Dental Practice Management: Do You Have a Financial Arrangements Coordinator? (Video)

Dental practice management: financial arrangements coordinatorA Financial Arrangements Coordinator can be a valuable asset to the dental practice management team.

This key position is responsible for all financial interactions with the patient, from treatment plan to dental financing and payment options.

“It is a complete necessity to have someone who is ultimately responsible and the ‘go-to’ person for all financial arrangements, especially patient interaction,” said a Michigan dentist.

“Having a financial arrangements coordinator is probably a great idea for larger multi-dentist offices, but I find it is not likely to be cost-effective in a smaller practice,” said a general dentist.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey chat about this survey asking dentists if they have a Financial Arrangements Coordinator on their dental practice team:

Jim, a former dental practice consultant, thinks it’s a good idea to have an employee dedicated to managing financial arrangements.

Dentists seem to be split. Of those who responded to this survey, 55% do not have a financial arrangement coordinator, and 45% do employ a team member to carry out this function.

Although it’s not feasible for every practice, there are many benefits to having a dedicated “money person.”

“I have one designated team member to make financial arrangements, but occasionally another member has to step in due to the primary being out of the office for various reasons,” said a Nevada dentist.

“We estimate insurance benefits, and receive the patient’s portion on the date services are provided. Other than that, the only other financial arrangement we offer is through Care Credit. Our receptionist comfortably handles this as part of her duties,” said an Illinois dentist.

“I wish everyone would just pay at the time of service!” said a California dentist.

“We have only one person, and no one else discusses money. That way it stays simple, and patients can’t say someone told them something different,” said an Oklahoma dentist.

The bottom line is that handling financial arrangements effectively can have a positive impact on the practice’s revenue.

It can increase case acceptance, and free up the dentist’s time treat more patients  instead of talking about money.

Dental Marketing Can Bring Lots of New Patients (video)

Dental Marketing Can Bring Lots of New Patients (video)Dental marketing programs can bring lots of new dental patients to a doctor’s office.

However, some dentists can’t help but feel dirty about marketing themselves and their dental practices.

As one dentist pointed out, “A restaurant can’t say, ‘We won’t do marketing because we just want to cook good food for people.'”

Sighed a prostodontist, “Marketing is a necessary evil.”

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if dental marketing is part of their job.

Click on Play to hear how dentists answered this question —

What are your thoughts on dental marketing for your dental practice?

What Do Dentists Think About Using Amalgam? (Video)

Dental practice marketing with internet videoOne of the biggest controversies in dentistry is about the use of amalgam.

Some dentists think it’s a great material for filling cavities, but others worry about its possible toxicity.

“I haven’t placed an amalgam in over 25 years,” said a Kentucky dentist.

I live in rural America, and crowns are not financially feasible for many; so I shovel a lot of alloy!” said a Wisconsin dentist.

Jim and Julie report on a survey asking dentists how frequently they place amalgams.

Our past surveys at The Wealthy Dentist have consistently shown dentists split down the middle on the topic of placing amalgam.

Some things never change. Doctors are still split on the issue. In this survey, 58% of dentist respondents indicated that they still place amalgam restorations, while 42% do not.

How frequently are dentists placing amalgams?

Well, 27% said they place multiple amalgams per day, another 19% do at least one a week, and 12% only do a handful each year.

“I stopped using amalgam about 2 years ago. I do NOT believe it is a health risk, but I believe that composites have improved to the point that they are very serviceable – and of course look much better!” said a New York dentist.

“Amalgam still has a place in dentistry,” declared an Illinois dentist.

“According to some reports 1/3 of the restorations placed in this country are amalgams.”

We have better materials. We don’t need to use a restorative that was developed in the 1890’s just because it’s easier and cheaper,” said a general dentist. “If it were introduced as a new material today it would never make it or even be allowed. It just doesn’t make sense to use it. Yes, they mostly last ‘forever,’ but at the expense of the tooth.”

“Any dentist still placing silver amalgams is an idiot. It has nothing to do with the material, but the public’s perception of its dangers,” said a general dentist.

That’s a valuable perspective. We could argue the science all day long – but what about the dental marketing aspects?

Just the language you use affects how your patients will react to amalgam restorations. Most dentists call them “silver fillings,” but I know of at least one doctor who refers to them as “mercury-containing fillings.”

It’s not just a matter of the dentist’s personal preference. It’s also about the patient’s preference, cosmetics and finances.

Invisalign Cost (Survey Video)

Dental safety and BPAInvisalign lets adults get straight teeth without traditional braces.

Unfortunately, the costs keep Invisalign from many patients who might otherwise consider adult ortho.

In a dentist survey we conducted, we found the average cost of Invisalign treatment from a general dentist was about $4,800.

Specialists were a little more expensive at around $5,400.

Treatment from an orthodontist averaged about $6,900.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss what dentists think about Invisalign braces:

“Costs are too high for this to be a mainstream treatment for people willing to have adult orthodontics,” said a Michigan Dentist.

“The lab fees are excessive, and Invisalign could use some competition,” said a New York Dentist.

While there’s a lot more interest in adult braces than there used to be, it’s still not quite mainstream.

And with lab costs like that, it’s hard to imagine it truly going mainstream.

What are your thoughts about Invisalign braces?

Dental Production (Survey Video)

Dental ProductionDental practice production is the best way to measure the health of an individual dental practice.

And production trends are a good way to look at dental patient spending in general.

The Wealthy Dentist did a survey asking dentists whether their 2012 production income was up or down.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss 2012 production ups and downs:

The survey revealed 36% of dentists saw their practice production decrease in 2012.

An Indiana dentist said, “Production has increased, but I am in a few insurance plans now. I am probably writing off more than 20%.”

However, 43% of dentists experienced some growth at their dental practices.

A Colorado Periodontist said, “Our production levels have increased through diligent use of dental marketing and a treatment coordinator.”

Improving dental practice marketing and front desk skills can really help improve production.

And if a dentist can’t maintain the financial health of their practice, they’re not going to be able to oversee the dental health of their patients.

Is your production up or down since last year? What trends do you see in your market?

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