We all have patients whose dental problem has outstripped their insurance benefits. And that's all right. And I always tell my patients, "You think of your insurance as if you put on a pair of pants and found a $20 bill in the pocket. It's a bonus."
Let's talk for a minute about a financial issue, diagnosing the pocket book or maybe another way of looking at it is X-raying the wallet. I think we all have a little bit of preconceived ideas when we meet other human beings. We kind of size them up by the way they look, the way they dress, the way they manicure themselves.
Do you have a good system in place to present your treatment plan to your patient?
After you have done your part to put together the plan, it's time to lay it out to the patient to ensure they understand what needs to happen now and what can wait. Here are three tips for you to use to help make that process more simplified.
Have you ever wondered how you can implement complete dentistry into your practice? Do you think, "Where do I even start?" Well, here is a few tips for you that I think will help get you on the right path.
After you have gone through and taken accurate records during the complete examination it is time to present the treatment plan. When it comes to presenting the treatment plan to a patient, there are two things you need to have with you.
So one of the problems that I face in my practice is how do I talk about all these things, the signs of instability and the requirements of a stable occlusion, in a hygiene visit? And I used to try. And I would watch my patient's eyes kind of glaze over and I was feeling the pressure from my hygienist. She's like, "Hey, hurry up. We've got to stay on time."
And I realized I have to do something different here because they weren't accepting to come back to do their bite analysis or their smile analysis. Most people would get up there and be like, "No, I'll just see you again for the next hygiene."
Something that comes up all the time when I'm talking to dentists is, "How do I get my staff to talk to patients about treatment and perhaps even talking to patients about money?" And what I would say to these dentists is number one, you've got to get comfortable doing it yourself so that your staff can role-model the behavior that you want them to emulate. But I will give you a couple of quick tips.
So let's talk a little bit about treatment options and ways that you can communicate with your patients, when they show up at your office with signs of instability, tooth wear, mobility, migration, TMJ dysfunction, muscle pain, and soreness.
It's important to organize your thoughts and communications in ways that your patients can very simply understand what you're trying to relate to them.
Getting patients to own their own problems can be very challenging.
I find that in my office what has worked best for me is showing them photographs.
When I show photographs of the patient, I let them ingest what they are seeing on a photograph for maybe a few seconds before I start talking about what I am seeing. And sometimes I will actually ask them what they are seeing.
One of the tips that I would recommend is changing your vocabulary when you talk to patients regarding insurance.
One of the things that we hear quite often is something like this: "This is what your insurance will cover." I would like you to change that to, "This is what your insurance provides a benefit for." So changing your attitude or mindset, especially with your team when it comes to discussing insurance, is very beneficial for to getting the insurance out of your practice.