Dentists beware! Are team members more loyal to patients’ wallets than practice’s bottom line?
Dentists need to beware of financial coordinators who are more concerned about patients' wallets than the practice's bottom line. Check your accounts receivable, and if they're high your staff may fall into this category.
Penny pincher – What if the person sitting at the front desk as your financial coordinator hates to spend money and has the first nickel they ever made? They hate to shop, they wear shoes and clothes well beyond the “use by” date, and they don’t value spending money on investments such as a healthy and attractive smile? Think again if you believe they’ll want patients to do something they wouldn’t do personally.
Your team members and their image reflect what you and your practice value. Make sure your entire staff has the image of success if you want to be successful. If the dentist and staff don’t believe in investing in a great personal image or comprehensive dental care, why would patients want to? (My friend and colleague Janice Hurley has a program on this topic that includes CDs and other material at www.JaniceHurley.com. Janice has had excellent results giving ordinary people extraordinary images with just a few simple and inexpensive changes.)
I recommend that dentists go to the last page of their Aged Analysis Report and look closely at the total dollars owed to them. More importantly, they need to look at the amount and percentage of the AR that is current over the 60, 90, and 120 days. They should check with the financial coordinator to see how many statements are being sent, how many collection calls are being made, and what their system for insurance followup might be. If the accounts are not being diligently worked by the financial coordinator, or if the financial coordinator has any of the undesirable traits listed here, the dentist may have uncovered the reasons.
Linda Miles is the founder of one of the most respected dental management consulting firms in North America, Miles Global. She has spent four decades as a dental employee and employer. Linda instinctively resolves sensitive issues in dental practices that ultimately become triple wins – for the dentist, staff, and patients. She believes that happy employees perform at far higher levels than those with hidden agendas. Her third party experienced-based opinions are not pro-doctor or staff, but always pro-practice.