September is the perfect time to send out a reminder to your patients who have unused dental insurance benefits. Sending it out now will hopefully get patients to call in sooner instead of waiting until the middle of December when it gets down to crunch time on the calendar. There are two different methods I am going to talk about today: using your Dentrix software to create a mass merge letter and, for those of you using DemandForce, how to merge a list and send out an e-mail campaign.
If you want to send out a letter to patients, Dentrix has a default letter in the “Letters” drop-down menu in the “Miscellanous” tab on the Office Manager (see the picture below). After you have selected the letter, click on “Edit” so you can select the parameters you want. In the picture below, Figure 1 shows you the letter name that is located in your Dentrix Doc folder. If you want to edit the template of the letter, click on “open template” and you can change the text of the letter. Then, in Figure 2, you can filter the list by procedures codes listed in the patient’s treatment plan and the date when the procedures were added to the patient’s treatment plan. Also, click on the Dental Ins >> to sort for patients with remaining insurance benefits. After you have completed this, click OK and then “create merge” and it will search your patient database and merge any patients who meet the criteria into the letter. Voila!
If you are using DemandForce for your e-mail and text messaging, you can also merge a list into its system if you don’t want to send a letter. Here is how I did it:
In Dentrix, open the Treatment Manager Report (for more information on this report read my blog "Holes in your doctors schedule?"), then select the criteria for which you want to search. My suggestions would be (see below):
1.Select Patient – this way you will not get anyone in the list who has been inactivated
2.Select Primary – this way it will only search patients who have insurance
3.Procedure code date range - search for current treatment plans – my recommendation would be this year
4.Search for a minimum amount of insurance benefits left – my recommendation would be $500
Next, click OK to generate your list. Once you have a list, you can merge this list into Microsoft Excel. Click on File > Copy to Clipboard, then open up Excel and click “paste.” Now you have a list that you can sort through before you merge it into DemandForce. My suggestion would be to take anyone off the list who is either currently in treatment, a collection problem, or told you not to call him or her until after the 1st of the year.
In your DemandForce portal, if you go to the “Campaigns” tab and scroll to the bottom, you will see “Upload List.” Click there, then click on “Upload Instructions.” This will give you step-by-step instructions on how to save the Excel document in the correct format and upload it into DemandForce. You can then send out a mass e-mail promotion to your patients.
I hope you have a full and productive schedule through the end of the year!