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to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry's largest resource center!

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is known as a top dental consultant by Dentistry Today.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours each year. Scroll down to learn more about how we can help you.

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

Creating a Culture of Payment

By: Debbie

December 4, 2018

I recently had a chance to sit down with the A/R Ninja, Andy Grover Cleveland.

During this short conversation we not only talked about how to create a culture of payment, but we talk about how important it is to bill your patients and call them regularly when they owe you money.

Andy will share why it is important to use a 3rd party to bill and he will let you know when it is best to get a 3rd party involved in collecting money in your dental practice.

Stick to the basic principles:

  1. Outsourcing your dental insurance.
  • In today’s world dental professionals have a lot more responsibility and therefore outsourcing your dental insurance is very helpful for efficiency.
  1. Empower your team to use their judgement when doing their job.

 

  • “Mr. Patient, it will be $599 today, how would you like to take care of that today?” Now the PAY-tient says, “My brother-in-law plays golf with doctor, so I will talk to the doctor about this.”
  • You must have parameters and stick with the plan.
  • Payment options must be clear.
  • Know what the rules are and empower your team to live by the rules.
  • Doctor, you can’t change the rules and make exceptions.
  1. Pay-tients must pay at the time of service.

 

Billing and Calling Pay-tients regularly

  1. Communicate routinely when your Pay-tients owe you money.

 

  • You can do collections but maybe.
  • Checkout the Tennessee Backwoods Dentist on youtube to see, are you equipped to do some of these important tasks yourself?


Where do you spend your time daily in the dental office?

There are too many things “to-do” in a given day in the dental office and outsourcing collections, etc., can be very efficient for running a dental practice.

Question: What is the average for accounts receivable (A/R)?

Answer: Debbie and Dental Practice Solutions recommends 98% collections.

Andy mentions that for a start-up, you don’t want a high overhead.

If you have a mature practice, now you can do in-office financing and you may not need to have the high monthly collections.

If your personal finances can weather a higher A/R to allow more patients to make payments (in-house) on high-end services, then a higher A/R may work for your dental practice.

Andy states: “Every time you send a statement to a Pay-tient you are sending a message that you have made a mistake.”

What is the best way to contact a patient who owes you money?

Andy says that it depends upon the individual person. Keep the end in mind and try not to send statements. Try using all the avenues for sending statements; email, paper statement mailed and/or a text message with a link to pay.

Andy also says,
Dentistry is non-recourse.

Recap of the Podcast:

  1. All patients are asked to pay at the time of service.
  2. If patients do not pay at time of service, they will leave with a statement
  3. Work A/R weekly.
  4. Call outstanding A/R Pay-tients to ask, “how is (state the last service, area in their mouth treated), feeling?
  5. If it doesn’t get done, it won’t get done without someone doing it. Hire a service that will get it done.
  6. Focus on your “core competency…for doctor that is clinical dentistry.”


Debbie says:

Understand, has your engine light come on? Is it blinking? If you said Yes, you need to outsource this area.

Be sure you don’t miss another info-packed FB live. Come over to our Facebook Business page for daily tips, inspiration and our weekly Facebook Lives: 

Do you wish you had more Pay-tients say “YES” to your care?

Check-out our Case Acceptance/Treatment Planing Mastermind.

The next session begins the week of January 7, 2019.

How do I know if this mastermind is right for my dental practice?

The Mastermind is great for dental practices who:

  • Want more hygiene patients to accept high-end services

-More implants, more crown/bridge, Invisalign, etc.

  • If your case acceptance is less than 90%
  • If you have one hole in your schedule each day
  • If you want your production to be higher
  • If you want more patients to pay at the time, they schedule for your care


Contact our office for the application.

Registration is limited to ONLY 10 offices.

When you contact our office, we will provide the mastermind details.

The 30-Day Mastermind is $795 and has a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

Email us: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com

Or Call for application: 949-351-8741.

Systems Patients Can Expect During Their Dental Hygiene Appointment

By: Debbie

October 24, 2018

Why did you purchase the car you are driving?

Why do you shop at the grocery store you frequent and why do you stay at a specific hotel when on vacation?

The answer to these questions should be the reason why your patients come to their hygiene appointment routinely.

What can your patients expect during their routine hygiene appointment?

There are a few systems patients can expect during their dental hygiene appointment when you have systems I place.

This is about consistency. It’s about efficiency and making people feel like they are Number 1!

Does each hygienist in your dental practice know what services they will complete on each patient, at specific hygiene appointments?

Each one of your team members should also know about these systems.

There are many services that hygienists provide patients during a hygiene appointment.

Having written systems for hygiene appointments will make life easier for employees, your team members as well as, keep your patients returning because they feel valued. Your systems provide the best care for patients and your patients feel it.

It is very important for hygienists audit the patient record before they begin their day. This morning or day before seeing patients, is the first system and a good place to begin when implementing systems. The patient- record – audit – information, is used during your morning team huddle.

Here is a list of the services your patients should expect to receive during routine dental hygiene appointments. Your system will include all of these and maybe more:

  1. Build rapport

This is probably the most important part of your appointment. Take note how many of your patients are seated without a bib being placed on them right away?

Just sit and catch-up or if this is the first time you are meeting, take time to ask about them. Find out something unique, interesting and something fun to remember.

You will be amazed how great it makes your patient feel to just sit a few minutes and chat rather than sit with a bib on their chest immediately.

  1. Update medical history

This is where you need to be the detective. Ask more than “Any changes in your health?” It is very important to ask questions like, “What medications do you take?” Medications can affect their oral health, cause xerostomia, etc. Ask, “Do you take herbs?” Some herbs can cause excessive bleeding.

Ask, “Any surgeries?” Be sure to ask, “Do you take blood thinners, do you have any teeth that concern you?”

  1. The next step is to inform your patient about what services you will provide for them. Consider this as “consent to treat your patient,” even if you believe they know why they are there.

Once you have informed your patient and they have informed you about their health and any chief complaints, you must know what interval your dental practice will take BWXs, FMXs and PA’s.

Does your office use the latest 1fluorescence technology? Our hygiene team recommends that dental hygienists complete this type of screening once a year. HPV is on the rise causing oral and pharyngeal cancers.

We are in the business of saving lives!

  1. Once you have competed these screenings it is time to check the health of your patients’ gums.

How often does your dental practice recommend a comprehensive periodontal exam (CPE)? See the recommendations from the 2AAP to know if you are providing the standard of care.

If your patient is not due for an annual CPE, what is your protocol to spot probe to be sure your patient does not have any new areas of inflammation or infection?

Which teeth do you spot check? And why these specific teeth do you spot check?

More systems:

  1. Treatment planning /Coordinating the treatment plan with your patient.
  2. Doctor/Hygiene Exam. When does doctor know to arrive in the hygiene room to complete the hygiene patient exam?
  3. Scheduling the next appointment. When patients need to return for a routine hygiene appointment, we recommend the hygienist schedule this appointment when the patient is finished with their hygiene appointment and before they are escorted to the front desk.

The hygienist has spent in most offices we work with, fifty minutes looking in the patient’s mouth, and they are the best person to know exactly when the patient needs to return and why it is important for them to return at this specific time.

What written systems does your hygiene department have?

Conclusion

 When systems are in place, people will know what is expected. When everyone on your team knows what is expected your dental practice will run efficiently. Your systems need to have information that will allow your team to have the information they need to provide the best patient care.

When you provide the best patient care, you will have patients who feel well-cared for and these are the patients who continue to return to your office indefinitely.

References from the blog:

 

  1. https://forwardscience.com/oralid
  2. https://www.perio.org/sites/default/files/files/CPE%20Checklist_FINAL%20fillable.pdf

 

Does your hygiene department have a system in place to support each of the identified services in a routine hygiene appointment? If you don’t have all systems in place or you want to “Up Your Game,” let’s schedule a time to chat! Call our office to schedule a time: 949-351-8741. You can email to schedule: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com or Schedule directly from our calendar here.

About the Author

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, CEO Dental Practice Solutions

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is founder and CEO of Dental Practice Solutions. She is also a former dental hygiene program director. Her expertise is optimizing the hygiene department by taking a total team approach; including the doctor as the leader.

Dental Practice Solutions is able to support your dental practice with supporting your front office admin skills, insurance billing, reimbursement as well as credentialing and increasing your PPO fees.

Schedule your no-cost Profit Boosting Session Here Today. You can also call our office to schedule: 949-35-8741 or email us.

Objections to Scheduling Dental Treatment: How Do You Overcome Objections and Get Those Patients Back in Your Chair Today!

By: Cindy Rogers

September 20, 2018

Oh, the excuses we hear from patients on why they do not want to schedule treatment. If you were to take two weeks and write down every excuse you were to hear about why someone did not want to schedule their treatment, I bet that you would find a pattern of the same excuses over and over again.

Excuses are objections and objections are often just requests for help or more information.  The following are common excuses we hear and how you can help your patients overcome them and get them back in your chair.

Objections to scheduling dental treatment will occur. The question is, “How do you overcome objections and get those patients back in your chair; today?”

“I am not in pain, so I don’t think it is really necessary” 

Let the patient know that you understand how they feel. Most people are surprised to learn that pain is the last symptom they will experience with gum disease. This is why over 50% of adults over the age of fifty lose their teeth to gum disease, not decay.  Also, when the patient is in the chair, show them the x-ray and point out where the decay is now and how close to the nerve it is. Show them how it may travel toward the nerve and cause extreme pain that may lead to a root canal and crown instead of the small filling you are recommending now. Creating urgency is important in this situation. You do not want your patient to ever be in pain, and you do not want to get a call on Saturday afternoon.

Let the patient know that that you are so sorry to hear that they have been ill. Send the patient a get-well card if the patient lets on that the illness is much more than a man cold. Put the patient on your call back in two weeks’ list. Give the patient time to heal, but do not forget to get back in contact with them. Chances are, you are not the only appointment they had to cancel due to being ill. Having a fuzzy head, they most likely won’t remember to call you back. Consider this exceptional customer service, to help keep track of their health needs.

“My tooth still hurts from the last time I was there”

Let the patient know that you are sorry to hear that and ask them to please share with you how they were hurt. Explain that It may be that she simply needs an adjustment on that small filling your doctor just placed. Explain the techniques that your office can provide to ensure this does not happen again.  Then, be sure to put a note in the patient’s chart so that the clinicians will take extra care at her next appointment. Let her know that the doctor would like to see her right away to determine what is causing her discomfort.

“I can’t get out of work”

Remind the patient that most of your other patients have jobs as well. That is why you offer early morning and/or later appointment times. Let them know that you can schedule in advance so that they can request the time off of work.  The patient must first understand the value of the appointment. Then they can verbalize to their employer that taking a couple hours off for a preventative appointment may save them missed days in the future. 

“I cannot afford to pay for treatment”

Remind the patient that they can’t afford to not have the treatment done. Educate them on the risks they are taking by not having the treatment done. Then explain to them how you have been able to help other patients with this same concern. Review your payment options with them and be sure to give them a couple of options that they are comfortable with. 

“My insurance does not cover it”

Explain to them how insurance is not meant to dictate treatment and even though their insurance does not cover it, the treatment is necessary in order to save their tooth or get rid of an infection. Show them the value of having the treatment done. Also explain to them that their insurance benefit not used for this procedure can be used for other treatment that is covered so they will not lose it. Do your best to explain insurance benefits to your patients. It is confusing for us professionals, imagine how confusing it is to your patients.

Remember, an excuse is most likely a request for more information, a way of asking for help. Next time you hear one of these excuses, remember this and see what you can do to help.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Coach Cindy Rogers, RDH, BS, OMT

For many years Cindy has been an integral part of successfully building dental practices from the group up. Cindy is known for creating a harmonious work environment where the whole team looks forward to coming to work every day. The result of this has been massive growth for the practice.

Her passion is to share her success and knowledge with other practices so that they can experience a great team working environment while watching their profitably explode. What you will experience with coaching by Cindy, is somebody that can bring your team together to create your ultimate dental practice, and the ultimate patient experience.

It is through her years of experience in the dental field and the methodologies of Dental Practice Solutions that Cindy creates the next level of success for each dental practice she touches. When not focusing of dentistry, Cindy spend her time with her family exploring the outdoors in beautiful Pacific Northwest. Schedule a profit boosting session today and find out how you can optimize your dental schedule. Contact Cindy: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com

Your Dental Patient Treatment Plan:  Triage and get Paid

By: Debbie

September 5, 2018

dental-patient-in-chairDear Dental Professional,

Did you run your end of year reports?

How many dollars walked out your door in 2018 without scheduling for treatment?

How many of your patients are overdue for a hygiene appointment?

During the month of August 2018, our team created training videos and blogs for you to feel inspired, motivated and we provided steps to reactivate overdue hygiene patients and get those patients with outstanding treatment back on your schedule.

spreadsheets

What is your plan for 2019 to keep your back-door closed?

Today I will share steps to create your dental treatment plan with a triage to get paid.

triage-word-cloud

Triage Background

 Triage is a word we typically hear used in the medical field.

What does Triage mean?

 This word comes from the French word trier, meaning to sort.

It was first used in World War I.

The work triage (noun) means:

  1. (in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.

verb

  1. assign degrees of urgency to (wounded or ill patients).

Many of our client offices have patients who come in for a limited exam because of the toothache or a complication with their oral health.

How many of these patients who have a complication tell you that they can’t afford to pay for the necessary treatment?

It happens quite often; right?

What can you do when patients have a disease condition with their oral health?

The first step is to help your patient understand what is happening in their mouth.

Your patient may come in because of pain and then when they hear the cost to (at the very least!) have the tooth extracted; they say they can’t afford $100 or $200.

You are thinking, WHAT? You have pain and won’t pay to have this tooth extracted?

This boils down to a miscommunication.

Does your patient understand that if there is an infection in their mouth there is most likely infection brewing in their body?

Does the patient see what this challenging oral condition looks like?

And….do you know what your patient “can” afford to pay; today?

Now, your patient came in to your office and they know it is not free to have something done to stop the pain, so what did they expect to pay?

I have witnessed patients coming in for a limited exam due to a toothache and when they find out it will cost $100 they decide to leave without scheduling for any treatment?

live-your-best-life

Where have we gone wrong?

Steps to Overcome the “I can’t afford it” Challenge:

 

  1. Connection and Rapport
    1. This happens when the patient calls saying they have a challenging oral condition.
    2. What was said on the first phone call to schedule for this limited exam?
    3. How did you make the patient feel when they came into your office front door?
    4. How well did the team and doctor connect with the patient?
  2. Diagnosis
    1. Is the patients’ condition urgent?
    2. Show the patient what you see and assign a level of urgency
    3. Explain while looking at the pictures you have which show the patients oral condition, what is happening and address the benefits of completing treatment according to their level of urgency
    4. Explain the risks for not completing treatment in a special timeframe (According to how you have triaged your patient)
  3. Patient Accepts Treatment Plan
    1. When you have a patient with a limited exam they will be triaged with a priority of urgency
    2. Most limited exam patients will be triaged to have at the very least, palliative treatment completed the day of their limited exam
  4. Discuss Financial Arrangements
    1. When money is an objection, ask your patient, “What can you afford today?”
    2. Break down your questions into small bite-size pieces.
      1. Surely if your patients scheduled to see you because they have a toothache, they know this is not going to be free, so find out what they did plan to pay today.
      2. If there will be a larger treatment plan needed, as your patient what type of payment will feel comfortable every two weeks?
        1. If your patient says they can afford $100 every two weeks, ask if $200 a month is a comfortable payment to arrange

show-me-the-money 

How to Get Patients to Pay                     

Urgency is key. This means that your patient must understand what is in it for them. This is the WIIFM Syndrome. The What’s in It for Me Syndrome.

No pun intended but find a way around their pain point; their reason to not accept treatment.

Most of the time patients object to paying for treatment. Spending money on their teeth is the biggest objection you will hear.

Dentistry is not expensive, but neglect is. Help your patients understand that waiting for the tooth to become a worse condition than it is today, costs everyone more money.

We want you to also learn about this other flexible in-house payment option you can offer your patients. Just click this link to find out how it works. This link takes you to a calendar to schedule 20 minutes and you will walk away with a new option to help your patients pay for oral health challenges and also—what may be music to your ears is that this information will help you enroll more patients into high-end treatment.

hap

Do you want to learn how to enroll more patients into high-end treatment and get them to pay at the time they schedule for treatment?

Plan to attend our Live AGD CE Event in Portland, Oregon on September 21st, 2018.

During this event we will have a break-out session, so you will feel confident in enrolling more patients into high-end treatment plans and you will learn how to get them to pay at the time they schedule for treatment,

Can’t attend the live event? Give our office a call or email us because we can bring this to your office virtually or we will come deliver to your team in the office. Just ask us how it is done, and we will also give you and the team AGD CE Credits when we do a training for you. Email: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com or Call: 949-351-8741.

break-your-ceiling

BREAK THROUGH YOUR CEILING BEFORE 2018 ENDS!

Here is one way that will break through your ceiling of huge potential and learn what your patients want.

Step 1: This begins with a motivated and committed team.

Step 2: You must have specific systems in place; systems that match your vision and the culture in your dental practice

Step 3: Your team must drive the systems in your dental practice

Step 4: Once the team drives the systems doctor will focus solely on their excellent clinical skills

Step 5: Experience Freedom!

If you follow these steps you will experience freedom to live the life you want.

The business of dentistry no longer needs to dictate how you live life—how you spend your time becomes your choice because you have more free time.

REGISTER HERE TODAY. SEATING IS LIMITED! $147 ONLY TODAY. If you are reading this, you must call or email our office for the SPECIAL TUITION RATE: Office – 949-351-8741 or Email-admin@dentalpracticesoluiions.com

What can you expect when you attend with your team? 

  • Business success strategies from people who have traveled the road ahead of you
  • Radically increase production with REAL solutions from this course
  • Rapid growth with PPO and managed care insurance
  • Learn how to STOP the fear of corporate dentistry
  • Strategies that are 100% BULLETPROOF to Catapult your production no matter what the economy is!
  • Increase your current patient appointment value
  • Schedule more high-end treatment plans and get patients to pay when they schedule!
  • Improve case acceptance during hygiene appointments

Morning Session:

How to Run Your Business (Your Practice!) and Create a Culture of Success

Learning Objectives:

  • Proven strategies to effectively communicate with and motivate your team
  • How to deal with a “Bad Apple” on your team in a way that will make you a hero
  • Present treatment that your patients “want” and need
  • Putting it all together during the hygiene appointment

Afternoon Session:

The Business Side of Dentistry: What Every Dentist Should Know

Breakout Session: Work with your team to create a high-end, large production case. You will learn how to create a treatment plan with specific strategies that help your patient pay for the “Care” they want and need. You will be provided a patient treatment plan to put what you learn into action right away…. before you leave the course!

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the critical building blocks of every successful practice
  • Enroll patients into the “care” they want and need (during their hygiene appointment)
  • Create flexible financial arrangements that your patients will want to say “YES” to and pay in advance
  • Leave with your blueprint, a written plan, to improve your practice and your life

Schedule:

Breakfast & Check-In – 8:00 AM to 9:00 M

Morning Session – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Lunch – 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM

Afternoon Session – 1:15 PM to 4:15 PM

Closing Remarks & Questions – 4:15 PM to 4:30 PM

Always fresh and up-to-date information! You will feel empowered to take immediate action!

“Debbie and Doug are so good together on stage. Our team attended their San Diego event and walked away with great ideas and systems to implement on Monday morning. We learned a lot and had a great time. The food was delish, and we left with lots of great gifts from the sponsors.”

– Denise Calhoun, Office Manager

For Hotel Reservations, please contact Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Airport.

7900 NE 82ND AVE, PORTLAND, OR 97220
PHONE # (503) 460-3000 / (800) 774-1500 – CODE: DPS DENTAL CONFERENCE

REGISTER ONLINE: HTTP://BIT.LY/EMBASSY92118RESERVATIONS

The Dental Practice Solutions is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing dental education programs of this program provider are accepted by AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or any other applicable regulatory authority, or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from 04/30/2017 to 04/30/2019. Provider ID 376088

**Refund Policy:  Refunds may be eligible up to August 1, 2018.

REGISTER HERE TODAY. SEATING IS LIMITED! $147 ONLY TODAY. If you are reading this, you must call or email our office for the SPECIAL TUITION RATE: Office – 949-351-8741 or Email-admin@dentalpracticesoluiions.com

 

Stop Treating Your Schedule Like a Video Game; How to quit messing around and schedule your day for success

By: Debbie

August 21, 2018

Written by: Cindy Rogers, RDH, BS, OMT, Lead Hygiene and Business Coach.

I admit that while I was a scheduling coordinator, I was treating the schedule as if it were a video game.  I would squish and stretch appointments to make them into pretty colored boxes that all fit nice and tightly together.  I thought to create a productive day meant to have all the blocks filled in

It did not occur to me that these pretty little boxes basically controlled how the clinical teams’ day would run. Yes, they did often come up and kindly tell me to stop treating the schedule like a video game.  I was told that they needed more time for this or that and that they could not possibly do a root canal at the same time as an extraction. I did not really understand what they meant. All I knew is that my pretty boxes needed to match up and their demands were messing that up.

After being reminded a few hundred times and working with some great consultants, I got better at this, but still did not truly understand why my boxes couldn’t just fit together nicely.

Now that I am a hygienist, I totally understand and often apologize to my previous team for all of the agony I must have caused them. I figure the reason they supported my transition into hygiene was so that I would get my payback.

Five main points to consider when planning your day

I would like to now share five points to consider when planning your day.  These steps will help make your day successful both in production and in keeping your team mates on your side:

  1. How much time does each procedure require?

Make a list of how much time each doctor needs for treatment procedures. (i.e., 60 minutes for one crown, 90 minutes for two)

  1. What hygiene visits do NOT require an exam?

Typically, gum treatment appointments do not always require an exam. This is where you will be matching up time for the doctor to perform procedures that are hard to   break away from.

  1. What time of day do the providers prefer to perform longer procedures?

Let’s face it, some of us are morning people, and some of us aren’t. Why not do your patients a favor and find out.

  1. What is a good time to save for new and emergency patients?

You should have time set aside for emergencies and new patients. You want to be able   to offer these patients an opportunity to come in within 72 hours of them calling. Often, offices will block out time right before lunch. This way they have time to perform palliative treatment if needed, and a longer lunch if not.

  1. What is your daily production goal for each provider?

Each provider should have a daily production goal. When you mix and match these procedures during the day, they should add up to reach this goal.

 

Now you want to match up the hygiene appointments that do not require an exam with the longer treatment appointments. These will be your rocks for the day and time where the providers can work uninterrupted.

Next, schedule treatment such as composites, and preventative hygiene. These will be your pebbles. After the foundation of rocks and pebbles are set in place, you can sprinkle some sand around them. Sand will be your crown seats, limited exams, and hygiene re-evaluations.

Each day should be balanced this way to assure your goals are met and that you are not running around crazy seating crowns and doing limited exams one day and sitting for 8 hours straight the next. Everyone on your team will be much happier and more productive. Remember that the daily schedule is your plan for the day. If you plan poorly, chances are your day will run poorly.

 

Written By: Coach Cindy Rogers, RDH

For many years Cindy has been an integral part of successfully building dental practices from the group up. Cindy is known for creating a harmonious work environment where the whole team looks forward to coming to work every day. The result of this has been massive growth for the practice.

Her passion is to share her success and knowledge with other practices so that they can experience a great team working environment while watching their profitably explode. What you will experience with coaching by Cindy, is somebody that can bring your team together to create your ultimate dental practice, and the ultimate patient experience.

It is through her years of experience in the dental field and the methodologies of Dental Practice Solutions that Cindy creates the next level of success for each dental practice she touches

When not focusing of dentistry, Cindy spend her time with her family exploring the outdoors in beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Contact Cindy: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com

Dental Consultant | The End of Year is Near. How to Get Dental Hygiene Patients to Return Now.

By: Debbie

August 8, 2018

The end of the year is near. In today’s blog you will read how to get your dental hygiene patients to return now.

Summer is coming to an end. The kids are going back to school. Parents are busy with work, back-to-school shopping and it seem there is not time to visit the dental office

Many of your dental patients haven’t scheduled necessary dental treatment for themselves or their family.

Most dental benefits will not roll over to the next year and that means you are wasting insurance benefits for your patients.

Now is the time to try and help your patients maximize their dental insurance coverage.  Many of your patients are overdue for a routine hygiene appointment.

August is the best time to be looking over your list of overdue hygiene patients and also patients with outstanding treatment.

 Every month of each year, plan a day to run a report of overdue hygiene patients. Mark your calendar to run this report the first week of each month.

At this point in the year, it is crucial to focus on contacting your overdue hygiene patients as well as get patients to return who have unscheduled treatment to complete.

How do you contact your patients?

It is important to contact your patients in a way that creates a quick response.

With today’s world of technology, you may notice that most people don’t pick up their phone (of not often), they don’t check their personal emails throughout the day and not many people go to their mailbox to pick up their mail each day.

We suggest that you have the ability to two-way text all of your patients.

To begin the two-way texting, you need to have the technology connected to your practice management software.

We recommend SolutionReach to our clients because not only does this company offer two-way texting, but you can add a link for your patients to click which will allow them to immediately schedule their appointment.

What does your text message say?

You will at the very least want to text all overdue patients with only a sentence that says, please call our office about your dental appointment.

We have found this works very well for patients to call your office and especially when they know they don’t have an appointment.

Once the patient does call they will most likely let you know, “I don’t have an appointment.”

Your response will sound like this:

“Mrs. Smith, please let me check your patient record to find out exactly what is happening here. May I put you on a brief hold? This will take me less than ten seconds to check.”

Most patients will be patient enough to wait a few seconds.

Here is the part that may be new to you.

The team of consultants at Dental Practice Solutions, teaches clients this acronym called, R2R.

 

What does R2R mean?

R2R means “Reason to Return.”

The R2R is a brief description each clinician writes on the last line of the patients record, each time the patient is seen in the office.

This means that the clinician has discussed, communicated, with their patient the reason why they need to return, and that reason will not only be a clinical reason but a benefit to the patient.

If the patient you just took a call from, has a clinical R2R note that states, Pt has bleeding gums, infection around all the back molars and heavy tartar build-up in lower front teeth. Pt has diabetes and I explained that treating gum disease will put a halt to the life-altering challenges of diabetes that can be prevented when their mouth is healthy.

 

Using the R2R. What to say to the patient.

Once your team of clinicians begin to use the R2R the person answering the phone call will always put a patient who calls about an appointment on a short hold while they check the R2R.

Now that your patient is on the phone, let them know that doctor (and you can include the hygienists’ who last saw the patient) is concerned about their health. Explain that last time they saw doctor and hygienist they had infection in their gums and this can make their diabetes worse which causes other serious health problems. Let the patient know it is extremely important to complete the gum treatment because now we know this will help improve their diabetes.

 

What do we do if we have not used the R2R?

If you are reading about the R2R for the first time, when you look at a patients’ record, there will not be an R2R and I suggest that you have each of your team members learn about this.

Please contact our office and a dental consultant on our team will be happy to provide a training for your team. We can offer AGD CE Credits if you like.

 

Steps to reactivate overdue hygiene patients:

Step 1. Run your reports

    1. Run an overdue hygiene patient report for the past 6 or 12 months.
      1. If you don’t usually run this report monthly you will want to go back at least 12 months when you begin running this report.

Step 2. Send a text message

  1. Use your patient engagement software (Ex. SolutionReach) to contact overdue hygiene patients
  2. Your first text message should only say “Please call our office today about your dental appointment.”

Step 3.  In one week for the patients who have not   responded to your text message, send them an email.

  1. In your email you can now include your scheduling link, so these patients can easily click the link to schedule their hygiene appointment.
  2. Your email message can be customized with each patients’ name, but the same email goes out to every patient who needs a dental hygiene appointment.
  3. As a dental consultant I have learned that people respond more favorably to this email when you offer them an incentive to return for their appointment.
  1. We know that free tray whitening works well when attempting to get overdue hygiene patients back to your office.
      1. You can also use other special offers to motivate patients to return such as money of Invisalign.

 

Step 3. Understand the specific type of appointment needed.

When you do have patients calling to schedule their appointment, be sure to look at their patient record to understand what type of appointment they need.

 

Step 4. Begin using the R2R.

    1. All clinicians must make this part of their patient record.
    2. When a patient calls to schedule or change an appointment, the front office person answering the patient call, will look up the R2R so they know exactly what the patient needs to schedule for (Ex. Prophy, x-rays and doctor exam, etc.) can speak to the patient about the necessary service and value/benefits for scheduling.
    3. This R2R can and should be used every time a patient calls to change a dental appointment. Use the value and benefit to the patient to get them to keep their appointment not change it.

 

The number 1 focus this month needs to be contacting all patients who need to return this year for a hygiene appointment.

Need help implementing the R2R or any other systems?

We are here to help you! Call us to find out how to get training virtually or in-office. We are here to help! Your team will receive AGD CE Credits with any training we complete for you. Contact us today. Email: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com or call our office: 949-351-8741

Next week I will return with information to contact patients with outstanding treatment. I will also write about how overcome this big challenge of patients leaving without scheduling their important restorative care.

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Debbie Seidel-Bittke is the CEO of Dental Practice Solutions and has over 15 years of business and consulting experience, as well as 30 plus years of working knowledge as a dental professional.

Having the unique ability to understand dentists’ need, Debbie can help each dental practice grow to be efficient and profitable. The growth occurs by optimizing your dental hygiene department. She has a team of experts that will work in the other areas of your dental practice as necessary. Debbie’s insight allows her to effectively communicate and implement success strategies while strategically addressing productivity challenges in the dental practice.

As a dental hygiene business coach, a former clinician and educator, she is adept at collaborating with dentists and their team to incorporate her expertise to see a dental practice grow to levels beyond their imagination. Debbie and her team of experts will increase the profitability of each dental practice. This year, 2018, no client of Dental Practice Solutions will increase production less than $125,000 and without working more days in the office. Ask us how you can be next to do this!

 

Call or email our office to schedule for your Free Profit Boosting Session:

 

Email: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com or call our office: 949-351-8741

 

How Do You Deliver Your Practice Culture to Your Patients?

By: Debbie

June 21, 2018

Written by: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

A CRUCIAL ELEMENT of every successful dental practice is your culture.

  • What type of patients do you want to serve?
  • How do you want your patients to feel when they are in your office?

One of the first tasks we have our clients complete is to write down the type of culture they want for their dental office. We have a short template the doctors fill in the blanks, so we can “nail” their delivery of culture. We want to help our clients attract and retain their best patients. It also helps enjoy your day when your schedule is filled with patients who enjoy you and you enjoy having them in your chair.

The next step we take with our clients is to support the doctor; our client, to attract their ideal patient. What the office culture represents must be a part of everything the patients see, feel, hear, etc., etc. This must appeal to all of your patients’ senses. This feeling is the real reason why your patients will choose to return to your office.

Patients don’t truly know how great your clinical skills are. All they know is if you made them feel good or bad. And yes, they will remember if you hurt them.

If you want to be a family friendly office, how does your practice reflect this message?

If you want your office to feel like the Ritz Carlton, how do you deliver this message to your patients?

Make Your Culture Delivery A Priority for Your Practice

Many of our clients want to have a family friendly office and if this sounds like an example of what you want in your dental office here are a few suggestions to make your office feel family friendly.

You can also take these suggestions and tweak them to match your office culture:

1. Show off your family by inviting your employees to have pictures of their family around the office.

One of the doctors I worked for many years ago wanted to have a family friendly office. He also enjoyed photography. You can probably imagine what I am going to tell you about this doctor’s office. Yes, you guessed it! This doctor had a lot of beautiful pictures of his family throughout the walls of his office.

2. Make sure you invite the employees to have pictures of their family around the office. For example, in their operatory invite your employees to have pictures of their family, their pets, etc.

3. What type of reading materials do you have in your reception area?

Make sure you have family friendly reading materials for family members of every age.

4. What is playing on your tv if you have one in your reception area and in the operatories?

Make the viewing on your electronics: tv and music, family friendly. No obscenities or inappropriate language in the lyrics or messages/pictures on your TVs.

5. What are you giving patients as a “thank you for choosing our office?”

If this is a child or teenager, what do you hand out to them as a thank you? It is not only the parent you want to provide a “wow” experience for but the child or adolescent as well.

6. Be sure your schedule is blocked for those smaller children who need an early morning appointment and for school-aged children who need afterschool appointments.

We’re Here for You and Your Team!
We’re committed to providing you with almost everything you need to achieve your practice goals, whether you’re working to create a family-friendly environment for your patients or maybe you want to upgrade your hygiene department. If you have any questions about what more you could do in your practice, let us know in the comments below!

If we don’t provide something you need for success, we can direct you to the best expert.

We are here to serve you. Our team is growing so we can cover more of what your practice needs to be successful. Just ask us how we can support you and your dental practice. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Thank you for placing your trust in hiring us!

About the Author: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

CEO: Dental Practice Solutions
DENTISTRY TODAY considers Debbie a top dental consultant for the past 18 yrs.
The focus of Dental Practice Solutions is to create healthier, longer lives for your patients while supporting the practice to optimize their hygiene department. The team at Dental Practice Solutions, takes an integrative approach with your team to create an increase in your production and collections without working harder.

When you continue to use the systems implemented, your dental practice will sustain growth for years to come.

Schedule a no-cost profit boosting call today and discover how you can be your best in 2018: Email to schedule a call with Debbie: admin@dentalpracticesolutions.com or Call our office to schedule this today: 949-351-8741.

How Dentists can Improve Loyalty

By: admin

June 14, 2018

How dentists can improve patient loyalty.

Our Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Nabil Mockbil

There have been many cases when patients who need certain expensive cosmetic or restorative dental procedures, cringe at the exorbitant cost and often forgo the expensive treatment completely.

It would seem that dentists are quick to recommend costly dental treatments with little or no regard to how their patients are going to pay for the costs.

The dentist is in a unique position to advise their patient on the best and most affordable dental care ensuring their patient is happy and financially comfortable.

How can your dental practice achieve this and keep or even grow your patient base?

  • Once a dental diagnosis has been made, use this time to educate the patient on the proposed procedure. The end goal should always be helping patients achieve and maintain their best oral health.

The patient should understand the benefits of the treatment plan and be able to make an informed decision, as opposed to opting out of the treatment because of what they believe is a high cost of dentistry.

The benefits you outline should focus on how the treatment will improve their overall health, comfort and appearance. This will help the patient make an educated choice based on your professional advice.

The patient may fully understand the benefits but still think the treatment is too pricey and not justified, but at least the patient sees you as being upfront and honest. This contributes to building your good reputation.

  • Be honest about the cost of the proposed treatment plan. This should also include all the dental appointments required and the length of time it takes to complete the treatment.

Being candid from the beginning is important in building a strong relationship, great rapport, between the dentist and patient, based on trust and honesty.

If you are able to offer an alternative treatment plan that takes less time or is less costly, be sure to offer it to your patient. This will leave the patient feeling like you have their best interests at heart rather than just making a quick buck!

  • It is a good idea to give your patient a written estimate of the treatment plan.

This shows that you are transparent about the costs and are willing to stick to the plan and the fees you’ve discussed; provided there are no “surprises” (aka: changes), during the treatment in the form of unexpected additional costs. Ensure the patient understands that “changes” to a treatment plan are possible.

The patient will also have a record for future reference during or after their treatment.

Some points to include in your written price estimate:

  1. The treatment proposed with the time it will take to complete from start to finish. Ensure that you include a provision that complications may arise due to unforeseen circumstances- this may impact the length of time of the treatment and even the costs.
  1. A breakdown of the fees as discussed with the patient at the initial consultation. This should clearly show what portion is covered by the patient’s dental/medical insurance and a fee the patient will have to cover “out-of-pocket.”
  1. Outline any payment options your dental practice offers. Does your office offer a special patient discount plan? Be clear on the amount that needs to be paid upfront before treatment begins, if there is any.

 

  1. Explain your dental practice’s billing options- whether you have convenient online payment options or how often invoices are sent out- either via email or postage. This will improve patient payment compliance. Who needs an inconvenience when trying to pay a bill?!
  1. Clarify how any amounts that are in arrears are dealt with. It is expected that some patients will not be able to pay their bills on time. This gives the patient options without impacting the reputation of your dental practice.

When you make an effort to connect with the patient you are able to explore all the available alternatives for his dental treatment but within his budgetary constraints.  This builds a strong relationship between the dentist and patient.

A happy patient is one who returns to your practice for all future dental care, brings the whole family and recommends you to friends thus, growing your patient base.

Author bio:

Dr. Nabil Mockbil received his DDS in 2001 from Umea University in Sweden, regarded as having the best dentist programme in Sweden for undergraduates. He’s now the founder of Swedish Dental Clinic in Dubai

Contact your highly trained and experienced dentist

https://www.swedishdentaldubai.com

Dental Consultant | Sleep Apnea and the Elderly Population

By: Debbie

February 23, 2018

Written by: Cindy Rogers, RDH, BS

Why is it that the older we get, the less we sleep? It is well known that the elderly in general do not sleep well at night. Many stay up late, sleep in their recliner, and get up in the morning before the crack of dawn. Yet, they are tired during the day and plan social activities around their naps. As people age, they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep. It is a misconception that sleep needs decline with age. In fact, research shows that our sleep needs remain the same during adulthood.

So then, why do people sleep less as they age? One very possible reason is that they may be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

 

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic condition characterized by frequent episodes of upper airway collapse during sleep.

OSA is comprised of two types of events. Apnea, in which there is 100% flow limitation for at least 10 seconds. And, Hypopnea in which there is at least a 30% decrease in airflow lasting 10 seconds or greater with oxygen desaturations greater than or equal to 4%.

 

How Common is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

According to the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine- September 2014, 40% of adults over 40 snore (approximately 87 million Americans).  18% of men and 8 % of women between 30-70 suffer from some form of OSA. Less than 10% o OSA sufferers have been diagnosed. Of those 10%, less than 25% have been successfully treated.

The risks of untreated sleep apnea include cardiovascular disease, memory loss, depression, lack of energy, sleepiness, mood changes, social implications, irritability and more. Does this sound like anyone you know?

 

Should Dentures and Partials Be Worn at Night

We have been trained to advise our patients to remove their dentures and partials at night so that the gums and tissues can rest. However, without the dentures and partials in place, there is less support for the lips and cheeks. When a person lays down without this support for his lips and cheeks, they collapse further into the mouth cavity adding to the obstruction of the airway. Perhaps we should recommend that our elderly patients wear their dentures and partials to bed and let them soak during the day.

 

Screening Signs and Symptoms of OSA

Does your patient snores?  Do they suffer from acid reflex or G.E.R.D? Do they get headaches such as migraines, cluster headaches, or dull morning headaches? Do they urinate frequently at night? Do they have enlarged tonsils? Do they suffer from excessive sleepiness and fatigue? Do they have high blood pressure? Do they have diabetes? Do they have a scalloped tongue? Do they show signs of clinching and bruxing? What is their Malampatti class?

 

OSA, High Blood Pressure, Heart Attack, and Stroke

There is a sympathetic response in the body every time an apnea or hypopnea occurs.  This causes the heart rate and blood pressure to increase.  People with OSA have hundreds of events per night, thus the body remains in a constant state of elevated blood pressure.  The body does not get sufficient oxygen, because of this it is not converting enough into nitric oxide. Without enough nitric oxide, the blood vessels narrow and the endothelial lining of the arteries break down making them more susceptible to plaque building up. Narrow arteries, with risk of blockage equal high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

 

OSA Diagnostics and Treatment

If you suspect a that a patient of any age may suffer from OSA, they should be referred to their physician or a sleep MD to have a sleep study done. Once diagnosed with OSA, there are several options for treatment. The standard of care and best option is still a CPAP machine. However, it only works if the patient wears it, which can be difficult for some patients.  Another great option is a sleep appliance that Dentists can provide with proper training and a written prescription from the MD.  I would also encourage Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy in conjunction with any of these options.

 

 

References

1.American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine web site. http:/www.aadsm.org/

2.Sleep Group Solutions- Dental Sleep Medicine Seminar

3.Somnomed web site. http:www.somnomed.com/

 

Cindy Rogers, RDH, BS, is a dental consultant, coach, speaker, and author. She is office and hygiene coach with Dental Practice Solutions. Please contact Cindy for a complimentary Profit Boosting Session at no cost: cindy@dentalpracticesolutions.com or Call to schedule: 949-351-8741.

 

 

Secret Ingredients to Your Dental Practice Success

By: Debbie

May 25, 2017

Dental Practice Management

The Ingredients to Your Dental Practice Success

The success of a dental practice depends upon doctor “OWNING” their business, taking the lead, building up their team and then implementing all the systems, info, etc., provided to them  by the dental practice management consultant.

Dental Practice Solutions can only deliver the ingredients for your dental practice to use. It is up to you to implement and use the knowledge we provide. This is how it all comes together to create HUGE SUCCESS!

I am “Over the Moon” excited to receive this message when I awoke this morning.

This is the message I received from our client:

“Looks like we will do over $45k this week.

We have smashed target for the month of May, thanks to the hygienist packages.”

     ~Dr. Rachel Hall, Evolve Dental Healing

Secret Ingredients to Your Dental Practice Success:

“Hygienist Packages” refers to our proprietary system for dental hygienists (also the doctor, treatment and financial coordinator) to present patients to increase case acceptance and payment of hygiene services.

If you would like to see how this can work for your dental practice please contact our strategy coach Vanessa Garman for a complimentary strategy session. Vanessa can put together a plan and discuss how this will work for you:

Call her to schedule this time: 949-351-8741 or Email to Schedule: vanessa@dentalpracticesolutions.com

#ourclientsrock #dentistryrocks

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today's Top Consultants

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL, RDH, BS

Debbie is the CEO and Founder of Dental Practice Solutions. She is a former dental hygiene program director for a hygiene school in Portland, Oregon as well as a former clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California.

She also co-taught the Practice Management Course at USC for the senior dental students.

Through her wealth of knowledge and development of curriculum Debbie and her team at Dental Practice Solutions serves dentists throughout the world.  Debbie not only consults with offices globally but she speaks at most of the

national dental conferences as well as writes for many of the dental journals.

Contact our strategic planning coach to create your next level of success just like Dr. Rachel Hall has done. Email Vanessa

Website: www.dentalpracticesolutions.com