Thank you to HR experts Bent Ericksen & Associates for this timely and valuable information. To learn more, go to www.bentericksen.com.
Everyone thinks it won't happen to them. But it does, more often than you think and often from the person you trusted the most. That's right - embezzlement!
There are innumerable areas in the office where embezzlement can and does happen, from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Are you doing all that you can to protect yourself and your team? For instance, does the same person that handles the receivables also handle payables? Does everyone use the same password, or know everyone else's password? How do you monitor petty cash? Using security systems in your practice management software is a good place to start, but it's just one step in making your practice 'embezzlement proof'.
Click here to learn more about how to embezzlement-proof your practice.
I received this question from a client recently and thought you might find it of interest.
Q: We have a patient who has emailed asking if we can re-instate him as a patient. He said his balance of $43 that was not paid was an oversight on his part and he would like to come back. He paid the $43 after receiving a certified mail return receipt Termination Letter a few weeks ago. We have never had a request from a patient to come back after receiving a term letter, but then again we just this year have gotten proactive in handling lingering accounts. If we do let him come back is there a specific process?
A: Was this a good patient before this 'oversight'? Did he normally keep his appointments? Was there a reason he felt he did not owe the $43, or was he experiencing financial issues and was embarrassed to discuss them with the practice? A review of your office financial and scheduling policy might be in order as well. Are signatures expected? Do you have updated signatures? Have policies changed since this patient signed the original one?
My advice - let him return to the practice on a 'trial' basis, which means until he proves to be a reliable patient, pays his bills on time and keeps his appointments, I would expect payment in full at the time of service. If the patient has dental insurance, and your practice is participating, ask that he pay his anticipated portion at the time of service, and have a credit card authorization on file for any balances after the insurance pays.
Doctor, do you have a financial and scheduling policy in place to deal with situations like this? If not, please contact me to discuss how we can work together to develop a plan that is right for you and your practice.
When the economy is tough, it is more important than ever to maintain a positive attitude and outlook. Here are two tips all dental practices can use:
I can't tell you how often it happens -- the phone rings and it's a dentist calling to ask, "Can we talk?" They have a specific issue they want to discuss and they're willing to pay for my time, but they're not interested in a consulting contract.
The answer is "Yes!", we can talk. In fact, that's exactly what my Coffee Break Consulting service was set up to do - offer a one-time, no-contract, issue-specific consulting service to my clients and referrals.
So if you have something that's been bothering you, or just want to see if you're on the right page, please contact me. Using my Coffee Break Consulting service, we can talk!
Other than legitimate last minute issues, what causes patients to cancel without notice, or no-show altogether?
What many practices don't understand is that it is often the absence of 'value' placed on the appointment by the patient, leading them to believe "It's no big deal, I can reschedule", or "They'll call me back if I really need the treatment."
The end result: frustration for you and your team, and costly holes in what probably started out as a full and profitable schedule.
Click here for more information on how to avoid costly no-shows and cancellations.
Attracting new patients, and retaining existing ones, is vital to the long-term profitability of any dental practice. And yet, many patients simply fade away. Why?
Most likely, you and your staff are not effectively following the three "C" rules that help keep patients engaged and invested in their oral health:
Click here for more information on 3 tips to "C" your way clear to greater patient satisfaction and retention.
Hiring new staff members can be a daunting process, especially as the consequences of making a mistake are costly. Too often practices simply hire the first person who "seems okay" and then watch in dismay as that person ends up walking out the (revolving) door months, if not weeks, later.
It doesn't have to be that way. You can make a significant impact on the hiring process using a 4-step process to put applicants under a forensic hiring "microscope" and end the mystery of the revolving door once and for all: clarify, screen, select, integrate.
Click here for more information on Forensic Hiring.
Jan Keller is an experienced dental practice management consultant and speaker who has helped 100's of dental professionals across the U.S. and internationally achieve a higher level of success, profitability and enjoyment in their dental practice.