One of the quickest ways to increase profits while simultaneously helping patients is to improve your case acceptance rate. Unfortunately, dental school doesn’t do a great job teaching best practices for improving case acceptance. And the truth is, it doesn’t matter how detailed our brochures are or how well we explain the treatment procedure. That just doesn’t cut it. Here are three steps to increasing case acceptance fast.
1. Monitor case acceptance during your daily morning huddle.
What gets measured gets improved. Thus, if your goal is to improve case acceptance, you must first see where you are. Many practices have no idea what their case acceptance rate is. Don’t let this be you.
To start, address case acceptance during your team morning huddle. Look at what treatment you and your team presented and what was accepted. Calculate your case acceptance rate based on the value of the treatment presented compared to the value of the treatment accepted. For example, if you presented $100,000 worth of treatment and patients accepted $40,000, you would divide 40,000 by 100,000 to get a 40% acceptance rate.
2. Monitor each team member’s impact on case acceptance.
At least once a week, monitor and report how each team member impacts case acceptance. This is a little more in-depth than just looking at treatment acceptance. The goal is to help each person who interacts with patients improve their contributions.
Is each person contributing to a positive, professional, trustworthy experience for patients? Does each patient have a positive experience before and during their exam? Is each patient invited to ask questions? Does your finance manager have several financing options ready to present to patients to help them afford their care? When the patient is presented with their treatment plan, is it conversational? Is it focused on life improvements for the patient (e.g., no more hiding your smile or removing dentures for cleaning)? Or, is it very technical (e.g., describing the procedure itself)? If your case presentation is technical, patients will be much less likely to move forward. If you focus on outcomes your patients actually want, they will be much more likely to move forward.
3. Create a patient follow-up plan for all patients who leave without scheduling treatment.
No matter how well you and your team treat patients and present treatment plans, some patients will leave without scheduling their treatment. Sometimes, they need to talk with their spouse. Other times they have to check their calendar or talk with their boss about getting time off. Still other times, they need to budget for their treatment or want to compare financing options. Helping patients understand insurance coverage and find other ways to afford care will help but some will still want time before moving forward. If they are not ready to move forward, try to understand why so you can help them overcome any obstacles standing between them and the care they need.
Once a patient leaves your office, however, it is highly unlikely that they will get back to you. Even if they intend to, their lives are busy and their treatment plan often falls through the cracks. We have to make sure we follow up with them to help them move forward and get the treatment they need.
If you don’t follow up with a patient in a timely manner, then their unscheduled treatment might end up slipping through the cracks and never happen. To avoid that, assign someone on your team to call patients with unscheduled treatment on a regular basis. Use email or other methods of communication as well.
What do you do to improve case acceptance?
While the top-performing dental practices reach 65% case acceptance rates, half of dental practices see less than 40% of their presented treatment accepted. At Delivering WOW, we pride ourselves on helping our clients having case acceptance percentages significantly higher than industry average.
What’s your treatment acceptance percentage? Do you need to increase it? Do some of your team members need improvement with their case acceptance percentage? Do you have a follow-up system in place? Asking questions like these will help you to increase case acceptance in your practice.
If you want help increasing your case acceptance rate, sign up for our Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where experts like Dr. Gregg May, Dr. Chris Bowman, and Dental Intel’s Weston Lunsford will work with you and your team to help you improve case acceptance fast.