Providing courteous notifications to patients who have insurance benefits expiring is a common year-end habit for many dental practices.
However there is a better way than simply notifying patients that there are remaining insurance benefits and hoping they will call! Simply put, you do so by targeting patients who are the most likely to utilize those expiring benefits. To determine who that is, you might consider the following criteria:
Patients with an EXISTING hygiene appointment scheduled before the end of the year AND
Who also have restorative needs that are incomplete AND
Who have significant insurance dollars remaining that will be expiring at year end!
This data is easily obtained in many practice management software programs. For example, in Eaglesoft this can be found using the Money Finder function. Set the criteria to show a list of patients who have scheduled hygiene appointments before the end of the year who also have significant insurance benefits (for example $500) remaining and have a crown, root canal, onlay or composites that have been diagnosed.
Then simply print the report and locate the patient’s upcoming hygiene appointment in your schedule and see if there’s time in the doctor’s solumn eitherimmediately before or after the hygiene appointment that they could receive the restorative care they have been diagnosed with. A phone call is all that is left at this point to offer the patient the convenient appointment — with the benefit of utilizing soon to be expiring insurance dollars. That call might go something like this:
”Hi John, this is Mary from Dr. Jones’ office. I am calling because we have you scheduled for your preventive care with our hygienist Nancy on _________.
John, in looking at that appointment I realized that you still have a crown that Dr. Jones diagnosed last time you were in that hasn’t been completed.
As I was thinking about it, I also noticed that you have over $500 of insurance benefits that you are going to be losing at the end of the year if they are not used. So I wanted to let you know that Dr. Jones can see you immediately after your hygiene appointment and get that tooth taken care of before it further decays and causes more significant and expensive problems.
That way you would be able to:
Use those insurance benefits before they expire
Get the treatment you need
Do it when you’re already going to be in our office so it would be very convenient.
It seems like it would be a good thing all the way around.
Would you like me to schedule that for you?”
Your patients will appreciate the fact that you are considering how to help them and you’ll be able to solidify your upcoming restorative schedule. A true win-win!
By Clint Johnson, Profitable PPOS