Chapter 6: Treatment Coordinator

Study Guide and Resources

Ask Yourself

  • Do your patients understand their treatment plans?
  • Do you alter your treatment plan based on what insurance covers?
  • Is your office focused on dental health or insurance?
  • Do you offer multiple treatment plans to let a patient pick the one they like the best?

Ask Your Staff

  • Are you presenting treatment or finance options at the front desk?
  • Do you understand treatment terms?
  • When are you discussing money with patients?
  • Is the patient’s health or the pre-authorization more important?
  • Are you consistently entering clear, concise notes for each patient?

Take Action

  • Always have treatment plan meetings with patients in a private setting. If you don’t have one, set one up.
  • Ask “how” your patient plans to pay, not “if.”
  • Put a process in place to follow up with patients who do not schedule treatment on the same day it is presented.
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Treatment Plan Follow Up Policy

At the end of the consult with a patient, the treatment plan coordinator needs to note what happened with the patient and any follow up that is needed. They should put notes in the appointment screen and note if there is anything that needs to be remembered for their next visit, such as the amount to collect, etc.

Fill in the auto note called “Consult Note” and follow the outline displayed. At the end of the notes, the treatment plan coordinator should put amount presented, the dollar amount accepted and the date that they scheduled so that the doctor can go into the notes from the treatment plan coordinator at any point, review what happened, and see when they are scheduled.

Treatment Plan Follow Up Policy ImageThe doctors should also make sure that they put in their notes regarding the appointment, send out any appropriate referral letters or follow up with treatment plan coordinator on anything outstanding.

If there are notes on the treatment plan, it should then immediately be scanned in. This process will help to avoid having to track down the treatment plan, the treatment plan coordinator, the doctor, etc… all notes and stats needed by the doctor should be documented in the notes.

There are multiple people doing handling consultations with patients within our office and the policy of how to do a consult should be followed by the treatment plan coordinators. However, after the consultations are done and notes are put in, a manager should review them daily to ensure everything is being done correctly and look for any red flags.

This second set of eyes helps to ensure that policies are being followed, patients that get scheduled will show up and anything that might be an issue can get handled sooner than later.

The easiest way to do this is to print a copy of the daily schedule for each treatment plan coordinator and throughout the day, circle the consults that you were involved in. Then at the end of the day, ensure that all notes were put in for your consults as well as all necessary follow up was done.

Once everything is completed by the treatment plan coordinator, the copy of the circled schedule needs to go into the manager’s box to be reviewed.

The manager is then responsible to review all the notes re: consultations, double check when patients were scheduled, etc…. If there are corrections or suggestions by the manager regarding that patient or how things were handled, it is the manager’s responsibility to circle around with the appropriate treatment plan coordinator to make sure everything is handled correctly.

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Weekly Treatment Plan Meetings

On a weekly basis, each doctor should have a meeting with the treatment plan coordinator regarding the status of the past week’s patients.

The Outstanding Treatment Plans Tracking Sheet should be used to track the patient name, overview of the treatment plan/situation, date the patient was called if not yet, and any notes.

Best Practice Weekly Meetings ImageOnce the doctor and treatment plan coordinator review the patients, the treatment plan coordinator takes the Tracking Sheet and works through the tasks to be accomplished for those patients.

Throughout the week, the treatment plan coordinator tracks notes as to when patients were called, as well as notes on that sheet, and makes thorough notes in the chart.

At the next weekly meeting, the treatment plan coordinator brings back the previous week’s sheet to update the doctor on what happened with last week’s patients. This should be done for 3 weeks total, with a phone call going out to the patients once a week after their initial visit if they did not initially book an appointment.

Each week a new sheet is started for the most recent patients and the oldest 3-week-old report is taken out since the patients have been contacted 3 times.

After the 3rd week, the sheet gets then put into the office manager’s box with the initial on the bottom of both the doctor and treatment plan coordinator. Monthly Treatment Plan Meetings.

Monthly, the treatment plan coordinator and the doctor should go review all the outstanding treatment plans found on the report in EagleSoft. The Treatment plan coordinator is responsible for contacting each one of those patients monthly minimally, unless a greater frequency is necessary.

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Next Day Reviewer – Treatment Coordinator

The purpose of reviewing the schedule a day ahead is to make sure that we maximize tomorrow, and we do all we can today to make it run smoothly.

The first step is to print a copy of the schedule for tomorrow. As things are verified, notes should be added to the notes portion of the appointment (lower box in appointment screen).

Once you have reviewed all the data for patient, cross their appointment off on the printed schedule, showing what has been verified at any given time.

There are a few things that the review needs to look for when reviewing the schedule:

Does Patient Need to pre-medicate?

Do We Need a Medical History Update?

Are All Appointments Accurate?

  • Make sure they are scheduled for everything correctly, be it Perio therapy, Perio Maintenance, Prophy, Exam
  • If they are due for x rays, please make sure if they are a cash patient, that the cash x ray code is used.
  • Does the patient have any outstanding treatment?
  • Does the patient have more than one appointment scheduled today?

Do They Have Any Outstanding Lab Cases – Are They Here?

  • If a Lab Case has been sent out for this patient, then we need to verify it is here for tomorrow’s appointment. If it is here, then notes can be put on the schedule that lab case is in
  • If it is not here then a phone call needs to be made to the laboratory it was sent to to find out the status of when we will expect it in the office, we can also check with the assistants. The scheduler needs to be notified immediately if the case is not here and the appointment needs to be moved.
  • For cases done in house, such as whitening trays, if they are not done then there needs to be some verification of who’s responsibility it is to finish them and to verify that they will be done in time.

Have They Made Any Referrals to Us? / Do They Have Family Members Not Coming Here Yet?

  • This can be verified by looking in the family file and selecting the referrals made button which is the little blue guy with arrows pointing away from him. This will list referrals they have made to our office and what thank you gifts we have sent them. It is important to recognize patients that have referred because they are more like to refer again in the future.
  • This time you should also look to see if the entire family comes here as patients. It is important to note if they have someone in the family that does not so we can ask them about that at their appointment tomorrow.

Do They Owe Any Money After Claims Being Paid?

  • By looking in the ledger for the patient, you can see the claims that have been sent out and received. If all the insurance claims say received but there is a balance at the bottom of the ledger, the name and amount should be given to the appropriate person in the office to review prior to the appointment tomorrow.

If Child – Are Sealants/Fluoride Covered?

  • This can be done by calling the insurance company listed in the family file to verify the coverage. Once it is verified then it can be added in the notes.

Have They Been Referred Out to Any Specialists – If So Did They Go?

  • This can be verified by reading notes to see if they were referred out and then the outcome of the referral if they went. Two places to look for this information is in the chart notes and in the scanned documents for the patient under correspondence.
  • If there are no notes on whether they went to the referral doctor the next step would be to call the office to see if they have notes on the patient and what happened.
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Getting Patients Closed for Treatment and Finances (Webinar)

Welcome to Getting Patients Closed for Treatment and Finances.  

Discussing financing and payment options with patients can sometimes be difficult but is necessary to ensure that the office gets paid and the patient gets the treatment they need.

This video shows you how to successfully discuss cost and payment with patients.