Increasing competition in the dental industry causes patients to demand more value for their dollars.
It falls on the doctors and their teams to present treatments in a way that motivates their patients to say yes to their recommended treatments.
To achieve success in today’s oral health industry, doctors need to manage the business side of dentistry as well as providing clinical excellence for their patients.
It’s no secret that one of the most important aspects of running a successful dental business is achieving a high case acceptance rate.
How Much Room For Improvement Is There For Case Acceptance Rates Of DSOs?
According to Levin Group’s Annual Practice Survey, the common target for case acceptance rates within the industry is 90% while actual data proves that the reality lies between 25-50%.
The difference between the assumption and reality is due to dental practices often not having a reliable system in place to accurately measure their case acceptance rates.
In a recent interview, Jarvis COO, Melissa Marquez paints a clear picture of how much room for improvement there is for case acceptance rates of DSOs:
In my experience, one of the ways to measure overall case acceptance is a dollar for dollar percentage of presented treatment that is scheduled or completed. I think of this as “closed treatment %” and the average is approximately 34%. This means that for every $100,000 in presented treatment, only about $34,000 ever makes it to the schedule.
Yes, that means the average DSO has 66% room to improve their case acceptance rate, and that converts to the possibility of tripling their revenue! This is exactly why the case acceptance rate is one of the most significant factors in measuring the success of a dental business. Imagine being able to double your DSO’s revenue, what effect would that have on your profitability?
The case acceptance rate is not only an indicator of how much production the DSO is leaving on the table, but it’s also a clear tell of how well the examinations are done, and how well the staff is communicating the proposed treatments to patients.
It’s no secret that all DSOs can benefit from improving their case acceptance rates, and that’s why we put the below list together:
3 Important Tips to Increase the Case Acceptance Rate of Your DSO
1- Get Better at Presenting the Case
A straightforward way of increasing the case acceptance rate of your dental practice is to get better at presenting the proposed treatments to your patients.
Patients usually accept proposed treatment plans only if they understand them thoroughly, and have built a relationship with the DSO team. You will need to build a sense of trust for the patient, and this means that the case presentation is not only the doctor’s responsibility but a team effort.
DSO team members must do their part in helping the patients understand the value of the proposed treatment. This means providing answers to questions like:
- What exactly is the recommended treatment?
- What benefits will this treatment have for them and how long will it take?
- How much will the treatment cost and what are the payment options?
Having in-depth information will provide more comfort to the patient. To be able to do this, you must make sure you have enough time with the patient to adequately present their case. Your team should also be prepared (Morning Huddle) to give more details about the proposed treatment since patients might have additional questions after their case is presented. It’s a good sign for the patient to ask questions as this means they are considering the proposed treatment.
If you or the patient does not have enough time to go through the proposed treatment plan thoroughly, then it might be a good idea to invite your patients back for a free consultation appointment and to make sure you schedule a dedicated block of time to go through the details of their proposed treatment.
Another idea is to schedule your consultation appointments early in the morning, as this will give you a chance to be able to schedule and start the treatments the same day. Same day acceptances will contribute to increasing your DSO’s overall case acceptance rates.
We define same day acceptance as a treatment plan that has at least one service completed the same day it is presented, and the average same-day case acceptance rate is 20%.
Melissa Marquez, COO, Jarvis Analytics
Another consideration of the treatment plan presentation is to make sure your team is communicating a uniform message to the patient throughout the whole process. This will assure your patient that they are in good hands. A few good methods to make sure your team communicates in a unified way is to create a log of the most common inquiries/questions, documenting if/then scenarios, and practicing these scenarios with your team.
2- Schedule the Appointment
After providing the patients with a solid presentation of their case, your team should make every effort to schedule the appointments the same day they are accepted.
Most of the time, if patients decide to take some time to think about when they want to schedule their treatments, they will also start contemplating whether they want to get the treatment in the first place. Especially for cases where the patient is not encountering physical discomfort or a visible cosmetic issue at that time, it will be hard to bring them back to your practice to get treated.
If the patient asks for more time to think about the proposed treatment, make sure your front desk team follows up the next morning to ask when they would like to have their treatment. More often than not, patients are interested in getting the treatment, but they need additional reassurance. The best way for reassuring your patients is for your team to follow up with them without losing any time.
It is a good idea is to prepare scripts/playbooks for your team to use for following up with the patients. This will not only unify your organization’s message but will also give your staff a chance to practice the scripts and be prepared for certain scenarios that repeat often. This will allow your team to get better at scheduling patients through follow-ups.
Following up, and communicating well will not only increase your chances of scheduling the patient but will also give your team a chance to establish long-lasting relationships with the patients, resulting in increased lifetime value.
Once you have the appointment scheduled, to avoid no-shows or last-minute cancellations, make sure your front desk team follows up with the patients to remind and confirm their appointments.
Using an intelligent tool like Jarvis will not only let you appoint tasks to certain members of your team but will also allow you to automate and streamline processes like following up with patients while giving you the ability to see how your front office team is performing from an intuitive dashboard.
3- Unleash the Potential of Your Practice
It’s often the case that patients decide to take some time to think about their proposed treatments, meaning that they won’t instantly convert to appointments. However, this doesn’t mean that they will never book appointments for their suggested treatments, or that they won’t need other treatments down the line… So it’s crucial to have a system in place to give your team the help they need for keeping up with all the potential business opportunities of your practice.
The treatment plan for new patients is averaging around $2300, while an existing patient average is between $1200.
Melissa Marquez, COO, Jarvis Analytics
While new patients will have a higher average production value, existing patients are not to be neglected as they are a great source of potential revenue for your practice.
Jarvis Analytics has intelligent modules such as Treatment Miner, Hygiene Recall, and Practice Potential to give your team the help they need in finding hidden revenue opportunities, streamlining and optimizing the follow-up process, and making sure the case acceptance rates are increasing.
High case acceptance rates are important not just for your DSO’s financial well-being, but also for your patients’ oral health. And we know you don’t want to risk either since you are reading this article, and especially since you made it all the way to the end!
If you are looking for ways to optimize your dental business, we recommend that you check out our Operational Efficiencies Playbook 2021, in which you will find out about how some of the leading DSOs use KPIs to optimize and grow their businesses, as well as important tips on running a successful morning huddle from Jarvis COO, Melissa Marquez.
If you are in the mood for another informative article to read, may we suggest checking out our blog post about how data analytics can improve your operational & clinical outcomes?
If you got curious and are ready to seriously level up your DSO, schedule your free live demo to see Jarvis in action!
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