Issue #57-10.28.08 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Sally McKenzie, CEO
McKenzie Management
Printer Friendly Version

Tell Your Patients What The Insurance Companies Won’t

It’s getting to be that time again. The trees are turning, window displays will soon be sparkling with holiday treasures and your team will be busy talking about plans for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s.

Yes, the “distraction season” is nearly upon us, that time of year in which virtually everyone is preoccupied with holiday gatherings, shopping, decorating, baking, etc. The wonders of the season take hold, while practice productivity tends to grow cold. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the holidays as much as anyone, but it’s a lot more enjoyable when your bottom-line continues to jingle all the way. This year, plan ahead to ensure that while you’re celebrating your practice isn’t suffering. And give your patients the gift of unused dental funds.

Many dental insurance plans are just sitting there with benefits poised to go to waste as soon as the clock strikes midnight on December 31. But insurance companies certainly aren’t going to encourage customers to use benefits, and most patients are too busy to sift through their policies to determine what might remain on them. So it’s up to dental practices to get the word out to patients and fast because the last thing you want patients to do is throw away their insurance coverage. Follow these steps and plan to have some very grateful patients.

  1. Generate an “unscheduled treatment plan report.”
  2. Identify those patients who still have unused insurance benefits.
  3. Merge the letter below into your database.
  4. Add a P.S. that says, “Take your insurance dollars further with interest-free patient financing. Ask [Financial Coordinator’s Name] in my office for all the details.”

Dear [Patient’s Name],

Did you know that each year insurance companies make millions of dollars off patients who forego necessary and preventive dental care? Many individuals who are paying for dental insurance do not realize that their plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually. Consequently, some patients are not scheduling the dental treatment they need and have insurance to cover. Thus, the insurance revenues allocated to pay dental claims on many patients are never used and, unfortunately, those dollars cannot be carried over year to year. The bottom line: What you don’t use you lose.

Our computer estimates that you still have $ XXX.00 in unused dental benefits. Give us a call today, and together let's make sure you are in excellent dental health. In addition, we are offering a XX% reduction on dental treatment completed by January 1, 2009. Give [Name of Appointment Scheduler] a call at 555-5555. I look forward to seeing you again and sharing some of the many innovative means we now have available to provide you with superior dental healthcare.


Dr. Best Dentist in the USA

P.S. Find out about additional interest-free financing options for dental care. Check with [Financial Coordinator’s Name] in my office for all the details.

The letter is a good start, but don’t stop there. I encourage practices to also consider follow-up through email, text messaging and phone calls. This is where Dental Senders comes in. I’ve talked about the many patient communication options available through the Dental Senders before, and this system is the perfect tool for informing patients of unused insurance benefits. It’s fast, efficient and, best of all, FREE.

With the help of the Dental Senders Patient Communication System, the office sends a brief message to the patient about their unused benefits and encourages them to schedule an appointment.

For example, “Our computer estimates that you still have unused dental insurance benefits available to you. Unfortunately, you will lose those benefits if you do not use them by the end of the year. This is an excellent time to take care of any hygiene visits or dental treatments that you might have been putting off. Give us a call today, and let's make sure you get the treatment you need in time for the holiday season. Please call 555-5555 to schedule your appointment.”

The emails, texts and phone messages appear to come directly from your practice, but, after recording the telephone message, the doctor and staff need to do absolutely nothing, which allows everyone to enjoy the many celebrations of the season and patients to enjoy the benefit of your care.

Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email her at

Interested in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

Forward this article to a friend.