloom and doomsday?

Now is the time to create your dental practice profitability plan for 2015.

THINK OF A LEADER YOU LIKE AND RESPECT

I want to ask you to think of leaders who you know and respect. Can you imagine them telling you that they are “just fine?”

What about Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Regan, Nelson Mandela or Donald Trump? How would they respond if you were to ask them, “How are you doing?”

I can’t imagine them saying “Just fine.”

Are you really doing “Just Fine?!”

Are you open to reaching more abundance in 2015?

Is your mind-set in the right place to receive more?

It’s time to clear out the clutter in your life and your business.

Now is the time to create your success plan for 2015.

Over the past 3 months several of our client’s increased their bottom line by over 30% and this is ALL because they allowed our team to look at their numbers. We took a close look, assessed their untapped potential and by month 2 all of our clients the past 6 months have increased their net profits by at least 27%. YES! It is true and they are happy to personally share their success if you wish to talk to them.

When you open your eyes, ears and your door to our dental practice management expertise, we can create abundance for you today, not later. It is not a wait and watch game with your finances.

You don’t tell you patients to wait and watch their tooth decay or bleeding gums – do you?

I think if you allow my team to serve you to STOP the financial bleeding, you will be more than just fine. Do you agree?

If you don’t have a success plan in place for 2015 at this time of the year (Last quarter of 2014), then you have planned to fail.

Today is the time to create your dental practice profitability plan for 2015.

I am offering you a No-charge 30 min Discovery Call to serve you and get your success plan in place before 2015 is here.

Let’s talk about creating the most abundance for you in 2015: SCHEDULE YOUR CALL HERE

Can’t find a time that meets your schedule? Please give our office a call to schedule your special time with Debbie today. Call:  503-970-112

Use the comment section below to let us know “How are you doing?” Or leave a comment if you would like to read about another topic, etc.

 About Debbie

ME not too high jpegDebbie has been named once again, for the seventh year in a row, as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants. She has a background in academia and has started a dental hygiene program in Portland, Oregon. She is a former assistant professor at the University of Southern California where she co-taught the practice management course for the senior dental students as well as teach in the dental hygiene department.

Debbie has clinically in all aspects of a dental office. Through her knowledge of working in the trenches and her academia background she knows what it takes to create a successful dental practice as well as lead dentists to be their most successful and profitable as a business owner.

If you are looking to get to that next level of success, you will want to schedule a no-fee practice profile and have her review your practice’ true potential. You may be one of those who are leaving over $100,000.00 USD inside patient charts. It costs nothing to have Debbie look at your numbers and potential but it costs you millions if you never look.

Her 7 Day No Charge Dental Hygiene Profits Program is a great way to get a quick start to success in 2015 and will give you a savory flavor of what Dental Practice Solutions can do to get you to that next level. Grab your 7 Days Here

 

 

3 Steps to Expedite Dental Insurance Payment for Your Patients With Periodontal Disease

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 3, 2014

As a dental practice management consultant and an expert advisor for Trojan  Professional Services, I am frequently asked questions about the dental hygiene appointment. One fact that will remain the same is the patient chart notes.

Why is documentation so important for the dentist and anyone writing patient notes?

Profits are important and patients do not want to pay a lot of their own money especially if you do bill patients insurance.

Many times when working with clients of Dental Practice Solutions, we see offices struggle to receive electronic insurance (via e-submissions made) payments within three weeks. One of the biggest reasons is due to incorrect or incomplete documentation.

As an expert consultant on “Ask the Consultant” for Trojan Dental Professionals“, I get a lot of questions about dental insurance billing, specifically for the periodontal patient.

The number one question I receive is “Can we alternate periodontal maintenance with a prophy when our patient has completed scaling and root planing and their insurance only pays for a periodontal maintenance two times a year?”

Here is the answer I gave an office the other day:

“Once a perio patient, always a perio patient.” If the patient receives CDT Code 2015: D4341 or D4342 they will become a Perio Patient for life. i.e. Perio Maintenance CDT Code 2015: D4910

Similar Example: If a patient has diabetes and they see their doctor and, one day, years later, at the routine doctor visit, their glucose levels look good, they will still continue to be checked routinely to be certain their diabetes is stable. These blood tests will be completed at routine visits and most likely for the rest of their life. Only their medication dose and/or elimination will be changed.

Periodontal disease is a disease with the same inflammatory influences as diabetes. Therefore, you will have your dental hygiene patient return for routine visits (evaluation) and their insurance will be billed as CDT Code 2015: D4910.

So the short answer is that you will keep perio therapy patients in Supportive Perio Therapy = CDT code 2015: D4910

You will never alternate between D1110 and D4910. Please read the definition for CDT Code 2015: D1110. The description of this code states healthy gums. A periodontal diagnosis does not describe healthy gums and may require some light

scaling/root planing subgingivally, etc., etc., at times.

How Does Specific and Thorough Documentation Help Our Office?

Step 1. In real estate they say “Location! Location! Location!”

And in dentistry we need to think “Document! Document! Document!”

When in the trenches working with client offices, most of the time we will see documentation that states the service completed. What is important for your office to be paid is the correct documentation which includes thorough notes.

Hygienists treat patients with periodontal disease daily and in order to receive payment for scaling and root planing followed by periodontal maintenance, you must write down the correct description of the patient’s periodontal status.

The American Academy of Periodontology has a wealth of information on their website to help you get this documentation correct the first time. The American Academy of Periodontology has specific guidelines for documentation and treatment of for example Chronic Periodontitis.

When you treat a patient who has a diagnosis of Chronic Periodontitis  your notes will include words such as: chronic, generalized, localized, moderate, severe, edema, erythema, gingival bleeding upon probing, and/or suppuration. Other information you want to make note of are: edema, erythema, range of probing depths (Include your perio chart attached to the insurance e-claim), radiographic bone loss, etc.

Another great way to not only communicate the disease process is by educating your dental hygiene patient and using intra-oral photos. These photos now become an important piece of your legal documentation, the billing process and your photos will expedite the payment of your patient services.

Step 2.  Pictures paint a thousand words!

If a dental hygiene patient presents with heavy supra-calculus, take an intra-oral photo of the area, show the patient and then use this for your insurance billing.

Does the patient have gingiva that bleeds easily with BOP? Again, take photos, show your hygiene patient and then send these with the e-claim to the patients’ insurance company.

Think about being a proactive advocate for your dental hygiene patient. Show your patient what you “see” in their mouth, share the valuable information with your them and also share this with the insurance company.

Step 3

Once you have this valuable information attach this to the e-claim you will send off to the insurance company.

Conclusion

Net profits are a big concern to every business owner. These three steps will expedite insurance payment and increase profits to your dental office! Using the intra-oral camera will also add value to your dental hygiene appointment for every patient.

Insurance reimbursement will occur more quickly with proper documentation and the intra-oral photos not only assist your patients in understanding the value of the services you have recommended but it will help the insurance companies understand why you have submitted this claim for reimbursement.

Would you like to read more about the American Academy’s Parameter on Periodontal Disease Classification? Just click on this link: AAP PERIO CLASSIFICATION

I would enjoy hearing about you and how your electronic claims are being received on the insurance companies end? Are you receiving payment quickly?

Do you have any insurance billing questions? Please ask away! I always enjoy answering your questions, especially when they are about the dental hygiene department and insurance billing, etc!

Do You Have Patients Who Need to Schedule a Dental Hygiene Appointment?

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 1, 2014

29054558_s

Patient no-shows in the dental office are nothing new.

The important question to ask is “How much is this costing my dental practice today?” AND The Bigger Questions is: “How much have patient no-shows cost my dental practice this year?” Have you looked at these numbers?

The national average for a dental practice to remain in business is $350,000 USD and this does not include the doctors’ salary. The national average a dental practice brings in is $525,000 in revenue annually. This means that you will need to bring in approximately $328.00 an hour if you work 1600 hours annually.

If you have one patient each day cancel, how much will this cost you? Have you taken time to look at this lost of revenue? And even digging deeper, the question is “How many patients need an appointment scheduled?”

Every office our team analyzes has over 100 patients who have unscheduled hygiene appointments NOT counting unscheduled treatment! Do you look at your numbers often enough?

I hear a lot of dental offices say that open holes are a big problem in their practice so let’s talk about some solutions. (By the way: When we work with our clients, this is one of the first areas we analyse with a formula I have developed to close this big gap.)

Today, I will focus on 5 Tips to STOP dental appointment no-shows in your office:

7 Tips to Follow Up with Patents Who Need a Dental Hygiene Appointment

  1. Provide information and talk to your patients about Optimal Health.   We are in the business of providing health for our patients and in return this means a longer and healthier life for millions of people. As a team of dental professionals we have the ability to communicate this important message to our patients.
  2.   Be sure that your patients understand WHY necessary treatment is necessary. Inquire with questions to your patient that require more than a yes or no from your patients. Example: “Mr. Jones, what questions do you have about the treatment we discussed?”
  3. Your patients need to be  clear about the value and benefits to them for completing treatment sooner than later.
  4. If a patient declines to schedule a next appointment, before they leave your office, ask if you can call to follow up on “X date” and at “Y time.”
  5. Schedule a follow up call or message to your patient within the next 48 hours. Ask your patients how they prefer to be contacted. The best method to schedule a valuable appointment is to call and speak to the patient personally. Text or a voicemail are a great excuse for patients to procrastinate scheduling a dental appointment.   When you follow up or if a patient requests that you do not follow up within 48 hours, ask them when a good time is to follow-up.  *Note that if the patient does not want to schedule for necessary treatment it is very possible that their questions have not been answered and /or you may not have understand their objections and how to overcome these.
  6. Always follow up with your patient in at least 2 weeks’ time if they choose not to schedule for treatment.
  7. When patients absolutely refuse to follow up, add then to a special call list and set a time on your calendar to follow up in the near future.

When you do call to follow up be caring and compassionate. Allow the patient to feel your concern for their oral health and overall health. Tell patients that you miss seeing them (When appropriate) and let them know that “Doctor is concerned.”

Always review chart notes when following up so you can be aware of any personal situations (i.e. death, illness or recent surgery for them or their loved one, etc.). Be aware of the valuable reasons and benefits for them to schedule treatment and share these when you do call the patient.

Know what their objections may be and understand how to overcome their objections.

When discussing appointments and treatment plans it is of primary importance to discuss the value to your patient and the benefits they will receive from scheduling treatment sooner than later.

Most people will have 3 types of objections and these usually fall into one of these categories:

  • Money
  • Time or,
  • Fear

DENTAL PRACTICE PROFITABILITY TIP:

  • Schedule a team meeting, role play some of the latest challenges you have experienced for patients who did not schedule an appointment and even those who did not accept treatment.

Understanding the various personality and behaviors of your patients can also be very helpful in overcoming these obstacles that will hold you back from reaching your full profit potential.

Are you experiencing one or more patients each week who do not want to schedule their next dental appointment? Let’s schedule a Discovery Call to discover how to close this one gap in your profit potential. (You can also send an email to schedule a specific time: dentalpracticesolutions@gmail.com)

Do you have any other suggestions about how to get patients to schedule a next appointment? Please do share in the comments section below.

Want more information to increase # of patient appointments and your practice profitability? Register for our webinar on Tues Oct 14th @ 8PM EST. Listen to the webinar and receive a $10 Starbucks card. Webinar is recorded. REGISTER NOW: http://bit.ly/StopCancellations

ABOUT DEBBIE

ME not too high jpegDebbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is Founder of Dental Practice Solutions since 2000. She serves dental practices globally through her dental hygiene systems and online products. Debbie is known for creating sustainable and profitable dental practices through her vast knowledge of what makes a dental practice successful. She is also known as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Dental Consultants. She has a no-charge 7 Day Dental Hygiene Department Profitability Program that you can get a glimpse of what working with her is like. Grab your 7 Day Program here: 7 DAY DENTAL HYGIENE PROGRAM. http://bit.ly/12zpg2D

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have Patients Who Need to Schedule a Dental Hygiene Appointment?

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Patient no-shows in the dental office are nothing new.

The important question to ask is “How much is this costing my dental practice today?” AND The Bigger Questions is: “How much have patient no-shows cost my dental practice this year?” Have you looked at these numbers?

The national average for a dental practice to remain in business is $350,000 USD and this does not include the doctors’ salary. The national average a dental practice brings in is $525,000 in revenue annually. This means that you will need to bring in approximately $328.00 an hour if you work 1600 hours annually.

If you have one patient each day cancel, how much will this cost you? Have you taken time to look at this lost of revenue? And even digging deeper, the question is “How many patients need an appointment scheduled?”

Every office our team analyzes has over 100 patients who have unscheduled hygiene appointments NOT counting unscheduled treatment! Do you look at your numbers often enough?

I hear a lot of dental offices say that open holes are a big problem in their practice so let’s talk about some solutions. (By the way: When we work with our clients, this is one of the first areas we analyse with a formula I have developed to close this big gap.)

Today, I will focus on 5 Tips to STOP dental appointment no-shows in your office:

7 Tips to Follow Up with Patents Who Need a Dental Hygiene Appointment

  1. Provide information and talk to your patients about Optimal Health.   We are in the business of providing health for our patients and in return this means a longer and healthier life for millions of people. As a team of dental professionals we have the ability to communicate this important message to our patients.
  2.   Be sure that your patients understand WHY necessary treatment is necessary. Inquire with questions to your patient that require more than a yes or no from your patients. Example: “Mr. Jones, what questions do you have about the treatment we discussed?”
  3. Your patients need to be  clear about the value and benefits to them for completing treatment sooner than later.
  4. If a patient declines to schedule a next appointment, before they leave your office, ask if you can call to follow up on “X date” and at “Y time.”
  5. Schedule a follow up call or message to your patient within the next 48 hours. Ask your patients how they prefer to be contacted. The best method to schedule a valuable appointment is to call and speak to the patient personally. Text or a voicemail are a great excuse for patients to procrastinate scheduling a dental appointment.   When you follow up or if a patient requests that you do not follow up within 48 hours, ask them when a good time is to follow-up.  *Note that if the patient does not want to schedule for necessary treatment it is very possible that their questions have not been answered and /or you may not have understand their objections and how to overcome these.
  6. Always follow up with your patient in at least 2 weeks’ time if they choose not to schedule for treatment.
  7. When patients absolutely refuse to follow up, add then to a special call list and set a time on your calendar to follow up in the near future.

When you do call to follow up be caring and compassionate. Allow the patient to feel your concern for their oral health and overall health. Tell patients that you miss seeing them (When appropriate) and let them know that “Doctor is concerned.”

Always review chart notes when following up so you can be aware of any personal situations (i.e. death, illness or recent surgery for them or their loved one, etc.). Be aware of the valuable reasons and benefits for them to schedule treatment and share these when you do call the patient.

Know what their objections may be and understand how to overcome their objections.

When discussing appointments and treatment plans it is of primary importance to discuss the value to your patient and the benefits they will receive from scheduling treatment sooner than later.

Most people will have 3 types of objections and these usually fall into one of these categories:

  • Money
  • Time or,
  • Fear

DENTAL PRACTICE PROFITABILITY TIP:

  • Schedule a team meeting, role play some of the latest challenges you have experienced for patients who did not schedule an appointment and even those who did not accept treatment.

Understanding the various personality and behaviors of your patients can also be very helpful in overcoming these obstacles that will hold you back from reaching your full profit potential.

Are you experiencing one or more patients each week who do not want to schedule their next dental appointment? Let’s schedule a Discovery Call to discover how to close this one gap in your profit potential. (You can also send an email to schedule a specific time: dentalpracticesolutions@gmail.com)

Do you have any other suggestions about how to get patients to schedule a next appointment? Please do share in the comments section below.