I first met Peter at a laser and periodontal coding course I gave. Peter wanted to keep his career path on track and was articulate in describing why this knowledge was important. His story demonstrates how we can be rewarded for our hard work if we take ownership of our destiny.
Working in a busy non-insurance office four days a week, Peter was a salaried employee working at $40/hour. He provided treatment to 8-10 patients a day. Then money became tight for patients. They were not keeping their appointments.
Peter’s doctor asked to speak with him. They talked about how they could continue to work together in a profitable way. After several discussions, they agreed to a new pay schedule in which Peter would earn 32% of production. This was also done with insurance patients with fees that reflected the insurance rebate.
A Major Shift
Peter’s typical day was still 8-10 patients, averaging $95-$135 in production per patient.
Knowing his numbers and how he was to be paid, Peter had ammunition. He spoke to companies about products he could utilize to provide better treatment. He took a coding course and learned how to use a soft tissue laser. He controlled his day as a part owner. He had a hygiene assistant who took x-rays, assisted with charting, seated patients, and cleaned his room so he could utilize his time more efficiently.
Peter (or his assistant) made all recall appointments, keeping in mind his daily production needs. The front desk did schedule new patients and made schedule changes, but they also understood Peter required certain amounts to be booked daily.
Use of an intraoral camera enhanced Peter’s ability to educate patients about what treatment was needed and why. Some of the treatment and services he provided included sealants, scaling, varnish, soft tissue laser, Arestin, and fluoride toothpaste. Peter performed whitening services daily. Becoming responsible for his own future has made him free to make his own schedule.
Keeping Pace with the Industry
Peter is now in the process of researching soft tissue lasers. He wants to purchase one so he can take it with him to any practice. He is also taking a course on oral DNA. Coding seminars help him understand how to bill correctly so, when he presents treatment, patients will know what their insurance will reimburse.
Peter keeps up with the industry not because he is required to do so but because he is in charge of his own destiny. He now makes more income for his family and has the ability to have more time off when and if he needs it.
Christine Taxin is Founder and President of Links2Success, a practice management consulting company to the dental and medical fields. She provides practice consulting services, delivers continuing education seminars, and serves as adjunct professor at NYU Dental School.
FMI: www.links2success.biz, or firstname.lastname@example.org.