Raise your hand if all your insurance claims are paid, in full, in a timely manner …
- How to alleviate this this in the practice: ADEQUATE APPOINTMENT TIME
- All care in the office should be needs-based and all appointment times should be too! I’ve never been a fan of a set appointment time per procedure but prefer set appointment time per patient. Not all prophy patients require 45-60 minutes and some partially edentulous patients require 75 minutes. If you set your schedule for the adequate appointment time per patient your schedule is much easier to handle.
There are also times when patients suck the ever living life out of me because everything thing that could require extra time in their appointment does: their insurance changed and they want to know their EXACT co-pay, we have to have an in depth conversation (just like we do every 12-18 mos) regarding why they need xrays or fluoride or power toothbrushes, everything hurts but nothing’s wrong, or they are finally ready to start another phase of their treatment – raise your hand if you’ve been there. And it never fails that it’s the first patient in the morning and every patient after them – so no matter what, you’re 20 minutes behind.
- How to alleviate this in the practice: RESCHEDULE
- We are a high volume practice – it’s not uncommon for me to see 10-12 recare appointments in a day (I run an accelerated hygiene schedule with cross-trained dental assistants who are AH-MAZING) and as much as I do not want to inconvenience the patient with another appointment – I also do not want to penalize my other patients due to new insurance, patient non-compliance, or treatment coordination concerns – so I don’t.
- How to alleviate this in the practice: CROSS TRAINING
- Because many offices only hire the number of team members they need, starting patient appointments may be delayed or patients may need to be rescheduled due to life, cross training team members is an excellent way to alleviate running behind when you aren’t fully staffed.
- How to alleviate this in the practice: STANDARD INSURANCE VERIFICATION FORMS(IVF) per insurance company/plan
- Many offices use an IVF for quick references to maximum, coverage %, and frequencies BUT few practices recognize the intricacies between insurance providers and the number of plans they offer – not all plans are the same even though they may come from the same company – recognizing individual plans and flagging them for additional questions help prevent issues with payment, estimates, and disgruntled patients.*
Hopefully you can work some of these tips into your practice to make some easy changes so you don’t have to say I’M SORRY! It takes conscious effort to NOT say I’m sorry during the day. This makes such a positive change to the patient appointment and it is well worth the effort! Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!!