If an employee resigns, do you tend to keep them for the typical two-week period?
While it is sadly common for many employees to give little or no notice, it is also a challenge at times when they do give notice but use that time to spread bad vibes. Whether to keep the individual on board all depends on the person and the circumstances behind his or her departure. However it is rare to find the level of maturity in a dissatisfied individual when transitioning to a new job that is necessary to keep from sowing discontent among the remaining employees.

I approach these employees on a case-by-case basis and encourage them to stay only if they feel they want to do so. There are often situations where we have asked employees to leave before the end of the two weeks, but in general we attempt to have them serve the entire notice time period.

Have you decreased your Yellow Pages spending?
Each year we have reviewed the costs and benefits of Yellow Pages advertising and have continued spending at the basic level with a few decreases in various books. Typically, our phone book costs are approximately three percent of revenue, but we are going to reduce it to one percent of revenue this year and use the rest of that money for other methods of advertising.

What I have seen over the past several years is that most of my new referrals are coming from the web and internet traffic, plus insurance plan referrals. While we still have phone book referrals, they are fewer than in previous years and consist of a generally older population. In our area, the younger population is better insured and generally fits the expanding demographics of our patient base, so it may not pay to keep up the phone book advertising to the level we have in the past.

Do you accept Care Credit for your practice and, if so, what has been your experience?
Care Credit is a patient financing system that is generally used for cosmetic procedures. I accept Care Credit for large ticket items like liposuction and cosmetic procedures, but don't allow it for insurance-related procedures and visits as these already have write-offs and the likelihood is that we would be unprofitable if we were to accept this program for that. We find that many patients love it, and it can make the difference between an individual booking and not booking a procedure.

Dr. Schlessinger is in private practice in Omaha, Ne and is the course director for Cosmetic Surgery Forum (www.CosmeticSurgeryForum.com).

Send your questions to tpigeon@bmctoday.com. Dr. Schlessinger will answer your query or find an expert who can.