#3 – Yearly Recall Call List | Dental Practice Coaching

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#3 – Yearly Recall Call List

Yearly recall is similar to monthly recall in that it is a list of patients due for a dental cleaning or perio maintenance. However, these patients are overdue – their last visit was one year ago! Often, for patients who come in twice a year for a dental cleaning or perio maintenance visit that means they are overdue by six months. Our job is to try again to reactivate them – meaning to schedule their appointment so they can get back on schedule for their dental care.

Goal: _____%

To know what your goal should be, work the yearly recall system for 2 months and then average your performance. Once you have the average, perhaps add 5% to create a stretch goal.

You may want to have two types of goals for your practice:

Goal #1: ____% required to complete this task and move toward finishing this level

Goal #2: ____% required to receive a bonus

To calculate your performance against these goals, you need to work your yearly recall for three months and then average your success.

Yearly Recall List Summary Report

Month/Year: ___________________________

Total on List: ___________________________

Leaving the Area/moving: _________________

Members Only Insurance: __________________

Left due to our performance:__________Left due to other reasons: ______________

Messages left: ___________

Will Call Us: _____________

Disconnected/No Answer: ____________

Emails: _______________

Scheduled: _____________

Percentage scheduled: _____________

Total:  _________________________

(Include other family members scheduled also)

Remember – you are to call EVERYONE on the list – no matter whether they were sent to collections, inactive, do not have insurance, transferred to another DDS or they were a day of only patient, etc.

We want these folks to know that they are overdue & motivate them to get back in.

Our Performance _____ (Complaints, Emergency only, seen by a specialist only, switched because of something we have done)

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

Other ______ (Written off, sent to collections, died, etc…)

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

To print a tracking sheet for monthly recall: Yearly Recall List Tracking

Sample Adult Yearly Recall Letter

Dear Patient,

We haven’t seen you for over a year. We want to help you keep your teeth all your life with the least expense, inconvenience and pain. The best way to do this is to avoid major treatment and painful “surprises” or at least by catching them when they first appear. Would you fill out the form below and return it to me?

_______________      I need to come in! Please call me to set up an appointment. My daytime phone number is __________________ and the best time to reach me is ________________.

_______________      I’m very busy right now! Please call me in the month of ___________ for my appointment.

_______________      I’ve been on safari and haven’t gotten your messages.

_______________      I’m not interested in regular cleanings at this time. I’ll contact you when I’m ready for an appointment.

We are concerned about your dental health and would like to be of service to you. If you have any questions, please call us at _____.

Sincerely,

 

Sample Child Yearly Recall Letter

Dear Parent,

We haven’t seen Child for over a year. We want to help your child keep his/her teeth for a lifetime with the least expense, inconvenience and pain. The best way to do this is to avoid major treatment and painful “surprises” or at least by catching them when they first appear. Would you fill out the form below and return it to me?

_______________      My child needs to come in! Please call me to set up an appointment. My daytime phone number is __________________ and the best time to reach me is ________________.

_______________      I’m very busy right now! Please call me in the month of ___________ for my appointment.

_______________      I’ve been on safari and haven’t gotten your messages.

_______________      I’m not interested in regular cleanings for my child at this time. I’ll contact you when I’m ready for an appointment.

We are concerned about your child’s dental health and would like to be of service to you. If you have any questions, please call us at _____.

Sincerely,

Paper Charts Aging

If you still have paper charts, then as part of this task, you will need to set up a system to go through your paper charts and age them – meaning to move the physical charts into the correct locations in your office based on the patient’s last visit.

Throughout the year, all the active files are reviewed on the following schedule: Jan. (AB), Feb. (CD), Mar. (EF), April (GH), May (IJK), June (LM), July (NO), Aug. (PQR), Sep.(S), Oct.  (TU), Nov. (VW), Dec. (XYZ).

On the first of the month the administrative team leader will print a report from Dentrix with a list of patients who have not been into the office for the last 12 – 24 months. (To run this search in Dentrix – Lookup for Jan is all patients with last names starting with A-B who have a last visit date more than [2yrs ago]. This list shows the last visit and the next appointment for each patient.

Next, you will pull the paper chart for each patient, give them a call to try to reactivate them into the practice and physically put this chart into the area in your office designated for outdated charts. You may want to have three areas for your paper charts: Active (last visit date within 2 years ago), Inactive (last visit date 2-4 years ago), and Archive (last visit date 4+ years ago).

Yearly Recall – set inactive in the family file

At the end of each month, you should go back through your patient s and change their status in the family file either to inactive (for patients you do not talk to that might come back to us) or to non-patient (for patients that you talk to that say they have moved, switched to another dentist or give another reason that they are not returning). The reason for these 2 types of statuses is that we will send a letter each quarter to all active patients trying to motivate them to schedule an appointment. We do not send letters to non-patients.

The Yearly Recall System

Your team leader prints this list in Excel each month. Instructions to run the recall cards and to print each call list are in Secretary Level 4. Your job is to call each patient on this list to schedule their dental cleaning or periodontal maintenance visit and complete your calls within the month. Compared with the monthly recall list, this one will be a challenge. Patients on this list have ignored all our calls, emails & postcards from our monthly recall efforts six months ago and if this office has a reactivation system, they also received a letter that we send to patients who haven’t been in from 6-9 months – so that was their last contact from us.

Do not assume this patient doesn’t want to come into the office – who knows what has happened in their life over the past six months? Perhaps their family member fell ill or lost a job and they have been preoccupied. Or, on the bright side, maybe they received a big promotion and have been traveling or just working long hours to learn their new responsibilities. Your job is to call and talk with them to refresh their memory about their dental care & to get them scheduled. Your goal is to schedule patients from your list in order to achieve the goal set for your practice.

Your script for this call is: Hi, this is Jill with HealthPark Dentistry.  You are overdue for your cleaning, exam and oral cancer screening and I’m calling to get that scheduled for you. Would a morning or afternoon appointment be more convenient for you?

Your script for leaving a message is: Hi, this is Jill with HealthPark Dentistry. I’m showing you’re due for your cleaning, exam and oral cancer screening and I’m calling to get that scheduled for you. Please call me back at ____.

To work this list:

Check to see if this first patient has a scheduled appointment, if not, give them a call. Be sure to check if the patient scheduled and then call right away – don’t get caught just checking down the list for every patient because you will get interrupted and then have to turn around and recheck these same patients before you make your calls.

Expect to make up to 1 phone calls and send 1 letter or email per patient as you try to get in touch with them – you cannot schedule anyone you do not talk to. The guidelines are: Call each patient the first time, if you do not get to talk with them, then it is okay to leave a message. Next, check in one week to see if they called back in and scheduled an appointment – if not, send the patient a recall letter or email personalized from you.

When you receive your pages (the lists are divided among the team), note in your planner the days/times you plan to make your calls in order to finish your calls by end of month. For example, you might estimate 1 hour per page of calls so if you have 2 pages, estimate 2 hours to get through your call list. Select a day/time in your planner when you can work on this call list for 2 hours. The 2nd time you note in your planner, make sure it is at a different time of day (if you made your first calls in the evening, make your next calls in the afternoon, and your final attempt in the am). It’s best to complete all your calls within the first 2 weeks of the month, that way if any of your patients calls back, you can get them scheduled within the month.

Make the calls and note the response of the patient on the list.

If the patient moved out of state, died or was dismissed from our practice – go into the family file, double click on the name & address box, choose status non-patient and delete their last visit date. This will make sure they do not show up on any future recall lists. If the patient was only in for an emergency, was written off, or says they will call us – go into the family file, double click on the name and address box and choose inactive. Only choose non-patient for patients that moved out of state, passed away or were dismissed because we will not see this names again.

Mark on the sheet the number of patients for each category after you have finished going through the patient list.

If patient has moved locally or changed dentists – ask why and note reason on your list. Did we upset this person? Could we resolve the concern so they will come back to us? Find out!

Computer Notes

Go to the ledger, click on Guarantor button & insert date line & type “Left msg for yearly recall”. On your list, use a pencil & note the # of the call – 1, 2 or if 3 then you can write left message, scheduled, will call us, etc. At the end of the month, you should go back through your call list & look up any of your patients in the computer to see if they scheduled an appointment (they may have called back & someone else may have scheduled them). I have seen team members highlight the names of patients that schedule appointments  – this makes it easy to see how successful you were.

Final Calculation

Add up the total scheduled and the total patients on your list. Write these numbers at the bottom of your list & figure the percentage. (Percentage scheduled = Patients scheduled / Total patients) At the end of the month, you should go back through your patients and change their status in the family file either to inactive (for patients you do not talk to that might come back to us) or to non-patient (for patients that you talk to that say they have moved, switched to another dentist or give another reason that they are not returning). The reason for these 2 types of statuses is that we will send a letter each quarter to all active and inactive patients trying to motivate them to schedule an appointment. We do not send these letters to non patients.

Note in the patient’s clinical notes that you have tried to reach them to schedule recall or procedures.

Return your list to your team leader after you have completed contacting all the patients.

Scripts to handle the most common excuses/objections

” I’ve transferred to another dentist” – “I’m sorry to hear that, may I let the doctor know why?”

“I’ve switched to another dentist closer to home” – First, look to see where they live in the family file. Then say, “Okay, I have an address for you at ______________ – is that still correct?” If they confirm that yes, they still live in ________ or somewhere else within a 20-30 minute drive of our office, then say “You know, that doesn’t seem like that long of a drive – was there any other reason that you decided to change dentists?” – Write up any complaints and give to the team leader. Or, you may find out that they left for another reason that you can help them with – again, find out the details, write them down and ask if the office manager can contact them to try to resolve the concern.

“I’ve switched to another dentist for insurance reasons” – Check the family file to see what their insurance plan is – “I have ________________ dental insurance for you in our computer system, is that correct?”  If they mention an insurance that we are out-of-network for, then you can say “You know, we have found that people are receiving similar reimbursement no matter whether they are in or out of network. Would you like for me to see what your out of network benefits would be if we provided your care? Is so, give to our insurance/billing person and tell the patient to expect an answer in 1 week. Is out of pocket cost your main reason for switching or do you have any other concerns ? If money is their issue just thank them for letting you know. If there are other problems, then write up a complaint form & give to the team leader.

“We moved.”  – “Okay, may I get your new address to send you a copy of your records?”

“I am just too busy to schedule right now.”  –  “Boy I sure understand how crazy things get. I would love to help you to get this off your list of things to do – maybe I can schedule you on an evening or weekend if that will help?”  If they still will not schedule, then check their ledger to see if they had any treatment done & if so say “You know, one more thing to consider is that you have a warranty on all the treatment you have done as long as you come in on time for your cleanings – are you sure you don’t want to go ahead & schedule your appointment?”

“I need to have an evening only.” – “Great, I can do that for you.” Now offer to put them on the prime time call list & let them know when to expect a call and offer your first available appt as well.

 

Signed off by ______________________    date _____________ – To complete this task, you must achieve the goal set by the practice.