As the end of the year approaches, it is time for several reminders that can help make for a smoother, more profitable fourth quarter.

  • As the year draws to a close, treatment plan coordinators need to spend extra time double-checking how much insurance benefit remains prior to calculating patient co-pays. If you follow this blog or have read my dental practice management book, you know how much I stress the importance of calculating and collecting accurate patient co-pays at the time of service. One of the factors in calculating a patient co-pay is ascertaining how much insurance benefit remains within a patient’s yearly maximum. It is important to check directly with the insurance provider whenever possible because the patient may have used insurance benefits at another dentist’s or specialist’s office this year. The Dentistry’s Business Secrets’ Practice Management Tools CD contains a Checklist for Creating Accurate Treatment Plan Estimates and an Insurance Benefit Verification Checklist. Both of these forms simplify the process of calculating accurate dental patient co-pays.
  • Now is the time to send out reminders to patients to use their remaining dental insurance and FSA benefits before they expire at the end of the year. It is often beneficial to run an overdue recall report and remind overdue patients to take advantage of their dental insurance check-up coverage before the year ends. Ideally, your dental office has been running these overdue recall reports on a regular basis.
  • The week between Christmas and New Years is often the busiest week of hygiene appointments all year. If you are open that week, strategize now for how to survive the busyness of that week. Brainstorm simple ideas for ways to thank your staff for working during this hectic week.