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There is a common theme among dentists who are unsure about leaving the PPO network. It is none other than “FEAR.”

Therefore, it is essential for dentists to learn how to mitigate this fear to successfully come out of the PPO network and reach their full potential! 

Think of FEAR as an acronym, and in this episode, you will learn what it stands for!

In this episode, Gary and Naren address the root cause of your fear and discuss the importance of mitigating it! They also provide real-world examples and solutions to overcome your fear of leaving the network. Gary also points you toward two valuable resources, “Superbold,” a book by Fred Joyal, and the “Ultimate Team Meeting” podcast (Less Insurance Dependence Podcast No.149).

Gary also talks about how a proper digital marketing plan helped him consistently attract quality new patients from Google!

Tune into this episode to get rid of your fear and build a legacy practice!

Episode Timestamps

  • 00:00:51 – Intro to the episode
  • 00:01:18 – Quick announcement
  • 00:03:31 – What is the common theme amongst dentists who are unsure about leaving the PPO network?
  • 00:04:27 – Looking at FEAR differently
  • 00:04:39 – FEAR as an acronym
  • 00:06:14 – Author Fred Joyal’s Book: “Superbold: From Under-Confident to Charismatic in 90 Days”
  • 00:07:15 – A perspective on where this fear is coming from?
  • 00:10:17 – How many patients do a dentist actually lose when coming out of a network?
  • 00:11:53 – What can a dentist do to manage the fear of losing patients while going out of network?
  • 00:13:53 – The Ultimate Team Meeting
  • 00:15:31 – Naren’s experience with overcoming his fear
  • 00:18:12 – One other detail on why dentists stay in the network

N: Hello everyone, Welcome to the Less Insurance Dependence Podcast, the official podcast of the reducing insurance dependence academy, This is Naren, your co-host. Today’s topic is the number 1 reason why dentists stay in-network, Number 1 reason why dentists stay in-network. Before we jump into today’s topic, I have a quick announcement to make; we have an amazing masterclass coming up on the 28th of April; it is titled grow your practice 10 percent or more in 2022 and beyond. Grow your practice 10 percent or more in 2022 and beyond. Garry’s masterclass provides 3 hours of CE. It starts at 7 pm eastern on a Thursday evening, and it ends at 10 pm eastern. Garry runs it like a workshop where you get to not only learn but you get to figure out how do you apply what he is teaching you so when you go back to work the next day the Friday you can now apply it so you know every single time 

Garry has done a masterclass it has sold out because we limit the set as if you are interested go to thriving and sign up thriving – now let’s jump into today’s topic you know I had the privilege of working with Garry on lots of events he does and as you may already know the reducing insurance depended academy is the largest digital academy in dentistry right now – and it is not even a year old, so there is a huge interest in people wanting to reduce insurance depended and when we look at all those people who are interested in reducing insurance depended there are 2 camps – those who are ready to go and who are like my only regret is I wish I didn’t do this sooner and then the second camp they ask they are the ones who have not decided yet and those people who have not decided I have listened to 20 to 30 different questions of course they all use their own words but typically I can list down those 20 to 30 questions, and the funny thing is all of these questions has some common theme something underlying going on – so in today’s episode Garry is going to explode that of course both Garry and I have been thinking a lot about this but he has real world experience because he had successfully helped hundreds of practices reduce insurance dependence. So he has seen what that common theme is, and you know how to help people reframe things, so Garry, let’s jump in. 

G: You know, Naren, you are absolutely right in our work, whether it is through webinars or masterclasses or even through our thriving dentist MBA live stream workshop. In that thriving dentist, live stream workshop, I go through the 10 elements of a thriving practice, and one of those elements of a thriving practice is usefully reducing insurance deduce, so there is a thread throughout all of our work that is about guiding doctors to successfully dropping PPO plans, and you are absolutely right that the camp the group divides into 2 camps – one camp is chomping at the bit ready to go – let’s go let’s go I am ready! And the other group is unsure, and when we look at the group of dentists that are unsure, there is a common theme, there is a common denominator, and the common theme is fear. Fear! It is I understand it; I get it, it is real, or is it? Let me give you a different way to look at fear – we all have fears! You know, in our lives, but let’s talk about it specifically as it relates to dropping PPO plans; well, I would like to introduce the concept of fear as an acronym to you. FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real. FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real and so dentists that are unsure are afraid of something happening that they are pretty sure in their mind is going to happen, and that is that they are going to lose a massive amount of their patients if they were to go out of network, they are going to lose a massive amount. That is their fear; it kind of comes down to that – I am afraid I am going to lose a massive amount of patients, and I worked too hard to build this practice, and I don’t want to see it, you know, evaporate into thin air. But let’s address it in the context of false evidence appearing real. I have an interesting database to be able to help hundreds of practices do this and hear, let me be blunt and tell you a blunt reality. When you go out of network, doctor – you will lose some patients. I am not going to sugarcoat it; I am not going to tell you that there is a chance you might not lose any because every single time, the price has lost some patients. So it is fair to say that it has happened every time that when you do it, you are going to lose some patients. Would you agree, Naren? 

N: Absolutely, Garry. I mean, I have had the privilege of working with you and some of our mutual clients, and you are hundred percent right. Every single one that you have taken on this journey has lost some patients – 

G: You know our mutual friend Fred Goyle has written a great book, and I highly recommend it – maybe we could put a link to that book on Amazon. The book is called Bold – excuse me – Super Bold! It almost sounds like I am saying Super Bold, but it is Super Bold, and the book is a workbook. It is written in a workbook front, and he talks about why people are afraid to do bold things in their life, and a common denominator why people, let’s face it – going out of network is bold! Why do I say it is bold? Because less than 3 percent of the practices in the country have practices built out of network! That is bold! Would you not agree? Just statistically, that is bold?

N: Yeah, that is bold! I think we will definitely put a link to Fred’s book; it is an amazing book and an easy read. One thing I noticed, Garry, and I was just thinking as you were speaking is, if you go even a step further and try to understand where this fear is coming from, one of the themes I see, and I want your opinion on this, is everyone around me is dependent on PPO – 80 percent of my patients are PPO patients, so it is like social proof, but instead of giving you the courage to go and try something new because there are so many reviews on Uber here it is governing you the negative encourage not to change!

G: Well, let’s go back to the book Super Bold – Fred says why

N: Yeah

G: What stops people from doing whatever it is they like to do that might be considered bold? It is fear – it is afraid of something happening. That he says, 99.9 percent never happens. They are afraid of something happening, that 99.9 percent of the time, what they are afraid of never happens.

N: Right!

G: You know there is a group of people that are afraid of flying! 

N: Uh-huh! 

G: They are afraid to get on an airplane; what are they afraid of?

N: That it is going to crash!

G: That is going to crash!

N: Yes

G: And I mean, I don’t even know what the statistic is, but it is way, way, way above 99.9 percent of planes that don’t crash! 

N: Yes, and if you look at driving, it is much, much safer than driving!

G: Well, it is way more dangerous taking a bath! 

N: (Laughs) 

G: I mean, seriously, statistically, you are in much greater danger of dying than taking a bath than you are from taking an airplane but try to convince someone that is afraid to fly through that rational argument. They are afraid of something happening that, in reality, never happens! 

N: Right!

G: And what dentists are afraid of happening is that they are going to lose all of their patients, and that never happens! When we go through this process without clients, and we pop through the other side, and then we let a little time go by and then go back and look at the data – you know, typically I like to do that 8 or 9 months after we have dropped the at least plan and the reason I like to let the 8 or 9 months go, is that let’s face it a recall cycle is not always exactly 6 months. 

N: Mhmm!

G: It could be a little longer because of people’s patterns! They’re attendance patterns in practice – so if we let it go 8 or 9 months, we have a very good snapshot of what happened when we went out of network, and as I go through that with my clients, I love those meetings because the meetings are euphoric, the doctors and I always ask this question – now that we have been through this do you have any regrets? And the answer I get every single time is unrehearsed; I don’t prompt it. I let them speak their mind and tell me what they think – every single time, they say the same thing. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!

N: Mhmm!

G: And the other common denominator in all of those meetings, and these are 100s now, all of those meetings? Said Garry, I thought I would lose a lot more patients than I actually did! 

N: Let me put you on the spot – what do people actually lose? In your experience Garry?

G: We have the data on this; if we follow the 6 steps, and you know, dot the I’s and cross the T’s and complete them and do all of our preparation, you will lose 10 to 15, 10 to 15 percent of your existing in-network patients. 10 to 15 so, for example, you have a thousand patients on Delta dental. I am making a number that is just a round number.

N: Right

G: And then you go out of network with Delta Dental. If you have done all your preparation, then you are going to lose between a hundred and a hundred and fifty of those patients. Now let’s use the high number, you are going to lose 150, and that means 850 are now left! 

N: Right!

G: Out of a thousand and these 850 are now paying your full fee! 

N: Mhmm!

G: Did that make up for the 15 I am using the big number? Does that make up for the 15 percent you have lost?

N: Absolutely!

G: Radically more!

N: Yeah, because the full fee is almost half more than what you are collecting! So all of a sudden, you are getting half more money on 85 percent of the people, which is more than makes up that 15 percent gap, but the fear is that you are going to lose all your patients; now, how do you mitigate so there are people that are – let’s go back to that fear of flying example.

G: Mhmm

N: There are programs all over the country where people can go through this, and they are usually led by psychologists led by people that have training in this; even pilots, even commercial pilots, participate in those – training others to overcome their fear!

G: Right

N: And they show what they can do to manage that fear! And so, what can a dentist do to manage the fear of losing all those patients? You can become so relationship-driven that your patient would not consider going anywhere else for their care! Would not even consider it! 

G: So you can give the patient, and what does that mean? That means that you give them reasons to continue to come to their office. Why would someone go to a 4 or 5-star restaurant and pay significant menu prices for a meal? When they could just go, you know, to an average restaurant down the street and pay a fraction of the meal cost. Why would they go to that restaurant? They would go to that restaurant because there were significant benefits that might be in the quality of the food, it might be in the quality of the service it might be in the environment around it, it might be in the fact that that restaurant is known for certain meals, and for any number of reasons, but why should a patient come to your practice for their care? And if you can’t rattle off a bunch of reasons, then you are not ready to go out of network, and maybe your fear does have a foundation of reality! If your practice is not different than the clinic, the dental clinic down the street – in the mind and eyes of the patient, not your mind and eye but in the mind and eyes of the patient – then don’t go out of network! 

N: Right!

G: So, really, you can mitigate that for just like someone afraid of flying can take a course and learn how to overcome their fear and eventually regain control and no longer have a fear of flying, how can you mitigate the fear of losing out on all the patients? Provide your – you and your team come up with all the things you can do to provide patients benefits that would have people choosing you to come to your office for their care! In fact, Naren, let’s put a link in the show notes – and it was an episode we did right here; it was the ultimate team meeting, and would you look that up now? I want you to give the exact title so that those that are listening might be able to. When I finish this episode, just go Google this one – or apple play this one, I think we called it the ultimate team meeting, but your memory, actually Google’s memory, will be better than mine on this one!

N: Absolutely!

G: But in the ultimate team meeting, one of the things we do is, we –

N: It is episode 148 if anybody is curious, but I am going to put a link in the chat notes – 

G: Yeah, what was the title? 

N: It is the ultimate team meeting!

G: There we go; my memory is better than I give myself credit for. So in the ultimate team meeting, I want you to listen to that episode. We are going to have a team meeting doctor with you and your entire team! And we are going to go around the room, and the rules are that each team member has to give one reason why patients should come to your office for their care. One reason and the rules are that you can’t repeat answers that have been already provided. You have to come up with a unique reason, we are going to go around the room twice, and you are the last doctor; you will be the last person on the first rotation, and you will be the last person on the second rotation. And depending on how many team members you have, that is going to give you a lot of great reasons why people come to your office for your care, but right now, for those of you listening to this, I want you to listen to that episode that will be encouraging but that is how you can mitigate your fee, and that is how you can pre solve that fear of losing patients! and that will give you the confidence to go out of network and essentially watch your fear just evaporate!

N: I am going to share an example Garry that is kind of embracing, but it is true, but I am going to share it.

G: (laughs)

N: Hopefully, thousands of people will listen to an embarrassing personal experience. I was afraid of water, right? My father was in the navy, so he loved the water, and so he wanted me to learn swimming so he would – I don’t know he is not a trained coach on how to help kids swim. I think his approach was to throw me in the water and see what happens. 

G: That was most dads’ approach! Yes!

N: (Laughs) I guess I got really afraid, and I just could not learn, and I could not and I could not, and I tried trainers and instructors but never worked, and I think when I turned 40, I realized this fear that I had of the water it is all nonsense, and then I also noticed as a da my daughters who were also struggling in the early days found this amazing place where they taught them to step by step and in like a year and a half they were at like the lifeguard level – just boom! It was so fast

G: And did they have some apprehension in the beginning? 

N: No, they were not afraid of water, but they just did not learn it because I think we took them to these different places where there was no consistent teacher, there was no consistent program. It was just all other kids trying to teach kids. 

G: They didn’t know what to do!

N: They didn’t know what to do the trainers – and then finally they went to this place, and they learned, and so I signed up. They had an adult class, and the lady who started the business teaches the adult class; she loves this – so she is unbelievable, and you know what in 4 weeks, I could do 2 strokes and you know swim full-lengths and but I had to, fear is not real, and it is all made up in our head!

G: False evidence appearing real!

N: Yeah! I had to kind of 

G: You were afraid you would drown! 

N: You were afraid you would drown! Exactly! I was afraid I was going to drown, exactly!

G: And it didn’t happen! It didn’t happen! As evidenced by your co-hosting today’s episode!

N: (Laughs)

G: You are still here! This is not the ghost of Naren; it is actually Naren! 

N: Yes!

G: You are still here, and a good great example, Naren, that is a great example of what you know what goes through our minds, and the fear can be a very debilitating and it can be very limiting, and that may be a good point to amplify it can be very limiting for you as a dentist, the fear and if that fear keeps you in the network it will rally keep you from achieving your true potential and achieving a legacy practice! You can have good practice as a PPO practice, but you never are going to get your full potential, and ultimately you are going to have limitations around that; it is time to take these limitations off and achieve your full potential, but it truly leaves a legacy – now there is one other detail that I will throw in there. On why dentists stay in-network, and that is they don’t know how to market any other way they become so dependent on the insurance companies providing them patients, that they have if they had any marketing skill incubating at all – those skills have evaporated, and they simply don’t know what to do – but today that is, that is eminently solvable, just jump on my shoulders and do what I did! 

I would leverage any of our listeners to work with you, your company Naren EKWA digital marketing agency, to consistently attract quality new patients from Google! We will put a link in the show notes for the marketing strategy meeting where they can learn all about EKWA and learn whether that would be a good fit for them and if you just want to go to it, it is – marketing strategy meeting, and again that is marketing strategy meeting. Well, I am glad that we talked today about this; the number of reasons why dentists stay in-network is its fear but False evidence papering real. I want you to remember, and I want you to take active steps to mitigate that fear and become bold, as our friend Fred Goyle likes to say, and it is indeed bold, but for you to successfully reduce your insurance dependence, and you deserve that outcome thank you for joining us today we look forward to you joining us on our next less insurance dependence podcast.


Gary Takacs

Gary Takacs One of Gary's most significant achievements as a dental practice management coach is transforming his own practice, LifeSmiles, from one that was infected with PPO plans, no effective marketing strategy, and an overhead of 80% to a very successful dental practice that is currently one of the top-performing practices in the US.

With over 2,200 coaching clients, Gary has first-hand experience transforming insurance-dependent practices into thriving and profitable practices.

Through his Personalized Coaching Program, Gary shares access to the systems, strategies, processes, and experience gained over 41 years of coaching dentists and transforming over 2200 practices worldwide.

Learn More:
Connect with Gary Takacs on Linkedin

Naren Arulrajah

Naren ArulrajahAs CEO of Ekwa Marketing, Naren has over a decade of experience working with dental practices and helping them attract the ideal type of patients to their practices. It is his goal to help dentists do more of the type of dentistry they love with the help and support of effective digital marketing.

Ekwa’s "Done-For-You" Digital Marketing model blends fundamental persuasion principles with an all-in-one Digital Marketing solution to help your ideal patients find you and choose you for reasons other than being on their insurance plan.

If you’re interested in finding out if Ekwa is the right fit for you and your practice, book a Free Marketing Strategy Meeting with Ekwa’s Marketing Director, Lila Stone.

Book Free Marketing Strategy Meeting:

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