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Episode 124: Step #6 to Successfully Resign from PPO Plans

February 25, 2021
In today’s episode, you will learn the sixth and final step to successfully resign from PPO plans!
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The sixth and final step to successfully resign from PPO plans is to add high-value services to your dental practice. People tend to pay for what they want before they pay for what they need, and this is an opportunity for your practice because you can attract patients who have an interest in high-value services that are not covered by insurance. In this episode, Gary will explain the best ways you can use high-value services to increase fee-for-service patients in your practice.

  • 00:01:08 – Intro to today’s topic 
  • 00:01:28 – Second Thriving Dentist masterclass! 
  • 00:07:52 – Step number six
  • 00:08:13 – What people want 
  • 00:14:24 – Run your own race
  • 00:16:14 – Treatment areas to consider 
  • 00:19:08 – Your team’s interest

Resources

N: Hello everyone welcome, to another episode of the less insurance dependence show, my name is Naren and I am your cohost. We have an exciting topic for you may of you know that Garry decided to do a series where every episode is one of the 6 steps to reducing insurance depended, today is step number 6 and we will include in the show notes all the other episodes links if anybody wants to kind of binge to listen to all episodes together you can, but before we jump in and talk about the 6th step to reducing insurance depended, I want to make an announcement. We just finished our first master class and it was totally sold out – we have a new master class coming out on a new topic, and this master class is going to be coming out on the 31st of March 2021, again 20 seats 3 hours of CE it is a Wednesday night, let Garry tell you a little bit more about what the topic is and what you can expect to learn

G: Hey Naren you know this next one we just finished one, we just finished our very first master class the idea was to provide a comprehensive course in a short timeline, in 3 hours. So the cool thing about the master class is that you get three hours of continuing education credits and allows us to take a deep dive into a particular topic. We just finished one, it is sold out – we do limit attendance because we do run it like a workshop not like a lecture so we do strictly limit attendance. This next one on March 31st is titled – a specific plan to reduce your overhead to 60 percent or less, so that will be our next master class – a specific plan to reduce your overhead to 60 percent or less and as my friends in England like to say, we are going to do exactly what it says on the tin – we are going to help your overhead to 60 percent or less, you are going to depart that master class with a very specific plan on what you can do to reduce your overhead to 60 percent or less. Now Naren we might have some listeners and say, Gary, is that even possible today in 2021? And my answer to that is going to be absolute. Why can I say that? You have heard me say this saying before but it supplies here – if it has been done before it must be possible. So not only have we done that in my own practice, but we have done it in hundreds of practices around the country, if it has been done before it must be possible – so come join us for that master class- Wednesday evening, March 31st – 3 hours of concentrated CE that you would depart with all the information you need to reduce your overhead to 60 percent or less. Anticipating that that master class will sell out, go to the less insurance dependence dot com or it is thriving dentist.com/master class so thriving dentist.com/master class there is a counter on that page that will indicate if there are seats left, If there are seat let I would encourage you to sign up because they will likely disappear

N: The last one sold out a month before the master class – a month ahead

G: Yeah and get excited about that, and also excited about our episode topic today – step number 6 to successfully resign from PPO plans.

N: let’s jump in Garry I really enjoyed the first 5 steps and many people wrote to us and talked about various challenges they had with some of those steps so this one I think is going to create the whole flurry of activity because I see many practices today have made a commitment especially post Covid to go out of you know reduce their dependence on insurance so thank you for doing this Garry

G: So let’s start by recapping where you know each one of these steps – step 6. Step one know your data – that means we need to know specific data about the plans that you are on so that we can come up with a resignation strategy that makes sense for your practice, number 2 you want to master digital marketing so step 2 is that you master digital marketing, and we need to do that for 2 reasons we need to replace any patients or people we might lose when we go out of network and perhaps, more importantly, you have to replace the flow of patients, that have historically come to you, from the PPO plans, because as soon as you resign that flow is cut puff. It is like applying a tunic kit to your arm, the blood flow stops with a tunic kit, well same thing here, that as soon as you resign you will get no more new patients, from inserting PPO name here haha delta, travelers, blue cross blue shield, you now met life, whatever it is so you have to replace those ahead of time, very important to be proactive with that – a mistake you could make is that you do not do it proactively you do it reactively – you want to replace it ahead of time, absolutely ahead of time – step number 3 strategies to get your entire team on board – your entire team on board – because this is a team sport and we want your entire team thinks of it like a theatric performance, if we go watch something in live theatre there might be featured actress and actresses, but the supporting cast has a very important role and that is why we have to get the entire team on board. Step number 4 we want to install an in-office membership plan – that is a very tactical step, but to want to install an in-office membership plan so that we can roll out the red carpet to attract people in your community who do not have insurance and step number 5 we want to elevate the relationship aspect of your practice – you know that is your secret sauce if we elevate the relationship – what we want it is the famous quote from the poet Maya Angelo and that quote this is what guides us into that step – Maya Angelo said I have learned that people will forget what you said people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel –and if you master that, they will not want to go anywhere else. And if you are thinking yeah Garry we do that I want to introduce a thought and that is that regardless of how well you are doing – we all my practice included can get better – haha can get biter – so it is about elevating the relationship-driven aspect of your practice, which now leads up to step number 6 which is all about adding high-value services to your practice – so step number 6 is to add high valued services to the practice, let’s talk about some of the details around this – and one of the things I want you to think about doctors say you are thinking about those high-value services is that people will pay for what they want before they will apply for what they need – think about that for a minute, it is an absolute human nature truth. people will pay for what they want before they will pay for what they and these high-value services are things that people want and when we are a dental office providing what people want it is a recipe for success, now they will still ask you is covered by my insurance, but it is a pretty easy response, to say well iwis h it did Linda, but your insurance was only designed to cover the most basic things, and this is more advance so your insurance plan ignored it. There is something on a very simple level that people want that many dental offices are just not tuned in to this – last year – excuse me it was 2019 because it was 2 years ago, a survey company was hired to stand on the street corner in downtown Chicago and they asked passer-by people who are just walking by – hey may I ask you a quick question, if there was something you could change about your smile hat would you change? Innocent question

N: Mhmm

G: Kind of a fun question, and they got over 6000 responses – 85 percent of the people that responded said they want whiter teeth,

N: Right

G: That they want whiter teeth – 85 percent, now I knew it would be a high number but I did not for a minute think it would be that high, and think abbot it, to every practice offers whitening it should I don’t know why they don’t, even ones that do sort of treat it as just another thing in their wagon and the average number of whitening procedures for offices that proved whitening is 1.2 whitening procedures a month

N: Ha ha

G: Naren may I be sarcastic for just a minute

N: Yes, please

G: Wohoo

N: Ha ha

G: Way to go – you gave it to the one person that begged you for it – now let’s put this in context for a minute and I am going to just make up a number that will allow us to run some math. Let’s say that you have 20 patients in your practice today, say for hygiene or restorative services whatever I am just using a number – 17 of them want whiter teeth

N: Right

G: Just today – that’s 85 percent of 25 now run that over a 16 day month,

N: 16 times around close to 300 –

G: So let’s get It exactly – 272 so 2 out of – 272 people want lighter teeth and you did one? Knock yourself out

N: Ha-ha just one out of 272

G: That is – what is that? One-third of one percent?

N: Yes

G: I mean that is pretty bad and you know I have heard it asked – does my insurance cover teeth whitening, and it is a very easy response – no, unfortunately, it doesn’t they call it cosmetic and because this I called cosmetic they don’t cover it – okay can I still do it? Yeah, they still want to have it done –

N: Give the pole what they want before you give them what they need –

G: And I am not suggesting that whitening is a highly valued service in terms of – when I am thinking of high value I am thinking of something that requires more investment but that is an example of the fact that people pay for what they want – by the way your goal in whitening, I would love you to develop a system in your practice where you’re doing 15 whitening procedures a month, I still think statistically that is not all that remarkable but if you go from one to 15 that is pretty good wouldn’t you say?

N: Great great

G: And by the way to those 15 are going to lead you it is a gateway service people whiten their teeth and they are going to be interested in lots of other things, so you know just to kind of amplify the concept that people e pay for what they want before they pay for what the need – now let me go to the second point ere, unfortunately, there is no blueprint to follow when it comes to what high valued services you should have

N: So let me ask you a question Gary the reason this is so critical is that it is a key step in reducing insurance dependence high-value services because you are going from practice that does to dentistry that is just doing the things that they need to a practice that is catering to what they want, more focused on you know listening to the relationship factor that comes in –

G: It is a conditioning exercise Naren because

N: Mhmm

G: Because most PPo practices, most dentists tell me that there so frustrated when the patient says I am only going to have it done if insurance covers it and as soon as we start to move the needle and get people conditioned to paying for things covered by insurance they are more open and it opens the world of perspective for them even if it is something as simple as whitening, because now all of a sudden they show with their – voted with their feet or their teeth, guess they voted with their teeth to say I am willing to do something nice for myself, that is not covered by insurance, so now it is a condition exercise in a positive way, that they get conditioned to be open to doing things that are not covered by insurance – but there is no blue print to follow – what I mean bit hat there is no generic set of high valued services that all of our listeners should have, most of our listeners will know that I am a endurance athlete I am a long distance runner so I run marathons half marathons and triathlons and there is a saying in the running community that you have to run your own race, don’t run someone else’s race run your own race that is a mantra I have when I am racing and so in the same way you want to run your own race when it comes to deciding what high valued services to add – and rather than doing demographics of saying well, what do people in my community want I would encourage you to approach it ina different way what are you interest in? What are you want to learn about more clinically, what excites you what would have you giddy with excitement to take a CE course that is something clinical you can add to your practice and those are the ones, that you should have. Because if you like it two things are going to happen – you are going to enjoy doing more of those procedures and you are probably going to get really good at it because it is something you enjoy – we are better at things we enjoy – you got to pick the things you like –

N: It is part of the transformation right, instead of being dictated right instead of insurance, oh half a dentistry every year to doing things you love as a clinician you know getting deeper and deeper into those things

G: Yeah

N: And of course sharing that with your patients so they know that you have such a love and commitment to whatever that is, sedation veneers, you are going got be good at it and it is something you are going to enjoy because you want to do it as opposed to another day at the mill

G: You know we are in the middle of winner which is different for you in to not that it is for me in Scottsdale –but it is kind of for me like rolling at the top of the hill starting that little snowball rolling down the hill

N: Right

G: That is what this does it’s about picking them – from the man, I am in this to the time you’re at the bottom of the hill you have got this big piece of a snowman, that started out a  little baseball sized snow ball at the top of the hill. So let’s talk about some examples of high-value services to consider and gain this is not mean t to be the perfect list, just ideas that we have applied in our own practice and our clients have applied with lots of success. Placing and restoring dental implants – adult orthodontics, adult orthodontics another greet high-value service to add – cosmetic dentistry which could b a lot of things but I tend to thin of veneers and smile designs, great high-value service to add – oral conscious sedation – another great service to add you know 49 percent of all adults out off a visit to the dentist because of fear, 22 percent won’t visit the dentist at all because of fear, once we let them know that there is a way for them to be completely comfortable during any vest in our practice, you are going to have a line – you have another high-value service to offer – complex restorative dentistry – many people, people are living longer they are living healthier they want to enjoy great oral health throughout their entire life and they want to be able to eat anything they want. Complex restorative dentistry, diagnosing and treating obstructive sloe apnea, another area that is creating a lot of interest in dentistry and another one just to go in a different direction in states where it is allowed doing Botox treatments, in many states you know check with your state but in many states, we can add Botox as a service in dentistry. And again that is a great example of people being willing to pay for something that they want before they will pay for something that they need, and there is more but that is just kind of a brainstorming list that you can use to think about your own high-value services and there is a need for every one of those, dental implants, seventy-five percent of Americans 35 and older are missing at least one tooth – 75 percent twenty-two percent of Americans are over age 60 are completely denture less – they have no teeth, and dental implant represents a pathway second chance to great oral health anyway I could go on and on, but there is – thin boat what interest you and three is other areas, think abbot what interest you and make your run your own race – you decide you decide what interests you. If it interests you I can assure you it will be successful in your practice, now I want to close this episode, with a tip- that was worth listening to just for this tip – once you become skilled in these areas and you add them to your practice I want to train your team members, on how to create interest in your high-value services, and I want to use it by example and I am going to use adult ortho saws an example – I have a  client that was an Invisalign provider for many years – and when I looked at the data he was doing 3 Invisalign cases a year – historically, Naren I could be sarcastic again here, like the whitening you know their Invisalign cases is kind of like Woohoo way to go

N: Ha ha ha

G: And the fact that he even said to me, Gary I need to do more Invisalign or stop doing it at all because I do it so rarely I always have to go back and look at my training materials I forget how to do the clan checking it is kind of a nuisance but I like doing it, so I either get to do a lot more of it or drop it – I said you are right, and anyway in the meantime, he had a hygienist that had to relocate sadly her husband was transferred out of state and they had to move and they hired a new hygienist and I am looking at the data – he went from 3 Invisalign cases a year to 1 a week. And this was not just a fluke, it was consistent one a week – hey Naren how about 3 a year compared to 52?

N: Yeah that is a 14x improvement

G: Ha ha ha

N: I mean it is a little bit of you know a measurement to really measure some success

G: And it is like a quarter-million dollars in his practice you know that s great – as opposed to before it was like 50 now depending on the price

N: Well remember when it used to be a nuisance? It is no longer a nuisance in his practice it is like a cornerstone anyway I said, you know what? What are you doing? He said I hired a new hygienist, and she is doing it and I said well I have got to talk to her and she said well Garry I came from an office that was doing a lot of Invisalign, and here is what I do – she said I approach the patient, and I am looking for crowding or spaces – notice what she is looking for Naren crowding or spaces

G: Yeah She is not looking for posterior inclusion. She is looking for crowding and spaces

N: Right

G: And if the patient has crowding or spaces she said here is what is ay I say Linda if there was a way to correct the spaces, in your teeth – without brackets or braces, would you have any interest in that? Guess what the vast majority of people say? Well yeah, I just did not want to look like I was back in middle school with those brackets – well we offer a service called Invisalign as the name might imply they are like it is a liner and so we can use this orthodontic procedure without brackets and braces when the doctor comes in to do the hygiene exam today I ask him to take a look and see if you are a candidate for Invisalign? Oh please, I would like to know – doc comes in she would make a pass off, Dr. Joe Linda is interested in learning if she can correct the spaces in her teeth with Invisalign – would you do e a favor take a look, and let her know? Of thank you so much for letting them know you bet I will do that and that is what they did to go from 3 cases to 52 cases by the way that has been sustained ever since. And we have seen this in practice after practice after practice, so train your team members on simple verbal skills to look for simple things that we can talk to them about I mean there are all kinds of, I could go through every one of those high-value services and adapt that, but I want to share that as a closing point to show you how you can really turbocharge all of this. Well hey, thanks so much for listening we absolutely love every one of our listeners at the less insurance dependence podcast, rammer Naren mentioned at the benign remember the master class coming up March 31st, specific plan to reduce your overhead to 60 percent or less. As we wrap up today let me simply say thank you we appreciate you, the things you can do to support our work, you can share this episode with a friend, secondly, you can jump on iTunes under less insurance depended and write us a review more reviews means more dentists can find us. The third thing you can do is you can hit the subscribe button on whatever your podcast directory is it could be iTunes it could be Google play it could be spottily it could be apple music, wherever you get your podcast be sure to hit subscribe that means that every Thursday when we upload a new show you will never miss a future episode, hey looking forward to connecting with you on the next insurance dependence podcast.


Gary Takacs

Gary Takacs Gary Takacs is a well-known presence in dental practice consulting. He brings deep knowledge of the individual elements of business success together with genuine compassion for the dilemma of the dentist in today’s insurance-driven culture. As host of the Less Insurance Dependence podcast series, Gary guides dental professionals to a healthier practice style that lets them deliver a hallmark-level quality of care.

You may recognize Gary’s dynamic style from his speaking engagements at a variety of symposiums and continuing education classes, or as host of the popular Thriving Dentist podcast show. As a dental practice coach, Gary’s insight is available on a one-on-one basis or through seminars, audio, and video programs.

As co-owner of a dental practice, Gary has the first-hand experience in making the transformation from high-volume/low fee insurance dependency to a fee for service model. His lively discussions run the gamut from eye-opening lessons in cost accounting to communication that shows consumers what they have to gain from a patient-centric practice.

A published author, progressive rock fan, biker, businessman, and family man – Gary Takacs always has a unique perspective to share.

Learn more about Gary’s coaching: www.thrivingdentist.com/coaching/
Connect with Gary Takacs on Linkedin

Naren Arulrajah

Naren Arulrajah Naren Arulrajah is a self-described "serial entrepreneur," enthusiastic about serving others. For more than ten years he has helped dentists, doctors, lawyers, coaches, consultants, and other professionals find practice success with personal fulfillment.

As founder and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, Naren has brought together a talented team of global experts in all areas of digital marketing. Ekwa’s International client base currently numbers about 200, at all stages of practice from start-ups to growth, transitioning to new leadership, and merger and acquisition.

Naren is always focused on giving back much value to the dental and medical community that has been instrumental in his success.

With a philosophy, in personal and professional life, of surrounding himself with others as passionate about success as he is, Naren fosters a philanthropic environment of sharing.

Naren is a consultant, speaker, author, and above all an inspirational innovator. AceTech Ontario honored Naren’s accomplishments with their 2014 Leadership Initiative Award.

Learn more about Ekwa: www.ekwa.com

Recent Episodes

Episode 130: Talking Points Versus Scripts
Episode 129: What Percentage of Patients will I lose when I drop PPO Plans?
Episode 128: The Important Role of Practice Champions in Reducing Insurance Dependance
Episode 127: The Role of Confidence in Successfully Dropping PPO Plans