Archive for March, 2015

Hygiene Schedule during Spring Break

Friday, March 20th, 2015

It’s Spring Break season and while some students and families are off vacationing at Disney others are busy making plans to do things they cannot normally fit into their busy schedules; such as taking that much needed overdue trip to the dentist. Having a plan in place to manage last minute cancellations and spur of the moment appointment requests will go a long way for your team to be ready to remain productive and keep your patients and staff happy during the holiday.

First, to be ready for cancellations you will need a list of patients with unscheduled treatment. To get started, run a report showing patient treatment identified but not yet completed. Then assign a staff member to look into each instance. Compose a letter (with empty spacing that can be filled in with personal information and needed treatment) and you as the dentist signs it personally. Follow up with a phone call asking that the patient set up an appointment.

Sample:

Dear Mrs. June Smith,

I hope that you are well and looking forward to a healthy 2015. As your dentist, I am sending you this letter to let you know that you still need to have (a crown on your top left molar) completed. This was treatment that we identified for you last year, but did not accomplish. I don’t want to let a manageable problem become a large, difficult problem for you. In addition, your insurance coverage starts over at the beginning of a year. You and/or your employer are already paying for a good share of your needed treatment!

Call our office at your earliest convenience and we will be glad to set up a time so we can get started on what you need.

I appreciate being your dentist, and look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Jones

It is best if the section where the personal treatment is listed does not look like a mass produced “fill-in-the-blank”. That can negate the effect of a “personal” letter! Also, if the patient needs quite a bit of care, don’t try to put it all in. Instead, choose the most pressing issue. These letters do not have to be a “clerical only” duty. Your hygienist or dental assistant can work on them as well.

Regardless of the method used, it is essential to be prepared to address and fill last minute cancellations especially during the holidays when more changes are expected to occur.
Wishing you a wonderful Spring Break and a productive month ahead!
__________

Need more help with your Hygiene Dept? Carol Tekavec RDH is the Director of Hygiene for McKenzie Management. Carol can improve your hygiene department in just one day of training “in your office.” Email hygiene@mckenziemgmt.com

Take Control of Your Debt

Friday, March 6th, 2015

The more control you have over your personal debt, the better position you’ll be in to negotiate a practice loan at the most favorable interest rate and terms, counsels Mike Wilson, a Certified Financial Planner™ professional in Orland, Indiana. Here are eight tips Wilson suggests for taking charge of your debt.

Favor “good” debt over “bad” debt. Good debt is related to anything that increases in value over time—like educational or business loans. Bad debt does not typically result in an investment in yourself or your future—for example, running up your credit card to pay for an expensive vacation or taking out a loan for a chic new SUV.

Follow the 28/35 rule. According to Wilson, aim to spend no more than 28 percent of your gross income (before taxes) on your mortgage payment or rent. No more than 35 percent of your gross income should be used for all personal debt payments, including a mortgage, car loan, student loan, credit card payments, and so on. “This rule of thumb has been around for decades, and it’s still valid,” he says.

Pay bills on time. Late payments hurt your credit rating.

Apply only for the credit you need. Having a lot of credit cards can count against your credit score.

Pay your credit card balance in full every month. Or at least pay more than the minimum due to keep interest costs as low as possible.

Pay down debts with the highest interest rate first, instead of debts with the highest balance. You’ll save more money in the end by eliminating costlier debts first.

Consolidate educational loans when appropriate. It’s more convenient to have just one student loan payment, but Wilson says to make sure the interest rate on a consolidated loan is not higher than you’re already paying. In addition, look for a loan consolidation plan that gives you several repayment options with the ability to switch between them as your circumstances change.
(For more information, visit www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.)

Use insurance to manage debt risk. When you have life insurance, you know that the insurance benefit can help repay your debts if you die unexpectedly, rather than burdening your family with these obligations. Similarly, if you are disabled, a monthly disability insurance benefit can provide a source of income to help make your loan payments and cover other business and personal expenses, thereby protecting your credit rating.