Here’s a list of the most sought-after information – our frequently requested support for Q2 2021.
Burkhart’s Practice Support Team provides coaching, resources, analysis, and more for our valued clients at no extra charge. It’s our way of saying “thank you” while meeting our mission to provide an exceptional client experience. Here are the top questions we received.
Q: I can’t find a hygienist and hygiene wages are increasing. Any suggestions?
A: The ADA has reported an 8% workforce reduction since the pandemic among hygienists, citing fear of contracting the virus and childcare issues. In some states, this is on top of an already identified shortage.
To maximize the number of patients treated without reducing the patient experience, consider altering your hygiene-scheduling model to a shadow, assisted, or accelerated model. Associates can provide hygiene services in a dual hygiene/restorative role.
Supply and demand influence wages; a competitive compensation package doesn’t necessarily mean higher hourly wages. Many hygienists are seeking flexibility in hours and safety measures to lure them back to the workforce. Scheduling models and recruiting suggestions are available through PST.
Q: Do you offer complimentary PPO analysis and re-negotiation services?
A: We are happy to analyze your managed care plans and provide support. PST offers a complimentary PPO Analysis to help determine your average write-offs based on the frequency of codes used in your practice. We can strategize with you regarding your long-term goals and how those fit with your current PPO profile.
As part of this analysis, we will sift through your coding report to maximize your insurance reimbursement through proper coding protocols.
For the “DIY” approach, we offer a step-by-step guide to re-negotiate directly with retention specialists. If you need a more hands-on approach, we provide vetted referrals for companies that will negotiate on your behalf.
Q: What are the best options for scheduling new patients, especially with a hygiene shortage?
A: There are several ways a patient can enter a practice to complete a comprehensive exam. Creating the first impression, regardless of your scheduling model, is the most important factor to consider.
A traditional new patient schedule brings the patient into a hygiene column for 90 minutes, with the doctor completing the exam during this time. The hygienist, when possible, completes a prophy and may schedule the patient back for additional periodontal therapy if indicated.
During times of hygiene shortages, the first 30 minutes can be scheduled with an assistant for the necessary films, HH updates, and exam, followed by an hour with the hygienist. In extreme hygiene shortages, an hour can be scheduled in the doctor column, and the patient is scheduled later for hygiene services.
New patients tend to have a higher no-show rate than existing patients, reduce this phenomenon with close follow-up to receive patient forms ahead of time. Additional effort from the patient before the appointment reduces no-shows and increases practice efficiency.
Regardless of the scheduling model you select, clarify the goals of this appointment to ensure each team member participating understands their role in creating a welcoming, comprehensive, and relational experience for the patient.
That wraps up our most frequently requested support for Q2 2021. What’s your question? Reach out and let us know, we’re here to help.
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