For more than 30 years, Levin Group has been dedicated to helping dentists achieve the success they deserve. It’s a subject we’ve mastered, and we know it’s all about systems. The step-by-step management systems we teach our consulting clients to use work remarkably well for three reasons:
1. Without systems, team members operate by habit. At Levin Group, we admire practice staff members but recognize that most of them have not been properly trained to do their jobs. They perform office functions at the most basic level, unable to spur the practice on to greater success.
2. Without systems, it’s nearly impossible to train staff members properly. Administrative training is surprisingly complex. However, by following a step-by-step process over and over, practice team members can master advanced principles very quickly.
3. Without systems, you’ll have difficulty determining where performance improvements are needed. Levin Group consultants develop a custom list of 20 or more key targets for each practice. Each target is assigned to a team member. If targets aren’t being achieved, those responsible can be coached individually, enabling them to improve in their positions.
I not only give seminars, I take them, too. Recently, I attended a presentation on a subject that has fascinated me for over 40 years: human performance and potential.
I subscribe to the philosophy that you can only reach you potential when you know exactly what you want. So I pose that question to dentists, who most often say “increased income… less stress… a well-trained team.”
I tell them that these goals are actually easy to achieve IF they rely on the right experts. Rather than wishing and complaining, frustrated dentists need to make an unshakeable commitment to success… getting the help they need to develop an action plan and follow through on it.
You may know what you want, but the real question is, are you willing to go for it?
Now, more than ever, dental practices need to take control of their overhead.
Every year, Levin Group’s expert business analysts fly all over North America visiting hundreds of practices to perform our unique Practice Performance Analysis. One finding that’s turning up more and more often is “overhead creep.” Disappointed with the growth of their businesses and concerned about lower insurance reimbursements, many dentists think they need more… more staff, more new technologies, more treatment rooms, even more doctors.
The resulting increase in operating costs doesn’t translate into increased revenues…. but it does cut into income. When dentists become Levin Group clients, our consultants walk them through the overhead reduction process, investigating and finding ways to make cuts in each overhead category based on reliable national and regional averages.
If you’re not yet ready for practice management consulting, at least do this… set a goal of lowering your overhead by 2% or even 4%. Otherwise, you’ll just continue throwing away money.
There’s a valuable lesson to be learned from this year’s Super Bowl. (Yes, I know this is a little late, but everybody’s talking about football again after last week’s draft, so here’s my contribution.)
Peyton Manning, an old man by football standards at age 39, did a great job for the Denver Broncos, winning his second Super Bowl and raising the level of respect from football fans.He ended his career with grace, dignity and great sportsmanship.
In contrast, North Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton imploded. He’s an incredible athlete and lost just one game during the regular season, but he didn’t know how to handle defeat on football’s biggest stage. Instead of losing gracefully in a sportsmanlike way, he had a meltdown… not shaking hands with the Denver players and behaving horrifically at the post-game press conference. He earned a reputation as a bad sport that may take years to overcome.
The lesson in this for dental practices is that every doctor and team member should meet the highest standard of behavior every single day. Everyone has an occasional bad day, but in a service business like ours, you can’t let it show. When things go wrong, as they did for Newton, you need to smile and fake it. You owe it to your patients and to each other.
Collections continue to be a problem for many dental practices.
Too many front desk team members don’t feel comfortable asking for payment from patients. That reticence can cost your practice thousands of dollars every year.
Here are three things you can do to improve collections:
1. Collect at the Time of Service
Make that your standard policy. Your practice should function like other retail businesses, which all collect at the time of purchase. By doing so, you will receive a higher percentage of your fees sooner and reduce the potential for overdue receivables.
2. Train Your Front Desk Team to Ask for Payment
Your practice is a business, and collecting fees in a timely manner is part of running a financially successful business. Fixing your collections system can yield an immediate and profound boost to your bottom line. Train your team using scripting, which will enable them to be comfortable at asking patients for payment.
3. Make Collections Easier by Offering Patient Financing
With dental insurance covering less, patients today have more out-of-pocket costs than ever before. Giving patients the option of financing through a reputable third-party provider can make treatment––elective services and larger cases––more affordable. You also eliminate any potential collections issues by receiving your fee upfront (minus a small financing charge).