Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Do you know how many patients are leaving your practice?

Before I start working with a practice, the first thing I do is an assessment of their systems so I can get an idea of what they are using and not using. I also look at several reports and evaluate the numbers so I can review them with the doctor to see what needs improving and what is working well.

One of the numbers I always want to improve is increasing the number of patients that pre-schedule their next recare visit. During a recent consultation, I talked to a dentist about this and how we could get his office’s number higher. His response was, “No one leaves my office without their next appointment scheduled.” However, when we reviewed the numbers together, he realized that only 66% of his hygiene patients were pre-scheduling … much lower than he had thought. Also, the patient retention number was extremely low as well. At that moment, he knew that there was a bigger priority than electronic signature pads.

What exactly is patient retention? If you have a patient retention of 80%, you are losing 20% of your patient base each month either to moving out of state, changing dentists, or just not coming in for other reasons.  

How do you find your patient retention? I’m glad you asked. You can find this number on the Practice Advisor Report. From the Office Manager, go to the Analysis > Practice Advisor > Practice Advisor Report then it will open up the settings for the report. I would select the last day of the previous month for the date range and make sure in the Continuing Care section you highlight the continuing care types associated with your hygiene visits (Prophy, Perio). There are other settings that can go along with this report, but for this blog we are focusing on the patient retention and Continuing Care statistics. Click Preview and forward to the Continuing Care page.   The first line is the patient retention and the third line is the number of patients who pre-schedule their hygiene visit.


How can you increase these numbers? 

CLICK HERE to read “Does your hygiene need a boost?”  

CLICK HERE to read “Keep your hygiene room full” (read all three parts)



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do you know Dentrix as well as you think you do?

When my office converted to Dentrix in 2003, I wanted to learn as much about Dentrix as I possibly could. When the opportunity came in to become a certified trainer, I thought, "What better way for me to learn more about the Dentrix software?" Now there is a program available for anyone who works in a dental practice to receive a certificate of knowledge. For more information, watch my video interview with Matt Singerman from Henry Schein with details about this amazing new program.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Dentrix Mastery Tracks

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Do you treat patients over the age of 65?

Does your practice treat patients that are over the age of 65? If you do, you have a deadline to meet. On June 1, 2015 Medicare is going to get all up in your business and you better be prepared because if you have ever dealt with government paperwork, you know it can be a long process.

Now you might be thinking, “We don’t bill Medicare so how will this affect me?” Well, if you write prescriptions to patients who have Medicare Part D prescription coverage, these prescriptions will not be covered. If you perform a Medicare covered service (such as biopsies, CT scans, some TMJ services, and airway appliances), these services will be denied and you will not be able to bill the patient. This is how Medicare will affect you and your patients.

What you need to know . . .

You have three choices when it comes to deciding which way your office is going go with the June 1st deadline.
  1. You can enroll as a Medicare provider. If you choose this path, your office will be required to comply with all Medicare regulations, including the fee schedules.
  2. You can opt-out as a Medicare provider. If you choose this, you will be required to fill out an affidavit every two years to keep it current and you will be required to enter an opt-out contract with each Medicare covered patient you treat in your practice.
  3. You can choose to be an ordering/referral provider if your office does not perform any Medicare-covered procedures or prescribe medication but you may refer to doctors that do.

The path will be different for each office so I am going to give you some resources so you can do some research and find out which path is best for your office. Also, if you are looking for advice on what is best for you, I am providing two amazing industry leaders in this topic you can contact.
CLICK HERE for enrollment

For one-on-one coaching on this topic:

Teresa Duncan

Terri Bradley

Christine Taxin