Bulletin, May 2004

Exclusively to Clients and Friends
of Advanced Practice Management

The Current Minnesota Dental Economy
First Quarter 2004:

The Dental Dow’s Practice’s production was up 6.2% and collections up 4.8% compared to the first quarter of 2003.

New patients are down slightly (3%) and total patient traffic is up very little (.4%). The typical collection percentage was 92% with an Accounts Receivable ratio of 1.2 and front desk collections of 31%. Doctor Production per hour averaged $441 with hygiene production at $102 per hour. 76% of the practices are up and 24% are down compared to their averages for the first quarter of 2003.

Want Ad Counts

Another indicator of economic activity is the number of want ads. We’ve been tracking want ads in the Sunday Star Tribune.

Average Sunday Want Ad Counts
Number of Advertised Openings
Hygienists Assistant Front Desk
Mar ’02 23 22 12
Mar ’03 10 13 10
Mar ’04 11 18 6

Current Practices and Procedures Survey:

Reading Between the Lines

Our clients tell us the number one thing they want from us is perspective on what’s going on out there. If you participated in the survey you will be getting the results soon. Here are some highlights

Non-participating offices average about 3-4 fewer new patients per month than offices that participate with Delta.
Offices with evening hours saw on average 3-4 more new patients per month than offices without evening or Saturday hours. It doesn’t take much. These offices averaged four extended hours per week.

We checked on this in previous surveys. This is the first time we have been able to produce significant evidence that offering evening or Saturday hours helps with new patient flow. Doctors complain about patients not showing in the evenings or Saturdays but if you are serious about increasing your new patients you need to consider this.
This is well worth a staff meeting. The real value lies in the things you are not doing. This is where the opportunity lies. Approach this survey with an open mind and be willing to experiment.*

Good Stuff for your Study Club:

I was surprised when a client of mine recently asked “Do you do talks for study clubs?” Yes we do. Between Matt, Shelly and myself we can talk on most any practice management subject. Just call.

Getting Your Working Dental Assistants Certified/ Registered Online!

Hibbing Community College is now offering online courses for assistant certification and/or registration. 40 credits completed in 5 semesters (1_ years) at $115 per credit, and only 8-10 days on campus. Assistants must be employed in a dental office. Certified assistants requiring only registration can complete the program with 15-20 credits. Contact “Shelly” in admissions at 218-262-7200 or visit their web site.

A Nice Perk for your Employees. A Flex Plan Gives Them More Bang for their Buck:

The great majority of office staff people are females and many of them have children. On this basis alone a Flex Plan is a good deal for most employees because it is fully deductible. However, there are many other advantages. Deductibles, copays, eye glass or other types of prescriptions that aren’t covered by Medical Insurance can be covered with a Flex Plan. A Flex Plan simply enables the employee to purchase medical or quasi-medical things and daycare with pre-tax dollars. They save 20% to 50% on those items. You save on payroll taxes and retirement contributions.

Why don’t more offices do this? This is usually because the employees don’t understand the benefit. Once they do, they’ll realize what a good deal it is for them.

Through T.A.S.C. Company the cost is minimal too. For the typical dental office administrative costs will be under $650 for the first year and under $400 for the years after that. You can easily make that back in saved payroll taxes. Call Steve Kielman 877-557-1298. They are endorsed by the Minnesota Dental Association.

Yours truly,