Take Stock in Your Practice: Four Ways to Make 2017 a Great Year

Now is a good time to take stock of your practice’s current condition, and initiate changes that will result in a more productive and profitable 2017. Focus your efforts in the following four areas to experience immediate as well as long-term benefits.

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Calling All Endodontists: Join the NDPBRN

The National Dental Practice-Based Referral Network (NDPBRN) conducts dental practice-based research to improve oral health and the efficiency and effectiveness of dental care. Its research is done in the “real world” of daily clinical practice and focuses on issues that will have an impact on patient health outcomes, patient satisfaction or the efficiency of the daily delivery of care.

The AAE supports the NDPBRN and encourages endodontists to participate. Endodontist involvement helps demonstrate the differences in care delivered by a generalist versus a specialist.

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Managing Referral Relationships in Challenging Times

Since the Great Recession disrupted the dental economy, many dentists have changed their referral patterns. Cases they typically used to refer to specialists – not only endodontists but also orthodontists, periodontists, oral surgeons and pediatric dentists – are now frequently retained. The reason is obvious; general practices that once could easily fill their daily schedules with customary types of treatment began experiencing production declines. Rather than giving away potential income to specialists, they decided to perform specialized procedures themselves. While you can’t alter the underlying causes, youcan serve your own purposes better – and earn the lasting respect and trust of referring offices – by rethinking how you work with them during these changing times. Here are some suggestions for making the most of the situation.

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The Importance of Engaging Your Patients on Mobile Devices

Over the last year and a half, there has been a dramatic shift in the way people access information on the internet. Searches on dental symptoms, research on providers and online patient registration have increased as the methods patients use to find information have become more accessible and convenient. The shift from desktop computing to mobile device platforms has altered the internet landscape, and hence, that of your online presence. Is your endodontic practice engaging visitors with a website that accommodates mobile, tablet and desktop devices? If not, you could be losing prospective patients.

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CDT Codes D3331 and D2955: Use, Don’t Abuse

As chairman of the AAE’s Practice Affairs Committee, one of my responsibilities is responding to AAE member questions about dental claims. I also run my own endodontic practice, so I know firsthand the frustrations of dealing with dental insurance companies. In May, I had the opportunity to join AAE President Dr. Linda G. Levin and Immediate Past President Dr. Terryl A. Propper at the AAE’s biennial meeting with a group of 20 dental directors representing large dental insurers. The meeting was eye-opening on a number of levels.

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Did You Know? AAE Videos Explain Procedures and Promote Endodontic Expertise

The AAE’s patient education videos are excellent resources to help your patients understand endodontic procedures and the specialists who perform them. High-quality, 3-D animated videos explain what happens during root canal treatment, retreatment, endodontic surgery, and the diagnosis and treatment of cracked teeth. Additional videos illustrate advancements in endodontic training and technology and emphasize the safety of root canal treatment. Take advantage of this free member benefit by downloading the videos to use in your practice or institution, or embedding them in your website directly from the AAE’s YouTube channel.

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Endodontic Office Design: Integrating Technology

In last month’sCommuniqué, I discussed the importance of developing a plan before building or remodeling your endodontic office. It is equally important to consider your current and future technology needs. To successfully integrate various technologies, endodontists must give attention to not only to the positioning of the hardware components and devices, but their interconnectivity as well. Offices need to be planned so that the network of wiring and cables can be distributed easily throughout the facility.

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Online Marketing: 5 Things You Should Be Doing

Nearly every endodontist has a practice website. If this were 2006, that’s probably all you would need to do in the way of online marketing. But times change, and in today’s competitive economy, a website is now the bare minimum. In the past, many endodontists had a “set it and forget it” approach to their website. They worked hard to launch it, but basically ignored it once it went live. Endodontists of 2016 need to actively promote their practices online to build reputation and attract new patients. Here are five ways to improve your online presence.

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Endodontic Office Design: Plan for Success

Creating a new environment for your practice is one of the largest investments you will make in your business. Remember, it costs more to build your office wrong than it does to build it right. From the onset of planning, be certain everything will work as you wish. If it does, you may never have to build or remodel again. If it does not, your costly errors will haunt you continuously, affecting the efficiency of your practice and the morale of your entire office team.

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Medicare Part D: Opt-In/Opt-Out Deadline Extended to February 2017

Healthcare providers can breathe a little easier, as the federal government has once again delayed until February 2017 the requirements that all providers who prescribe under Medicare Part D either “opt in” or “opt out” of Medicare. The “opt in/opt out” requirement has been in effect for other Medicare services since July 2015.

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