Three Things You Need for More Physician Referrals

Jon Nierman offers guidance on how to establish great partnerships through physician referrals.

by Jon Nierman

Have you been eagerly offering your patients oral appliance therapy, only to be disheartened when their physicians are not on board? This is one of the most common frustrations among sleep dentists, but the good news is you can take steps to establish great physician partnerships.

Become a Trusted Authority

Becoming recognized as an authority in your field can lead to numerous benefits, such as increased credibility, opportunities, and personal fulfillment. However, becoming an authority in dental sleep medicine (DSM) is not something that happens overnight. It requires dedication, time, and energy. Nonetheless, several tips can help speed up the process, including:

  • Pursue dental sleep medicine continuing education and credentialing through reputable organizations.
  • Network with colleagues who specialize in airway-related fields. Having expert connections can provide invaluable knowledge and help raise your own status as a sleep practitioner.
  • Create a separate brand for your DSM practice, complete with a new logo, tagline, business cards, and website.
  • Develop educational content for your website, social media, and publications to showcase your expertise and build your reputation.
  • Enroll as a Medicare DME supplier. This allows you to bill Medicare for oral appliances for OSA. Pro tip: you can enroll in a way you don’t have to accept Medicare’s allowed amount as payment in full.

Identify & Communicate with Physicians

Collect a list of your sleep patients’ other healthcare providers during intake. You can easily accomplish this by using an online questionnaire form in your dental sleep software, such as DentalWriter Plus+.

Distribute narrative SOAP reports and progress reports to all doctors involved in the patient’s care including sleep physicians, primary care, ENT, and cardiologist, among others. By keeping all healthcare providers informed, including successful outcomes, you’ll establish yourself as a reliable and valuable resource in the field of DSM.

According to Steve Lamberg, DDS, sending narrative reports to physicians was his number one tool for practice growth. Dr. Steve Greenman concurs, highlighting that SOAP reports generated and shared from the questionnaire and examination have facilitated a co-referring database with 250 physicians. “Just today we got four new referrals and continue to get an influx of patients who need our help”, says Dr. Greenman.

Medical Billing Enhances Referrals

Dentists who bill medical insurance, including Medicare, are often the preferred choice for referring physicians. Ensure that they are aware you are well-equipped to handle medical insurance billing.

Do these three things, and over time you’ll see your dental sleep practice flourish with referrals.

Practice management runs in the Nierman family! After reading about how to boost physician referrals, by Jon Nierman, check out how to demystify Medicare Advantage Plans for oral appliance therapy by his mother Rose Nierman here: https://dentalsleeppractice.com/demystifying-medicare-advantage-plans-for-oral-appliance-therapy/.

As President of Nierman Practice Management, Jon Nierman specializes in the development of continuing education programs, software systems, and medical billing services to facilitate dental practice growth for medically necessary services. Jon’s mission is to remove the barriers and make it easier for dental practices to implement airway and orofacial pain treatment. Under Jon, Nierman Practice Management has provided over 5,000 hours of continuing education featuring an internationally renowned faculty. Jon is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, a brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, and a classical/jazz pianist.

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