The hype is real, Dr. Mark Hyman is an amazing speaker. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of his seminars, jump at the chance. He will inspire you and your team to renew your passion for caring for your patients. Mark recommended one of the best strategies I’ve heard for avoiding the pre-determination trap that keeps so many patients from the dentistry they want and deserve. He recommends that when a patient asks if you can write to their insuranace company for approval you respond by asking “What will you do if your insurance company says no?” Begin right then and there shifting the focus back to the benefits of treatment and the patient’s commitment to their own oral health. Once again, the old adage rings true.. If you don’t like the answers you are getting, ask better questions.
Who would have guessed that Sir Richard Branson’s best friend is his dentist? Branson says the secret to having fun in dentistry is to surround yourself with people who like to work for you…. listen to those people…. laugh with those people…. praise those people…. and don’t take yourself too seriously. Let’s not keep this a secret.
I’m in Las Vegas this week for the Academy of Dental Practice Management Consultants and the ADA Annual Meeting. This morning’s distinguished speaker was Sir Richard Branson the founder of the Virgin Group of companies. Sir Richard has not only founded over 250 companies within the Virgin brand, he guides them all under a single vision and mission. I’ve been a fan of Branson’s for years and use examples of his business philosophy in The Practice Renewal System. What a thrill to see him speak and see what a humble, even shy man he is. Sir Richard shared that he believes there is no reason to go into business unless you are going to make an enormous difference. That has been the umbrella philosophy that brings companies as diverse as airlines, soft drinks, music, mobile phones, wine and bridal wear under the same brand.
What’s your vision, your brand? It’s not about what you are obviously doing. For vision to drive your success it must be bigger than the obvious. Otherwise, you could just say “We fix teeth” but don’t you really do so much more than that? There is great power in knowing how to focus on what you really do and helping your team to embrace the difference you want to make in your corner of the world.
In my September Practically Speaking column in Dental Practice Report I discuss a caller’s initial reluctance to implement credit card preauthorization as one strategy for eliminating patient billing. I’ve received requests for an explanation of the process so here goes… When practices accept insurance assignment of benefits most will request that patients take care of their estimated copayment at the time of service. Invariably there is a remaining balance after benefits have been received that require a statement to be generated.
By updating your payment options to include leaving a credit card on file for any balance remaining after insurance, you will eliminate the need for these statements. Some software programs enable you to store credit card information securely behind passcodes. Other practices keep a separate lock box and store the box in a locked cabinet overnight. You might also choose to scan the authorization into your computer system and put the original through a shredder. This is a service to your patients as well as to the practice and can keep your team members focused on serving patients rather than processing paperwork. It’s a proactive solution that works if your team members are on board. Without the enthusiastic support of your team, your patients will pick up the negativity and won’t accept the changes. If you need help gaining consensus, give me a call and I’ll be happy to help.
I first read this quote in Pat Croce’s book I Feel Great and You Will Too. Pat Croce is the former owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and an internationally regarded motivational speaker. Mr. Croce was talking about creating opportunities and realizing your dreams when he shared that a family member told him if he never had the courage to ask then he’d never know what could have been. I’m going to turn the tables on this interpretation and suggest that as business owners, you will never know what your employees’ true potential is unless you clearly define what you would like their contribution to be. Your team members need and deserve clearly defined responsibilities and accountabilities if they are to reach their potential. While job descriptions may seem mundane and boring at first glance, they are one of your most powerful communication tools. I can tell you that in most every practice I visit the high performers on the team are asking for detailed job descriptions. These high performers want the opportunity to meet and exceed your expectations. If you don’t ask… you’ll never know and you’ll never enjoy the rewards.