Production is the single most important factor in any dental practice. Without production, the practice will have trouble investing in its future. In addition, production is a key factor in determining when a doctor/owner will reach financial independence.
As a dentist, I understand the importance and critical nature of focusing on excellence and quality of care. Clinical success is essential to provide patients with optimal oral health. At the same time, dentists need to understand that they deserve the opportunity to enjoy their careers, support their lifestyle and families, maintain a financially sound practice and save for retirement.
Production is what makes all of this happen.
There are hundreds of ways to increase practice production that we have identified at Levin Group. The good news is that about 50 of these methods and strategies will have the greatest impact on production increases. Here are three that will increase production and do so quickly.
- Reactivate all patients who do not have their next appointment scheduled.
This may be the single best strategy to increase practice production – get any patients that are not scheduled for appointments back onto the schedule. During the pandemic practices became extremely busy and little effort was focused on patient reactivation. However, as things begin to normalize, it is critical to keep patients scheduled.
Lost patients create no production, and the longer patients go without an appointment, the more possible (and probable) it is that they will leave the practice for another practice or simply opt out of dentistry for a while. By professionally pursuing patients without their next appointment on a regimented basis, the practice will maintain a larger patient base and achieve more production.
- Present ideal dentistry
Presenting ideal dentistry is frequently discussed as if there is a big mystery surrounding it. The truth is it is easy. First, not every patient will accept ideal dentistry, but some percentage will. Acknowledge that and move on. Remember though, that if you do not present ideal dentistry, you have a 100% chance that no patient will accept it. Second, accept the reality that presenting ideal dentistry and increasing case acceptance is more akin to a achieving a good baseball batting average than finding some mysterious secret formula that causes every patient to automatically accept your case presentations. In reality, the more you present ideal dentistry, the more patients who will accept it, and the higher practice production will be.
End of mystery. Babe Ruth was one of the greatest baseball players who ever lived and hit more home runs in his era than any other player, but he also held the record for the number of times he struck out. The home run is the equivalent of the ideal dental case presentation being accepted. And you will have a few strikeouts here and there. But the beauty of dentistry is that if you present ideal dentistry and it is not completely accepted, most patients will opt for some level of treatment and can be put on a program to be reminded about completing the rest of the ideal case over time.
- Collect at the time of service.
You’ve heard this at least 1,000 times before. Collect money at the time of the service to eliminate overdue balances, wasted time, and higher overhead, instead of chasing patients for money. Levin Group data indicates that after 60 days, the chances of collecting an overdue account drop below 10%. Yet, we see lots of practices carrying 90-day, 120-day, 180-day or more overdue accounts. It is critical to increase the percentage of money due to the practice. Collecting at the time of service is the best way to improve.
There are many ways to increase practice production. Production is the essential element of a practice’s financial success. When production is hitting the right target, practices will have the opportunity to invest in a great team, technology, other advances in the practice, and have financial security. It also places the doctor on track to support family, lifestyle, and retirement savings. The combination of clinical excellence and financial success is a classic win – win.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 clients to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written more than 60 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.
To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.