Frequently Asked Questions in 2022
The Practice Support Team (PST) provides coaching, resources, and analysis for our qualifying Burkhart clients.
It’s Burkhart’s way of saying thank you to our clients while meeting our mission to provide an exceptional client experience.
Questions in 2022 have shifted as inflation reaches a 40-year record high, the clinical staffing shortage lingers, and insurance reimbursements stagnate. Here are our top 3 most frequently asked questions:
Q: I raised my fees by 5% in January while inflation rose to 9%. Am I going backward?
A: 2022 has been a unique year as practices have instituted two fee increases. PST can not only provide a free customized fee analysis for 40 of your most frequently used fees, but we also offer a Practice Analysis that covers fees, hygiene analysis, and suggestions to maximize your insurance reimbursements through proper coding. Increasing fees provides the foundation to renegotiate PPO contracts, helps keep the fee profile in your area healthy, and you gain added collections through out-of-network and dual insurance patients.
Q: We can’t find qualified team members and our patients are getting frustrated with wait times. Any suggestions?
A: You have options! A “think outside the box” mindset regarding scheduling and maximizing the number of patients that receive treatment is necessary.
- Targeted assisted hygiene protocols allow you to treat additional patients with less staff. This approach identifies patients that best fit this model without compromising patient care. (insert target hygiene model scheduling template)
- Prioritize patients with the greatest need. It may be more reasonable for a healthy prophy patient to wait a couple of months than for an unstable periodontal patient
- Use teledentistry to open more available in-office opportunities. Teledentistry is a time-saving preference for patients for consultations, post-op calls, screening urgent vs. emergent patients, and for new patients with a top concern when you cannot get them in within a reasonable time frame.
- While we don’t offer a placement service, we can help your recruitment efforts. Check out our Hiring During and After a Pandemic site where you can find sample ads, recruiting information, and retention tips.
Q: What is the best way to reschedule a patient that has already been rescheduled several times due to our staff shortages?
A: Staffing shortages continue to create a bottleneck in dental practices. As many patients preschedule for hygiene services, they may need to be rescheduled for appointments made months ago.
Honest, sincere communication is always appreciated, for example:
“Like many industries today, the dental industry is experiencing staffing shortages following the pandemic. We also maintain a strict patient protection policy that requires staff members with any symptoms of an illness to stay home. Unfortunately, this is impacting the appointment you have scheduled for tomorrow. I’d like to offer you the next available time and keep you on my priority list when an earlier option becomes available. If you have an urgent need, I can set up a teledentistry video appointment with you and Dr. Smith right away. I apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience.”
Burkhart’s Practice Support Team is here to help you and your practice succeed.
We offer ongoing complimentary support to qualifying clients through hotline calls, emails, and numerous Practice Analyses.
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