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The HHS Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting portal was scheduled to open on 1/15/2021.  The PRF Reporting portal’s operability has been delayed; however, you can begin the registration process to access the portal.  Below are a few tips regarding the registration process: 

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will announce the timeline for submission of the reports when the PRF reporting portal is available.

We will continue to provide updates on the reporting process as more details become available.

Dear Client,

As you may be aware, if you received more than $10,000 in HHS Provider Relief Funds (PRF), you will be required to submit reports about the use of those funds.  Preliminary details are as follows:

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act appropriated funds to reimburse eligible healthcare providers for healthcare related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the coronavirus.  The reporting guidelines require recipients to report various data elements for calendar years 2019 and 2020.  Much of the required information can be gathered from your financial statements and accounting records, but other required data will come from other sources.  While you are waiting for your December financial statements to be prepared, there are several items you can be working on to prepare for the reporting process:

Review your 2020 purchases and identify the following items:

Gather Revenue from Patient Care Payer Mix (2019 and 2020 by calendar quarter) for the following categories: (for the dental clients, this information will come from your practice management software such as Dentrix, Eaglesoft, etc.)

Gather non-financial data to be reported by calendar quarter.

We will continue to provide updates on the reporting process as more details become available.

Thank you,

The Catalyst and DPA Team

Leadership in Uncertain Times

HHS extended the application deadline to apply for the HHS Provider Relief Funds to September 13, 2020.  You must submit your TIN (tax identification number) for validation by the deadline in order to apply for funding.  In addition to extending the deadline, HHS also simplified the application process.  Please use this link to obtain an updated copy of the application for reference only:  https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/provider-distribution-application-form.pdf?language=en

*Please note the application will still need to be completed via the online portal.  As part of this revised application process, the only document dentists will need to upload with the application will be your most recent federal tax return.

Practices receiving more than $10,000 in relief funds will be required to submit reports about the use of their provider relief funds.  Complete reporting details have not been released yet.  Here are a few things we do know from the HHS Provider Relief site and FAQ:

**As a reminder you cannot use the HHS Provider Relief Funds for the same expenses covered by the PPP Loan. 

Contact our office is you have questions or need assistance coming up with a plan for the use of all relief funding.

Dear Client, 

HHS announced some major updates on the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) including extending the application deadline to August 28.

Starting the week of Aug. 10, and through Aug. 28:

On July 22nd we sent an update listing some concerns related to the HHS Provider Relief Funds and also included a copy of the terms and conditions.  Some of those concerns were related to the balance billing language as well as the reporting requirements.  There have been recent updates as follows:

Term on Balance Billing (as clarified in the ADA hosted webinar on Tuesday 8/28)

Reporting Requirements (as clarified in the ADA hosted webinar on Tuesday 8/28)

For more information, you are encouraged to watch the ADA recorded webinar from 8/28.  Use the link below to get to the ADA website page that has the link to the recorded video – it’s about an hour long.  You need to scroll down the page to the section titled “The Latest” and look for Webinar: Updates on the SBA Loans, Provider Relief Fund, Labor Issues and Congressional Action.

https://success.ada.org/en/practice-management/patients/infectious-diseases-2019-novel-coronavirus?utm_source=adaorg&utm_medium=globalheader&utm_content=coronavirus&utm_campaign=covid-19

Note: If you received an EIDL loan, per the EIDL loan agreement,  you need to report to the SBA any proceeds received from other government sources and they will determine if the funds are a duplication of benefits.  You will need to notify them via email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Be sure to include your loan and application numbers found at the top of your loan paperwork (SBA Form 1391)

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about this program.

A happy patient walking out the door after an appointment confirms that their experience with you, your team, and the care they received has met or exceeded their expectations. You should conclude every appointment this way—leaving the patient with a positive impression of your practice and providing the perfect scenario to generate new patient referrals. So how do you ensure every patient leaves happy? Teamwork and no surprises!

Our recent article explained that patient handoffs are vital to ensuring the best patient experience in your office. Verbal skills, teamwork and personal attention are the key to these handoffs. After completing treatment take a few moments to raise the chair, remove your mask and gloves, sit side by side and have a conversation with the patient about the results of the care or treatment they just received. Next, make sure your patient understands what follow-up care or further treatment they need before you walk them to the front desk. A team member should always, without exception, walk your patient to the front desk. Just as important, never “park” a patient at the front desk – they should not be left standing alone wondering what to do next. Instead, ensure a proper handoff takes place and transitions them to a front desk team member.

As always, make each patient feel important. The team member escorting them to the front desk should be pleasant and not rushed. Likewise, the person receiving the patient should give the patient their full attention—not simply a wave or head nod as they are on a phone call. At this point in the patient visit, there should be no surprises. You and your patient are all on the same page regarding completed treatment, payment, and follow-up care. Lastly, thank them and let them know you look forward to seeing them again!

Ken

 

Ken Mathys, CPA
Founder & Principal
Dental Practice Advisors

referral-landing

Internal marketing has proven to be the most cost-effective and successful way to acquire new patients and grow your practice. And you should have a referral program at the heart of your internal marketing efforts, because your current patients’ recommendations to others do more to build your patient list than you can do on your own.

Assuming that you’re already providing an excellent patient experience, here are a few tips to drive those referrals:

  1. Ask for them! Sounds simple, but many practices admit that despite good intentions of requesting referrals, they fail to actually follow through. Patients may not realize you’re accepting new patients or it may not occur to them to spread the word about their great experience with your office. Commit to actively asking your patients to refer their friends and family to your practice. Generate compliments from patients by asking “How was your experience today?” Respond to their positive reply with a polite referral request.
  2. Implement a Patient Referral Program. Get a plan in place and get your whole team on board by setting daily or weekly goals. For instance, during your morning huddle commit to identifying two patients each day you will ask for a referral from. The next day, discuss the results of yesterday’s referral conversations. Be sure your referral program includes recognition of your referring patients—let them know how much you appreciate their referrals.
  3. Develop Patient Referral Program materials. Display materials at the front desk, in your waiting room, in operatories, and hygiene rooms. They provide a great lead-in for your team to mention the referral program to patients as they come in for a visit. Drop referrals cards in your hygiene bags, attach to walkout statements, and include in patient correspondence. Don’t forget to include your Patient Referral Program details on your website.
  4. Be selective. Be thoughtful about who you ask for referrals. Remember that like attracts like, so identify your favorite patients and tell them “We’re always happy to see more patients like you. If it’s ok, I’d like to give you a few referral cards to share with your family and friends.” Make a list of your “top 200” patients and target your referral efforts on them.
  5. Bottom line. Just start asking!

Ken

Ken Mathys, CPA
Founder & Principal
Dental Practice Advisors

Handoff-Featured

Dental City and Dental Practice Advisors have teamed up to help you achieve increased success in 2016 with our upcoming event with the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center Creating Exceptional Patient Experiences.” To kick it off we’re sharing a series of articles with tops for exceptional patient experiences written by member of the Dental Practice Advisors team.


Reinforce your brand—that lasting intangible bond with the patient—by ensuring the best patient experience in your office through effective handoffs. From the time a patient enters the waiting room until they walk out the door, a team member needs to guide and smoothly transition them from one part of the office to the next.

The entire team must participate to make each hand off successful. Everyone should know what role they play. Have a structured handoff plan in place, and utilize your morning huddles or team meetings to review and practice your handoff process until everyone is comfortable and competent.

Offices often think they hand off patients, but in reality they simply walk the patient down the hallway to the next stop. They fail to actually hand over the responsibility of the patient from one team member to another. They don’t display interest and excitement, which fails to instill confidence in the patient.

To create a successful handoff, team members need to be prepared to receive the patient during each transition. They should put everything else aside for a moment, pay attention, and listen carefully to make sure they have received all the information necessary to provide an exceptional appointment—from start to finish—for the patient.

Most importantly, you need to prepare your patient every step of the way by explaining what comes next, anticipating their expectations and needs, and introducing them to the next team member. By utilizing appropriate handoffs, you increase the level of trust your patient has with your team and eliminate a lot of their potential fears.

Here are a few important things to communicate during handoffs:

 

  1. Summary of what has been accomplished.
    This gives the patient a quick review of the great care they received in your office, allows receiving team members to learn what has been done, and sets the stage for comfortable treatment presentation.
  2. Treatment recommendations.
    Reiterating treatment options helps ensure everyone is on the same page concerning the patient’s care.
  3. Next step for the patient/decisions made.
    Reviewing the next step(s) reassures the patient about the process and helps the receiving team member know how to handle their step in the process.
  4. Confidence.
    Instill patient confidence in your office via your handoff effectiveness!


Learn more about our Ritz-Carlton event Creating Exceptional Patient Experiences at Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, on April 28 & 29, 2016.

Ken

Ken Mathys, CPA
Founder & Principal
Dental Practice Advisors

desk-blog

Dental City and Dental Practice Advisors have teamed up to help you achieve increased success in 2016 with our upcoming event with the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center Creating Exceptional Patient Experiences.” To kick it off we’re sharing a series of articles with tops for exceptional patient experiences written by member of the Dental Practice Advisors team.


Once patients walk into your office, how do you make them stay… and come back? By providing superior service and top quality dental care, starting at the front desk.

A positive front desk encounter begins with the look and feel of the front office when a patient arrives. Patients notice the sounds, smells and overall appearance when they walk in. Put extra effort into giving your front office a fresh, clean scent versus the anxiety-inducing smell of dental materials. Keep the front desk and waiting areas neat and organized, as clutter devalues the professionalism of a practice.

You also need to place just as much importance on how you greet your patient when they enter. A successful front desk receptionist is aware of and anticipates each and every patient arrival. Their number one priority is the patient check-in, with emphasis on making the patient feel welcome. Upon walking in the door, every patient should receive your receptionist’s full attention; they should not be distracted by phone calls or other tasks.

Here are a few additional tips for a winning check-in process:

  1. Welcome a patient by standing to greet them by name and introducing yourself while smiling and looking them in the eye.
  2. Show them where to hang their coat, if necessary.
  3. Efficiently verify their information and offer to walk them through the paperwork.
  4. Offer a beverage while they wait.
  5. Note their arrival time and compare it to the schedule of the person they are seeing.
  6. In the event of a delay in their appointment, inform the patient right away.
  7. Ensure that small talk around the front desk is kept professional and minimal.
  8. Always remain professional yet friendly and accommodating to the patient

To create the optimal front desk encounter, build a front desk team that is well-trained and prepared for any situation; has strong interpersonal skills – both verbal and non-verbal communication; and consistently demonstrates patience.


Learn more about our Ritz-Carlton event Creating Exceptional Patient Experiences at Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, on April 28 & 29, 2016.

Wendy Schneider

Wendy Schneider
Marketing & Graphic Design
Dental Practice Advisors

Dental City and Dental Practice Advisors have teamed up to help you achieve increased success in 2016 with our upcoming event with the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center Creating Exceptional Patient Experiences.” To kick it off we’re sharing a series of articles with tips for exceptional patient experiences written by members of the Dental Practice Advisors team.


In our last few blog posts we talked about the importance of each patient touch point in establishing your brand—that intangible bond with your patients. Because when patients feel that connection they are more inclined to make appointments and pay a fair price for their care. Yet no-shows can and do happen despite your best efforts.

And nothing is more irritating than a last minute cancellation or a no-show. To help reduce the amount of broken appointments you must realize there is distinct difference between appointment confirmations and courtesy reminders to your patients.

A confirmation requires a call or contact back to acknowledge the appointment. A reminder is simply a courtesy contact for an already confirmed appointment. The key to a successful confirmation process really starts with your scheduling process. Make sure the person scheduling appointments for your office is expressing implied confirmation (and responsibility) to the patient… right from the get-go!

When scheduling an appointment with a patient, set clear expectations for them. Tell them that you will go ahead and schedule their appointment right now and that they should be sure to mark it on their calendar. In doing so, you have indicated a mutual commitment for that time and date. “Mrs. Jones, your appointment on July 12 at 9 am is reserved only for you. It is considered confirmed. As a courtesy, you can expect to receive a (call, text, email, postcard, etc.) a few days before your appointment to let you know we are counting on you. When you receive that, will you please make sure to respond to us so that we all know we are on the same page?”

Avoid using the word “confirm” in your follow-up communication as that implies the appointment was not “firm” in the first place, leaving them room to back out. Instead, consider saying “Mrs. Jones, we are looking forward to seeing you at your appointment on July 12 at 9 am. Please reply to this message today so that we know you have this appointment noted on your calendar.”


Learn more about our Ritz-Carlton event Creating Exceptional Patient Experiences at Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, on April 28 & 29, 2016.

Wendy Schneider

Wendy Schneider
Marketing & Graphic Design
Dental Practice Advisors