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A Different Outlook on Vacation Time
Marianne Harper

As I was preparing this newsletter the thought occurred to me: How can it already be time for the October issue? The older I get (and don't ask how old that might be ) I feel as though I am on a treadmill that keeps moving faster and faster. The speed with which our lives are progressing gives us thought to ponder where are we going and how well will we accomplish our goals. I was recently reading an "Acorn E-letter" by Jim Cathcart. He explained that he takes a week off from his work each year but, instead of enjoying a cruise or relaxing on a beach, he works on his personal and business goals. He calls this his "annual thinking retreat". The following is how he describes his week:

"I devote each morning to thinking about one key part of my life: finances on one day, family on another, health and fitness on another and so on. As the week wears on, I shift to reviewing my goals, my successes, my frustrations and my dreams. By the last few days I'm focused on planning. Identifying the specific steps I plan to take to make each part of my life become as I want it to be. This review and planning process has served me very well over the years. I step back at first and just look at each part of my world. Then I study the patterns of success and challenges. Next I set my goals for each and finally I map my path to every goal. From that point I have my action plan to create the world I want. You can do this. Give it a try."

So as you reach the holiday time of year (which is just around the corner) and which is quite often used for vacations for dentists and team members, consider this sound advice. Create your own "thinking retreat." on behalf of Jim Cathcart [],
Sunday, September 02, 2012 3:48 AM

Hygiene Department Compensation Scenarios

Colleen Rutledge, RDH

I am often asked about the various ways to compensate hygienists once non-surgical periodontal procedures are incorporated into the mix of services provided in the hygiene department. It is always a good idea to check with your financial adviser or accountant before implementing any changes to the employee compensation package. Below is a brief description of a few compensation scenarios other than the traditional hourly or daily rate.

Bonus for Surpassing Daily Production Quota
Hygienist is compensated 33% (1/3) of the amount remaining after the daily production goal is met. Run a six month report to determine average daily production.

Straight Percentage

  1. 25% of anything done in the hygiene room (this would include exam, radiographs, whitening, night guards, sealants, etc.)
  2. 33% of all procedures limited to preventive and periodontal procedures (recare, perio maintenance, periodontal therapy, gross debridement, laser, locally-applied antimicrobials)

Hourly Rate plus Commission for Perio Procedures - this rewards the progressive, skilled and more competent hygienist to diagnose, treatment plan, schedule and treat "harder" patients.

  1. Hourly rate PLUS
  2. 10% of all procedures in the '4000's' category (perio maintenance, periodontal therapy, laser, locally-applied antimicrobials, gross debridement)

Locally-Applied Antimicrobials/Laser

  1. 10% of all antimicrobials placed (Arestin, PerioChip, Atridox) or laser therapy in the form of a bonus at the end of each month or quarter.

These are just a few of the many options available to dentist/employers. For a complete list of compensation scenarios, email me at:

Please visit our store for products designed to increase your knowledge in
non-surgical periodontal services!

Special Guest Article - Chris Mullins, The Phone Sales Doctor™
Telephone Skills Cheat Sheet
The Power of the Pause
After offering an option to a prospective customer, PAUSE. Give your prospect a chance to respond to what you're saying.

Many times I find that the front desk person will suggest, for example, an appointment time, and then pause for a brief moment and start making other suggestions before the caller has even had a chance to respond. Usually I'll find this problem in folks who are trying to make changes in their presentation skills. However, office managers and owners need to monitor this closely, or you'll just be creating new bad habits.

Here are some tips for creating good habits:

Slow down the pace of talking. One of the ways you can do this is to stand up while trying to book an appointment. Another is to put a 3x5 lime green index card in front of you that says SLOW DOWN. You don't need to say so much, especially if you tend to go into much greater detail than is necessary with prospective and established customers. The goal should be to build a relationship early on: "What made you call today," etc. Then make the appointment, confirming for the caller that everything he or she just shared means he or she made the right decision in calling your office. (211)

Be careful: Too much information (TMI) is the fastest way to guarantee talking yourself out of a sale, which in this case is closing the appointment. Many times, if we don't hear a YES right away from the prospect, we get nervous and start to talk or even downsell our original offer. You must be sure you're not going to sell your appointment, product or service before you go into a downsell, perhaps signing up your prospect for your free customer newsletter.

If you would like a FREE mystery call made to your office to see how your staff is doing, call or email me today at - put Dental Pearls in the subject line and we can arrange that for you.

So, remember – PAUSE – and sell more!
  Insurance Alert
The end of the year is quickly approaching. Be prepared! Be sure to order your CDT 2013 code set. My recommendation is Dr. Charles Blair's "Coding with Confidence." Click on the link below to order.
The ADA's Council on Dental Benefit Programs has announced that beginning with its next release, CDT 2013, the CDT Codes will be updated and released annually. CDT 2013 Codes will be effective January 1 through December 31, 2013. The new Code Set has numerous changes and revisions. One excellent source for your CDT codes is through "Coding with Confidence". This manual provides detail on how and how not to use the CDT codes and gives more detail than the ADA's CDT manual. To order "Coding with Confidence" download the Coding with Confidence Manual Order Form.
There is no diagnosis code set update this year because a freeze of the updates was instituted due to the coming ICD-10 implementation in 2014. This explains why purchasers of my coding products have not received notice of ways to order my updates.
For practices that cross code to medical – remember that your documentation will be thoroughly analyzed if you happen to be audited. You should follow the SOAP format and make sure to indicate the medical necessity of the procedures filed.
  Time Line
January 1, 2013 – CPT Code (medical procedure code set) will update. Purchasers of "CrossWalking – A Guide Through the CrossWalk of Dental to Medical Coding" - be on the lookout for my email blast that will provide information on the way to order the update. Medical insurance carriers will not accept outdated codes and will deny claims for that reason. I will be offering a less expensive update this year in an electronic format. So take advantage of the savings and keep your codes up to date.
Effective since 2011 – Medicare now requires that all physician and non-physician practitioners that submit Medicare claims must be enrolled in PECOS (Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System) as well as all ordering and referring practitioners, or claims may not be paid. Practitioners can enroll online at
Effective since January 1, 2012 – All covered entities listed below are required to upgrade to HIPAA 5010 Standards which are new sets of standards that regulate the electronic transmission of specific healthcare transactions including eligibility, claim status, referrals, claims, and remittances. Covered entities may use a clearinghouse to assist them with complying with the rules.
Additionally, even though software vendors are not included in the list of covered entities, in order to support their customers they will need to upgrade their products to support HIPAA 5010 and NCDPD D.0 as a business imperative.
October 1, 2014 – The new date for ICD-10 implementation

Favorite Quotes:
"Customer loyalty is something you should give rather than merely seek to recieve. It is best earned by staying loyal to your customers over time even when they don't seem loyal to you. Then they always feel connected with you."

~ Jim Cathcart

Has Your Email become like the Loaves and the Fishes?
Do you suffer from email overload? My guess would be yes. Below are a couple of tips to help control the beast:
Have multiple email addresses – use one as your primary email address which you only give to family, friends, and business sources. Use the other for social networking sites, online shopping, etc. This practice will keep your primary email address uncluttered.
Watch for those little boxes when you join a website or make online purchases. These boxes, when checked, indicate that you want to receive all of their announcements and these boxes usually appear with a check mark in them already. So be sure to uncheck if you do not want to receive all of that.

Points of Interest:
With the election just around the corner, I found a few interesting facts about some of our former presidents:
President Jimmy Carter – He was the only president to write a children's book and it was titled "The Little Bay Snoogle-Fleejer"
President Theodore Roosevelt – He was the only president to be blind in one eye.
President Abraham Lincoln – He was the only president to work as a bartender.
President Richard Nixon – He was the only president to have been a midway barker.
President Gerald Ford – He was the only president to survive two assassination attempts in the same month.

Is there someone you think would be interested in this newsletter?
Please feel free to forward this email to them. Thank you!

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