Category: Transitions Group (Practice Development)

Boost Profits by Managing Your PPO Insurances

Practices more and more are participating in managed care insurance plans, and a greater percentage of their production is coming from these plans. We recognize that if not continually managed, insurance discounts will continue to effect the bottom line. You can dramatically improve profitability by properly managing your insurance participation. KLAS Solutions, offers a thorough Insurance Analysis, along with an Insurance Maximization Plan. The Insurance Maximization Plan will help you and your practice overcome fear of patient attrition. Our plan will improve profits, and reduce the stress on you and your team.  Call Kami at 844-552-7100 ext 705 or email us at


Insurance Maximization Plan $3995

$1000 per office (up to 3 providers) $250 per each additional provider.


Find the time for all the things you want and need to get accomplished.

Time management is defined as a way to find the time for all the things you want and need to get accomplished. It helps you decide which things will get done now and which tasks can wait. Learning how to manage your time, activities, and commitments is prioritization; making the habit to focus on the most relevant and important things first.

A common time management trap many people fall into is getting to the end of the day and not knowing where the time went. They overestimate the amount of time they have available OR underestimate the amount of time each activity takes to complete and become overcommitted.

An effective way to organize the to-do list of many things that must be accomplished in a day is to analyze our tasks, map out a plan to complete projects with timeframes and, then, analyze what are the URGENT activities or tasks that demand immediate attention today and are related to deadlines in the moment.

IMPORTANT activities or tasks are specifically related to your job functions and acting on them directly, at the right time, contributes to the effectiveness and success of the team, as well as to your own professional goals and accomplishments.

Once the task, project or commitment has been defined, it is then placed into one of the Urgent/important categories as a guide to the sequence of how to allocate your energy and time.

1. Urgent and Important –Our #1 priorities and have a high price to pay if not done. They include key projects with tight deadlines, patients with serious concerns, pressing financial deadlines, a major unresolved conflict with a co-worker, last minute crises, and medical emergencies. Do these FIRST.

2. Important but Not Urgent- Usually the greatest amount of your time is usually spent on these: daily tasks & activities, routine interaction with clients, day-to-day relationships, revising team meeting agenda, taking a course, new marketing approaches, work planning, organization & meetings, health, exercise, recreation. Do these SECOND…

3. Urgent but Not Important– Little or no contribution to company/ your goals. May not be the best use of your time. No serious damage or fallout from missed deadline. Low value interruptions. Other examples include: “pressing” matters unrelated to your work, or of low value to team, deadlines for popular but non-strategic activities, non-essential activities & events. (mail, reports, meetings, calls).

4. Not Important, Not Urgent– Few, if any, benefits from doing these. Reduce, eliminate or do enjoyable ones outside of work time: trivia, meetings unrelated to your work, busywork & time-wasting activities, enjoyable, unproductive activities, reading junk mail, etc.

The discipline of prioritizing tasks and activities helps you to decide which are most important to you without procrastination and putting things off until the last minute or missing deadlines because you’ve over-committed.

UNDIAGNOSED Oral cancer is KILLING one person every HOUR in this continent EVERYDAY

ONLY Fourteen (14 %) of North American patients report knowledge or awareness of their dental office performing an Oral Cancer Screening.

Oral cancer is considered one of the most preventable of all cancers and if detected early has an 80% success rate…!

Oral cancer, detected in late stages, only has a survival rate of 20% 5 years after diagnosis.


• 30,000 are diagnosed with oral cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx each year

• The average years of life lost to Oral Cancer is 16 years, which is one year more than all cancers in general

• 3X more incidence of death annually from Oral Cancer then from cervical cancer

• Squamous cell carcinomas account for 90 percent of the malignant tumors in the oral cavity

• African Americans have a slightly higher incidence then Caucasians

Risk Factors

Traditional risk patients have been males over 40 who smoke and drink….. this has changed to 15% of females have Oral Cancer. Seventy five percent of oral cancers are attributed to the use of tobacco of all forms and alcohol use also has been positively correlated with the incidence of oral cancer. Combined tobacco and alcohol use, is multi multiplicative and a substantially greater risk factor than that of either smoking or alcohol use alone

Early Detection

The standard of care widely considered for decades in dentistry is a comprehensive exam in white light of the head, neck, thyroid and intraoral tissue check with palpation. More than75% of all oral cancers can be diagnosed by site or palpation with the most common sites being :
1. Lips
2. Buccal Mucosa
3. Floor Of Mouth
4. Tongue—lateral borders of tongue account for approx. 1/3 of all oral cancers
5. Palate
6. Gingiva

There is a clinical, moral and ethical responsibility for dentistry to lead, manage and implement early detection for a disease that kills patients.

Direct Mail Isn’t Dead – Part Two

Retention of Existing Clients

In continuing our direct marketing/mail series, from last week’s acquiring new patients, we continue on to retention of existing patients.

In dentistry, we know that women/moms are responsible for scheduling more than 80% of the family health care visits and are a major influence on healthcare buying decisions.

According to the “supermarket mom’s survey”, January 2014* , more than 20% of are dissatisfied with social media marketing in general, which causes them to re-consider traditional options of direct marketing. The study of moms showed that, when it comes to new product discovery, print circulars still lead the way.

Statistics show that 73% of people prefer to get information about a business in a collection of articles (like a newsletter). Your response rate will vary, depending on how competitive your area is, your key attributes, hours of operation and location.

Local community/direct mail newsletters will put your name in every household surrounding your practice with the message that there is a dentist close by who is accepting new patients.

A newsletter is also beneficial for your existing patients, by keeping your practice in their mind while they are in-between visits, to update them on the practice, inform about new dental procedures, encourage them to send friend and family referrals and trigger inquiries about elective services.

The most effective interval for newsletters is quarterly and the best way to achieve the standard of 4 times the return on your investment, is to create a plan for existing patient analysis, demographic research, expert list development, offer strategy, brand and content development, team training plus tracking, analysis and reporting.

A great resource company if you are in the market for a newsletter program that has proven results for over 20 years is Patient News.

As part of your membership with Tuesdays with Transitions, they are offering a free consultation in which your referrals, on which you will receive a comprehensive market analysis, report on your neighborhood.

Determinining the True Return on Investment for Marketing Efforts..

Marketing is going through a renaissance, with practices maximizing their online spending for an internet presence, website, SEO, mobile applications, Facebook, linked in, twitter, email, texting, blogging. Although internet is a needed strategy in your marketing plan, I was left reflecting on past tried and true methods that worked in the past and to research where they fit into to North American dental practices.

The findings are very interesting and prove that, although direct mail is down 25%, it still reaps a return on investment that shouldn’t be forgotten.
This caused me to inquire with my dental networks about a unique offering company for dental that had the results of modern day direct mail that matched the response rates of the marketing experts. . I found a company named Viva ( who had impressive response direct mail rates of 3.4% (2% is average response rate for mail)and an impressive text activation rate of 22.28% with net acquisition cost of $40-$60 per new patient.

See the expert research below confirming that direct mail is alive and well as a viable choice for finding new patients while adapting to the generations and showing valid results.

73% of U.S. consumers and 67% of Canadian consumers said they prefer direct mail for brand communications because they can read the information at their convenience.
62% of Americans and 63% of Canadians said they enjoy checking the mailbox for postal mail (
Over 80% of homes the person in the household responsible for collecting and sorting mail will collect the mail at their first opportunity. And, once the mail is brought into the home, 80% will sort the mail immediately while 18% will sort it later that day –USPS 2012 Mail Moment Study
59% of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products” –Epsilon’s 2012 Channel Preference Study
Direct mail has decreased by 25% however when done properly with focused effort and a call to action request it can yield a response rate of 4.4% compared to online ad’s at .12%. (Direct Marketing Association founded in 1917 and serving over 3600 companies worldwide).
In summary, direct mail has a response rate of up to 10 to 30 times that of email and still must be a staple in our marketing plan…


Metrics of Success…

Of the five key elements of every successful dental practice – team,
revenue, patients, expenses and capacity — the last one is by far the least
understood.Capacity is all about numbers: what combination of dental providers,patients, operatories and scheduled hours is optimal to generate production, billing . . . and, of course, great dental health for everyone who
walks through your door. Let’s examine them one by one.

PROVIDERS: When does it make sense for solo practitioners to consider bringing in additional help? Is the workload sufficient to justify one, two or more hires? Crucial questions, obviously, whose answers will exert great influence on the financial health of your practice.

So let’s apply some precision. For consistency across each category, we’ll assume a four-day-a-week,
48-workweek year.

PATIENTS: An “active patient” is anyone who has had an appointment with you in the last two years. It’s critical to know this figure, as it drives every other decision you make.

The benchmark to keep in mind: 1,600 to 1,800 active patients per DDS and a minimum of one day a week of hygiene for every 250 patients. How does that affect dollars and cents?

OPERATORIES: Unsurprisingly, the dental operatory offers the largest return on investment of any aspect of your practice — provided, of course, that your patient numbers are hitting their mark. Where else can you spend $50,000 to $60,000 and realize an immediate one-year gross return in the neighborhood of $200,000?

For a restorative operatory, figure two operatories, 32 hours a week (1,536 hours/ year), per DDS. Your minimum hourly revenue goal: $250, which is almost $192,000 per operatory per year.

For hygiene, assuming one operatory per RDH and a revenue goal of $125 an hour, we’re again at roughly
$192,000 per operatory per year. Beginning to add up, isn’t it?

HOURS: This gets a little tricky. Hours offered for hygiene services need to match your active-patient count. Plan conservatively on seeing 80 percent of patients every six months. Your practice should be able to support two full-time hygienists, and while we all know that many patients won’t stick to a semi-annual appointment schedule, such delinquency will typically be offset by perio patients who require more frequent appointments.

Here’s the formula:
(# of active patients x 80 percent) x2 visits per year x length of average appointment
/ # weeks practice is open annually= minimum demand for hygiene hours.

For example: 1,800 active patientsx 80 percent = 1,440 x 2 visits per year= 2,880 x 60 minutes for an average appointment/ 48 weeks = a minimum of 60 hours a week for 48 weeks a year.

Metrics like these don’t alwaysalign precisely with how things work day-to-day in your practice. But using them to establish guideposts can help give you a daily idea of how close your practice is to optimal performance —and which areas are likely to require your attention to improve.

Uncover Potential, Experience Results  ​

If they not improving or growing, then NOW is the time to respond..

Dental Practice Financial health begins with Production; the codes and fees billed for dental and hygiene procedures performed on the patients by a provider.

Collection:  the deposit of monies owed for the treatment in a timely manner or via an outside financial partner.

Profit: is what is left over after all the fixed and variable costs are paid for the business. The 35-45% cash flow supports the owner’s lifestyle while continually adding to maximum value for future practice and career choices.

If the COLLECTIONS are not improving or growing, then NOW is the time to respond and identify what is causing your collections to be down.

Questions related to Production and Collections… 

*    When was the last time you reviewed/updated your fees?
*    What feedback have you heard from patients when you adjust your fees?
*    Where do you feel your fees fall in the national/local averages?
*    How much does each provider produce per hour?
*    What percentage of your revenue is generated from hygiene?
*    How do you follow up on outstanding dentistry?
*    How much dentistry do you think is sitting in your charts?
*    What type of procedures drive the majority of your revenue?
*     What percentage of your dentistry is accepted?
*     How many new patients do you get per month?
*    What is your accounts receivable? What percentage is over 90 days?
*     How do you think loss of dental insurance benefits will impact your practice?

The collection goal is to collect 95% of what is produced and, if this is not happening, some common CAUSES may be: 

    Lack of a dedicated team member to collections
    Practice is signed up for too many fee-reduced insurance plans
    No system for collection of insurance claims
    NO written flexible financial options
    Not partnering with a third party financing company
    Not collecting at time of service
    Sporadic sequence to sending out statements
    No follow through systems for accounts receivable
    NO signed financial arrangements

Good Bye to 2012!

The end of a year is the ideal time to reflect, review and refine what worked, what didn’t and what change we wish to implement in the year ahead.  The key to progress to keep the momentum going from the wins from last year and how to duplicate and grow for the year to come.  A SYNERGISTIC team understands the importance of meeting, discussing and combining each member’s intellect via the Brain, passion via the Heart and how to listen to intuition from the Gut.  Below are my leadership reflections and Transitions team learning of 2012.

•    “Leading by example” only works when the right people are on the team.

•    Mistakes and challenges form the roadmap to growth and learning.

•    Stay Optimistic… Hear the music, see the road ahead, smell the flowers and rejoice in how lucky we are to be alive.

•    PROGRESS is a lot easier to achieve then the delusion of Perfection

•    Some team members will resist or fear DUPLICATING excellence.

•    Remain FAIR to the team effort even when one person feels they deserve all the glory.

•    Everyone is replaceable when the team is committed to a common purpose.

•    Teams need the person who will speak the hard “truth” in good times and bad. When no one else will

•    Stay to the course and multiply other leaders.

•    Value each person’s uniqueness, beliefs, rights and needs while honoring the groups contrast.

•    The most predictable asset is the  team members—Investment equals multiplication

•    Be curious and open to people without the need to seek their approval.

•    Have the courage to take a risk without placing blame on external forces when it doesn’t work.

•    Team members who avoid the leader who can best help them are fearful they may have to access their own power.

•    Be decisive and willing to make a decision for the group knowing that all members may not agree.

•    Embrace change with Grace… overcome the storming when it occurs…

•    Stay humble but steadfast in celebrating our own achievements.

•    Be self-confident without arrogance and have self-assurance without condescension.

•    The leader-teacher is always prepared when the student is ready.

•    An effective leader manages the currency of Time Management

•    There are 3 types of time — Free time… Buffer time…. and Focus time

“Listening is not two people taking turns talking” – Zig Ziglar

Listening is important aspect of our communication for case acceptance, our ability to passively listen and receive their message without judgment. Acknowledge their statements.  Answer what was asked.  Confirm accuracy of what they have said with feedback statements.  Show empathy and understanding of another person’s opinion. Being quiet and letting the patient speak without interruption can lead us to their preferred future and they will trust that we have taken the time to hear them before we tell them about what they need, should have or must do.

In our listening we want to discover What pain do they want to avoid and how can we help them avoid it and What pleasure do they want to obtain and how can we help them get it.

Passive listening involves acknowledgment of a nod, smile, really, wow, eye contact… Door openers encourage them to keep talking so you can learn more about them.  Door Openers are also called “double click” questions.  Some examples:  go on, and, then what?  Silence is key to allowing someone else to feel heard. Do not interrupt their train of thought and sharing.

Active listening involves really being attentive to the speaker.  Listening to not only their words, but also their emotional language and hidden messages. The greatest gift we can offer is our attentiveness. If we want our patients to understand what we have to offer, they must feel that we understand them first. Some examples of active listening are;  sounds like…., you feel….., what I heard was….,

The sharing they give you and the answers they provide to the patient interview need to be documented and organized in one place so that all members of the dental team can easily reference either in the chart or on the computer.

Below is an example of a people paper – a tool that allows a practice to successful organize their information in one place.