Improving how you present treatment helps you build better relationships with your patients, which translates into increased case acceptance, and better patient loyalty. Tracking presentation performance (how treatment-planned care becomes production/income) helps you grow your practice. In this post, we’ll cover some tips to boost case acceptance and the tools in Open Dental that help you measure success.
Boosting Case Acceptance
Presenting your treatment recommendations sounds straightforward, but here are some things that will help patients say yes to recommended treatment.
Educating your patients about the why, and why now
Patients need to understand why treating the condition is important, and the consequences of delaying care. Increased pain could be both physical and financial if the small issue becomes a bigger problem. Part of this discussion could be prioritizing treatment and creating a step-by-step plan.
- Prioritize treatment so you can start with the most essential treatment. Set up your priorities in Setup, Definitions, Treat’Plan Priorities, then set the priority in the Treatment Plan Module. We’ll go over this in detail a bit later.
Presenting essential treatment first can play an important role in building a strong, trust-based relationship with your patients that will take them through all the dental care they need.
- Create Planned Appointments for treatment that will be done over several visits. That will make it quick and easy for your front desk to make appointments for the patient.
Provide treatment estimates and options
When presenting treatment, it’s important to provide accurate estimates, treatment options (as appropriate), and payment options that help the patient afford needed care.
Provide Accurate Estimates by Setting Up Insurance or Adding a Discount Plan
If the patient has insurance, make sure their plan and fee schedules are set up in Open Dental. If necessary, send and receive Preauthorizations. If you offer Discount Plans (e.g., for cash patients) set this up in Open Dental, add it to the patient’s account, and apply any additional individual procedure discounts if needed.
Once you’ve set up Insurance or Discount Plans, and treatment has been planned, you’re ready to provide treatment options.
When treatment spans multiple visits, it’s important to let the patient know what they’ll owe for each visit or what work to prioritize if they can’t afford to have everything done right away.
Once everything is treatment planned, go to the Treatment Plan Module and select procedures to group together (e.g., first visit), then select a treatment priority from the Set Priority list. The selected procedures will be grouped together with a subtotal, easily letting your patient know what their total for that visit will be. Repeat this process and make sure to choose a different priority for each group/visit.
As treatment is prioritized, insurance estimates will also be more accurate to account for things like annual max and frequency limitations.
Providing Multiple Treatment Options
If you’re providing multiple treatment options (e.g., bridge and implant) for the patient to choose from, you’ll want to Treatment Plan all possible procedures and create multiple Saved Treatment Plans to present to the patient.
Prioritize treatment for the first option (as outlined above). Make sure any procedures that are not part of this treatment option are left unprioritized. To create a Saved Treatment Plan, select procedures and click Save TP from the Treatment Plan Module.
Once saved, select the procedures and click no priority to work on the next treatment option. Repeat the steps as needed to save the different treatment options.
Print the Treatment Plans or send them to eClipboard to present treatment to your patient. If you have Secure Email set up, you can email the patient a copy of the saved Treatment Plan as well. Saved Treatment Plans can also be accessed from the Patient Portal.
Once your patient has chosen their preferred route of treatment, delete any procedures they are opting not to complete (e.g., if they chose an implant instead of a bridge, delete the bridge procedures).
Help Patients Afford Care
Financing through your office with Payment Plans
Choosing to go forward with high-dollar treatment can be daunting for patients so offering Payment Plan options can help ease the burden. You can set up Payment Plans in Open Dental and present the repayment schedule to the patient, so they know what they’re in for.
Financing with CareCredit
Open Dental also offers CareCredit Integration if your office wants to offer a third-party financing option. If a patient is already a CareCredit account holder, you can easily take payments directly without leaving Open Dental. If a patient is not currently an account holder, quickly transfer patient information to the CareCredit application from Open Dental, fill out the remaining fields, submit, and receive a decision in seconds.
Measuring Case Acceptance
Case Acceptance information tells you what treatment is being recommended, how well that is being communicated to patients, and how much production you may be missing.
Here are some built-in tools in Open Dental that you can use. These reports apply metrics based on the entry user or presenter assigned to saved Treatment Plans. These are both automatically assigned based on the logged-in user who created the saved Treatment Plan. The Entry User cannot be changed, however, if another employee, other than the person who created the saved Treatment Plan, actually presented treatment to the patient, they just need to double-click the saved Treatment Plan to update the Presenter assigned to the Treatment Plan.
- Treatment Presentation Statistics Report
This report shows the total number of Treatment Plans in a date range, the number of procedures in saved Treatment Plans, treatment planned procedures that have now been marked as scheduled or completed, and the gross and net totals for presented treatment plans and procedures.
- Presented Treatment Production Report (Presented TreatPlan Production)
This report totals the production from completed procedures that are attached to saved Treatment Plans. It can produce a detailed report by procedure or total production amounts by Treatment Plan user or presenter.
If you or your staff needs help with any of the tools in Open Dental, you can call, chat or email – we’re here for you!