Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Summer 2012 - (Page 11)

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT DIARY Inc U • By Gerald Nelson, DDS, PCSO Bulletin Editor t Orthod v Pay • Prac c sing an incentive pay system to govern salary levels of practice team members is not ideal for everyone, but it deserves some consideration. As you consider the option, first ask yourself if you want to create a system to reward efforts by your team, thereby growing the practice. If you do not want to see growth of your practice, then do not consider an incentive system. You will also need to think about whether you are willing to reveal collection figures to your staff members. It is important to be transparent about this so that everyone feels they are treated fairly. (Do not reveal your salary, individual staff salaries, or office expenses, just collections and delinquencies.) If you would not allow your employees to know collection figures or delinquent figures, do not use this system. The system I describe was developed by Karen Moawad, who helped us implement it in our practice. I like having an incentive system for the following reasons: I don’t have to worry about considering whether to raise salaries— including cost of living raises—ever again. It all happens automatically. Salaries are only raised when collections go up, so that the percentage of collections stays the same. A salary increase does not burden the practice. Each team member is more aware of his or her colleagues’ contributions to the practice. If someone is habitually late, his or her fellow employees are likely to approach that staff member directly to address the problem, as the hours worked affect the bonus amount. The doctor need not be involved. Note that parttime team members receive a smaller portion than full-timers of the total bonus amount. Bonuses are not paid for a staff member’s period of leave due to health or family reasons. This makes sense, as the team members at the office have to work a little harder. The receptionist, treatment coordinator, and clinical assistant quickly begin to see how they can bring in new patients, and they do not let those who make the initial appointment leave the practice. (For example, you can train staff how to turn parents into patients, do lunchand-learns, and follow up when a parent does not make the next appointment. More creative outreach possibilities exist.) The lab tech, records coordinator, and collection coordinator will make sure their part of the work flow is expedited so that new patients are incorporated efficiently. The system rewards effective team work and cooperation. • S uc r • • Staff salary/collections. First decide what percentage of collections should be set aside for staff salaries (don’t count SSI, fringe benefits, or the doctor’s salary). In most offices, the percentage varies from 17% to 25%. Look at what percentage you are currently paying. Of course, if your delinquencies are very high, this percentage will be toward the high side, as collections are be less than they should be. Alternatively, you could be overstaffed, which would also make the percentage SuMMeR 2012 • PCSO Bulletin 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Summer 2012

President's Message
Executive Director's Letter
PCSO Business
AAOF Report
PCSO at a Glance
Practice Management Diary
Faculty Files
Correction to Faculty Files article, Spring 2012
Seasoned Practicioner's Corner
Case Report Pre-Treatment
Portrait of a Professional
From Good to Great in a Tough Economy
Three-Dimensional Volumetric Imaging: An Emerging Diagnostic Tool
Destination Success
Case Report Post-Treatment
Earl's Pearls

Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Summer 2012