4 Ways to Generate More Revenue from Unscheduled Treatment
By Dr. Greg Grillo
Many practices focus on attracting new patients, and that’s one vital piece for growth. On average, 17% of your patients move on every year. Practices that close their doors to new patients may struggle to restart the flow when this steady attrition catches up with them.
Consider real numbers. If you support a practice serving 2,500 active patients, then at least 400 patients probably stop seeing you every year. For your practice to grow, you have to make up for the lost patients before measuring a net gain.
In general, dentists spend most of their marketing budget bringing new patients through the front door to replace the ones walking out the back door. It’s an expensive solution. New patients are essential, and they provide one clear metric for your practice. But reducing attrition rates and maximizing treatment you’ve already identified can produce more real growth over time.
Productivity stems from a balanced approach to new and existing patients. Your practice needs to efficiently generate a flow of unique visitors, nurture existing relationships, and maximize the treatment needs already sitting in your charts.
Legwork offers a suite of tools that span the spectrum of attracting, nurturing, and growing your patient family. But by emphasizing unscheduled treatment in people who already trust you, your practice can add 20% or more profitability every year. Here are four ways to generate more revenue from unscheduled treatment:
1. Include unscheduled treatment in your morning huddle
An organized morning huddle covers a lot of ground in just a few minutes. Prepare a standardized agenda that’s followed daily, and make it the entire team’s responsibility to contribute. If you’re already running a morning huddle, make sure you’ve included unscheduled treatment on the list.
Reviewing patient information daily creates a systematic way to keep treatment on the front burner. For example, if your hygienist knows that Mr. Chance hasn’t scheduled his crown on #19, she can discuss it with him at today’s visit.
2. Add a “Next Visit” line to your clinical notes
Simple systems often produce measurable results. If you do not include a “Next Visit” line at the end of your treatment notes, consider standardizing the practice.
Although you document current needs in a patient’s treatment plan, keep the next step in the patient’s clinical journey front and center. An “Next Visit” note defines care continuation and reminds the whole team what should happen now. This single line helps keep conversations going and highlights the value of unfinished treatment.
3. Offer more payment options
The American Dental Association estimates that nearly 60% of patients skip dental treatment because of cost. When they go, the most significant barrier to treatment acceptance is still cost. Treatment often remains unfinished and may result in higher costs, more complex needs, and riskier complications.
Review your payment offerings and make sure you’ve included maximum flexibility for your patients. Consider an in-house membership program that offers patients an affordable option for preventive care. Many membership offices report a 5% attrition rate amongst subscribers. Predictable base costs and stronger relationships set a foundation for further treatment acceptance.
4. Utilize smart software solutions
When a patient walks out of the door without scheduling diagnosed treatment, your practice faces a new challenge. Next visit notes, membership programs, and morning huddles lose most of their usefulness once a patient leaves.
Consider software designed to nudge patients towards treatment between visits. Pre-written workflows that deliver automatically help educate patients on the benefits of recommended patients. This content is crafted to help overcome traditional barriers, including fear, cost, and trust.
Autopilot and Increase Your Bottom Line
Patients want the benefits of optimal dental health, but a complex web of obstacles trips them up. Internal practices and systems that generate conversations help convert treatment codes into chair-time. But the automated workhorse of well-designed software can generate revenue that otherwise slips away.
Legwork Treatment Opportunities adds this missing piece to your team’s best efforts. The accompanying campaigns educate patients on treatment and add valuable extras that enhance the process. These campaigns include testimonials since social proof dramatically boosts credibility. In fact, 88% of consumers report that reviews influence their purchase decisions.
Patients can conveniently schedule with a click of a button from any workflow. Combined with Legwork Online Appointment Booking , they can easily choose an appointment time that works for them.
Reduce the effect of patient attrition, better serve your existing patients, and increase your bottom line by exploring Treatment Opportunities .