June 23, 2020

Back at the office and trying to fill your schedule? We have all heard the saying, “Use it before you lose it” regarding dental benefits. And we’ve all spent countless hours sending “End of the Year” treatment plan letters to patients regarding their remaining benefits.

While this may fill your schedule during that short season, it invariably causes a mass mailing and results in an overloaded year-end schedule and exhausted employees.

Let’s think about this in another way. How can we contact our patients in a manner that benefits them and us?

End-Of-Year or End-Of-Insurance Renewal Month?
We often think in terms of “end of the year letters.” We should also be thinking in terms of “end of insurance renewal month communications.” What does this mean to our patients? This means that we contact them close to their actual insurance renewal month rather than mass mailing EVERYONE at the end of the year. Think about what this means:

  • Scheduling becomes more convenient for both you and your patient.
  • Case acceptance increases as you capture real-time “use-it-or-lose-it” opportunities.
  • Your workflow becomes more predictable and manageable year-round.
  • Your patient experience improves as your workflow gives you more time to focus on individual needs.
  • Your office cash-flow becomes more consistent year-round.

Use the Unscheduled Treatment Report
Dentrix Ascend can be very helpful in identifying patients’ renewal months. Simplify the default Unscheduled Treatment Report, add a few select fields, including Renewal Month Primary and Remaining Benefits Primary, and filter by the renewal month. It could look something like this:

Help Your Patients Year Round
With this report in hand, your end-of-year communications can occur monthly. I recommend working your unscheduled treatment report the same way you work your unscheduled recare reports to create monthly tasks. Your monthly tasks would be:

  • Run a list to follow up on treatment not scheduled
  • Send letters or emails every month to patients who have a benefit renewal month two months out

Follow this monthly patient communication plan to create a win-win situation where you fill your schedule and your patients get enough time to conveniently schedule and use their remaining dental benefits.


Ronda Borgman, Certified Dentrix Ascend Trainer
Ronda is a dental practice team leader, business coach, and speaker with over 30 years’ experience. As a certified Dentrix trainer she was named Trainer of the Year and earned the Dentrix Ascend Spirit award. She has developed and implemented successful systems that improve workflow and the bottom line for Dentrix Ascend practices across the US.