In case you didn’t know, whenever I get a question from a reader, along with answering them, I like to put the answers I give into a blog post so you too can benefit! Below is a question I got from a reader asking how they could improve their collections and new patients.
Before I get into my tips, I always recommend either attending our free seminar called The Effective Case Acceptance Seminar, click here for locations and dates, or to sign up for DDS Success where we have a vast amount of information on case acceptance, click here to schedule a free demo of DDS Success.
Now, let’s get into it!
(Related: 3 Ways to Boost Case Acceptance)
Q: Our office is doing OK, we’re happy with our level of collections and new patients, but we’d like to do a lot better. Any suggestions?
A: Thank you for your question. Being unfamiliar with your practice and having never met you, I’m going to keep my answers pretty general. I’m also going to break my advice into two parts:
To increase new patients, I’d look at a couple of areas:
- Marketing: Is your marketing effective – i.e. is it getting a response? Is your marketing “targeted?” To learn more about effective marketing, I’d suggest filling out our New Patient Acquisition Questionnaire by clicking here to get one-on-one professional help from one of MGE’s top executives.
- Capacity: How long does it take for a new patient initial (not emergency) to get in for an appointment. If it takes one week or more for a new patient to get in (at any point of the day) – that’s too long. I’ve seen offices who want more new patients spend tons on marketing only to make new patients who call in wait weeks for an appointment – what a waste! Assuming you have no problems with “A” or “B,” I’d look at:
- The Front Desk: How’s your front desk at getting people to schedule? Track the number of new patient calls versus number of appointments. If there’s a huge disparity – you may be able to recover plenty of new patients by fixing how your front desk handles income calls (we have a course specifically for training a receptionist and a course dedicated to phone skills on DDS Success).(Related: Are You Spending Too Much (Or Too Little) On Internet Marketing?)
With regards to collections, the main area I’d focus on here is case acceptance.
For this, you can do a little experiment: Calculate how much treatment you diagnosed this past month. Imagine for a minute that 80% of what you diagnosed was accepted and paid for. What would you have collected? Chances are you would’ve needed an associate to be able to produce all of it within a month! This is a BIG area – case acceptance or “sales.” As you improve, there are a number of benefits – higher collections and more patients accepting FULL treatment plans (which is better for them).
Don’t know where to start on this? I would suggest filling out our New Patient Acquisition Questionnaire. It only takes a couple of minutes to fill out and you’ll be contacted by one of our top executives for professional advice. Click here to fill it out now, or fill out the form at the bottom of this article.
Lastly, you mentioned that things were going OK and you wanted to do better.
This is very good. I’ll give you a word of caution though: some of the things you are doing are working – or you wouldn’t be doing “OK.” Be careful when making changes – we all tend to want to start off “fresh and new.’’ You see this when people take over a new job – despite the success of their predecessor, they go and “change” everything and make a big mess of it. So, to you I say this: Learn how to market better, learn how to increase your case acceptance – while doing all of this, ensure you catalogue all the things that HAVE been working in your practice and DON’T CHANGE THEM! Sure, you can implement a new marketing plan, but that doesn’t mean you completely trash the old one (if it was working). Do them concurrently. This applies ANYWHERE. Otherwise, you “sweep” away all of your successful actions while implementing something new. It’s something to keep in mind as you are looking to improve.
Now, if things aren’t going well – that’s a different matter entirely. Then you have to change things fast to get them turned around. I think the difference here is pretty obvious and I hope this helps.
As always, if you have any questions, call us at (800) 640-1140 or email me directly at SabriB@mgeonline.com. And again, if you’re not sure where to start, I suggest you do a few things:
1. Click here to fill out our New Patient Acquisition Questionnaire to get free professional advice from one of MGE’s top executives.
2. View the dates and locations for our free Effective Case Acceptance Seminar by clicking here. If we’ll be by a city near you, sign up! Over 20,000 people have gone to our free seminars and have learned valuable information that has helped them improve their practice.
3. Schedule a free demo of DDS Success by clicking here to see how having DDS Success in your office can benefit you and your team.
Do a FREE analysis to see how you can increase your new patient flow! Just fill out the form below.
New Patient Acquisition Questionnaire: