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Episode 189: The Most Important Talking Point when Dropping PPO Plans

May 26, 2022
In this episode, Gary and Naren discuss the most important talking point you should use when talking to your patients about dropping plans.
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Do you know how to measure your success when dropping out of PPO plans? If you can’t measure your success, you can’t manage it.

Communication is key! In this episode, Gary and Naren discuss the most important talking point you should use when talking to your patients about dropping plans and why all your team members should use it. Gary also provides examples of two benchmarks to measure your success when you drop out of plans. 

He also explains why most people tend to follow the instructions stated in letters from Delta.

Gary emphasizes how Ekwa Marketing has supported him in attracting quality patients throughout the years. If you would like to learn about how Ekwa Marketing can help your practice become thriving and profitable, you can visit, 

www.lessinsurancedependence.com/mastering-dental-marketing/

Episode Timestamps

  • 00:00:50 – Introduction to the episode
  • 00:01:20 – Quick Announcement (Gary’s Thriving Dentist MBA Workshop – 9 Hours of CE)
  • 00:04:06 – Importance of having ways to measure the success
  • 00:04:51 – How to measure successfully dropping PPO plans?
  • 00:04:54 – Method 01 and Example: Assessing what happened to your income
  • 00:06:11 – Method 02: What percentage of your in-network patients do you keep when you go out of network
  • 00:06:59 – The most important talking point when talking to your patients about dropping plans
  • 00:08:25 – The importance of embedding this talking point with your team members
  • 00:08:44 – Gary shares an example of his client’s experience
  • 00:10:45 – Why would the patients think they have to go to another practice?
  • 00:12:44 – Putting this in context with DISC personality styles
  • 00:14:23 – Using positive mindset training
  • 00:15:37 – Quick Announcement (iLoveDentistry Summit)

Naren: Hello everyone, welcome to the less insurance dependence podcast, the official podcast of the reducing insurance dependence academy www.rid.academy. Please consider this an invitation to become a member of RIDA as a gift from Gary and I in appreciation for your listenership. This is Naren, your co-host. Today’s topic is the most important talking point when dropping PPO plans. Before we get into today’s topic, I have a quick announcement. The famous thriving dentist three-night MBA workshop will be happening on the 21st of June, 22nd and 23rd, so approximately a month from now. 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 7 to 10 pm eastern, nine hours of CE. Go to thrivingdentist.com forward slash MBA. What you will learn is Gary runs this in a workshop format so you’re going to be learning about the 10 elements and the 24 systems of a thriving practice. So, if you really want to build a practice that’s not dependent on PPO plans, that depends on how well you run your practice, then you really need to take advantage of this. Because Gary runs this in a workshop format, you’re going to take lessons you know every single night and then you can apply the next day. So that’s one of the things that people really appreciate about the MBA. So, looking forward to seeing you. We do run it with a limited number of seats so if you are interested go and see if there’s any seats available and sign up. So, the sooner you do that the better off you’re going to be

Gary: you know Naren one comment I’ll add to that I’m very excited about this one coming up in June. It is done in a live stream format. In other words the, the, course is virtual so you can attend from the comfort of your home or office however it’s done live  and that means that we have interaction with our guests that’s why we limited attendance so we can manage that interaction but I do want everyone know it’s done live with the ability for you to ask questions and contribute and you know really personalize it for, for, you and if you’re interested in really developing a thriving practice that MBA workshop would be a great place to, to, start come join us and look forward to seeing you there 

Naren: Thank you Gary. Now let’s jump into today’s topic, the most important talking point when dropping PPO plans. Gary, given our relationship and the fact that we have  you know quite a few mutual clients, one of the things that I hear from our mutual clients is, they’re surprised by how many of the patients they end up keeping, you know going in they might think oh I’m going to lose 20 percent but many of them will come back and say I only lost 10 percent, 8 percent, 12 percent and I think one of the reasons this is the case is because of the amount of time you and your team spend in in training Gary, meaning literally going through those steps one by one by one with all your coaching clients and then of course doing whatever it takes to make sure everyone is ready and you have all kinds of verbal skills and tools and strategies on doing that and I know today you’re going to be sharing one of the most important talking points that you teach your clients when they drop people plan, so I’m looking forward to this episode 

Gary: Yeah, I’m excited about this one as well Naren. You know when I’m talking to a client early in the journey, I always want to have ways to measure our success, you know if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it, does that make sense Naren?

Naren: right, yes

Gary: And I’m a bit OCD on this. I will raise my hand in true confessions. I’m OCD on measuring things, because if, if, we that’s why I wanted to own a practice. That’s the predominant reason why I wanted to own a practice when I discovered that I could measure things and I could report back. Otherwise, it’s simply stories and anecdotal evidence, does that make sense?

Naren: yes 

Gary: and so how do we measure successfully dropping PPO plans well one way we can measure that is what happened to your income so you know perhaps I’ll just use an example  a practice  collected a million dollars last year and had a lot of PPO plans and through our guidance and their work, the next year they’ve successfully dropped sometimes all of their PPO plans or many of them and now this same office is, is, now collecting 1.4 and 1.5 million dollars a year  rather than the million I think you’d count that as a healthy growth Naren, wouldn’t you?

Naren:  absolutely 

Gary:  and, and, so certainly we can measure it by dollars but another way we can measure the 

Naren: And other thing I like about this dollar is most of that extra money is profit because you know instead of giving it to the insurance company, now 

Gary: actually, I’m going to correct you Naren, all of its profit 

Naren: yes 

Gary: no because you’re not generating you know

Naren: it’s not like additional revenue right, its existing revenue it’s just you instead of giving it to the CEO of the insurance company you keep it you

Gary: give it to yourself 

Naren: yeah

Gary: so instead of giving it to the CEO of SIGNA who by the way last year made 67 million, million, dollars you give it to yourself 

Naren: right 

Gary:  and so, it’s all profit but now the other another way we can measure success because there’s a number of different benchmarks you can use to measure another way, we measure success is what percent of our in-network patients do we keep when we go out of network 

Naren: right 

Gary: and that’s a really important bedroom and the goal is to keep as many as possible 

Naren: right 

Gary: as many as possible and I really love working with team members on this because when they realize that we’re still going to do this in a very patient friendly manner and the goal is to keep as in others we’re not like putting these patients in the rear-view mirror and, and, saying okay we’re moving on as a practice and you’re no longer welcome here. That’s the opposite of what we’re doing. We’re saying no we want we love you, you, love us we want you to stay here in our practice and in the process of doing this now for many, many, years and, and, paying attention to the data, we’ve learned that there is one most important talking point when talking to your patients about dropping PPO plans and so I’m going to share with you what that is. Here is that talking point and Naren, I’ll use the example as if you were the patient and I was the doctor or team member communicating with you fair enough

Naren: yes 

Gary: As if it’s you Naren you can continue to use your dental benefits in our practice whatever benefits you have you can use them here that is the talking point. Let me repeat that Naren you can continue to use your dental benefits that you have in our office. Whatever benefits you have you can use them here that’s the talking point. Now let me enhance it and we’re going to help you get every dollar of benefit that your plan provides. We’re going to help you with that. When most patients hear that, they’re thinking great , I don’t want to go anywhere else I’m not going anywhere else. I think their major concern is I’ve got these benefits can I use them 

Naren: right 

Gary: and the answer is yes 

Naren: absolutely and we’ll help you get every penny and we’re going to help you so that talking point needs to be embedded in in your team members and we and you cannot tell patients enough about that, you can’t when you think you’ve provided enough, we need to raise the bar and do it more and I’m going to tell you why Naren I had a wonderful experience that I want to share with our listeners and this was a as a client of ours and as we were looking at the patients that she lost. By the way this particular practice lost 12 percent of their in-network patients right in the middle of the sweet spot because what we find let’s look at it in a positive way. We keep 85 to 90 percent of the in-network patients. 85 to 90 percent. Now that number will surprise most of our listeners, most of you are thinking oh yeah but that’s not going to happen in my practice. I’m going to lose way more than every client has said to everyone without exception. So, it’s okay if you think that but, but, just so you know if we dot the I across the t do all our preparation work, you’re going to keep 85 to 90 percent of those and in this particular office they were at 88 percent. That’s pretty much right in the sweet spot isn’t it Naren?

Naren: yes 

Gary: Yeah, and as she was looking at the list of patients, she said you know so look at the patients we’ve lost they’re my PITA patients and she actually used the full terminology not the not the acronym P-I-T-A. I won’t say it because we want to keep our lyrics clean you know on iTunes but they were her PITA patients and she said Gary as I looked through these there’s only three that I’m going to miss. Only three, anyway I honed in on that and I said this happens to be an outgoing gregarious doctor and I said when we finish the zoom call. I want you to call each one of those patients and tell them they can’t leave. Just say George you know you can’t leave my practice. I like you too much. You add too much texture in my practice. My life wouldn’t be as good without you as a patient. I’ll, I’ll, do whatever I need to do to get you to stay. I’ll work out whatever accommodation I need to and she said I’m going to do that and I knew she would because she has that personality. I knew she’d do it, and I said well text me back and let me know what happens well about two hours later I get a phone call from her she said I was going to text it to you Gary but I was going to wear my thumbs out doing it so I thought I’d call you said I called each one and did just what you said and each one said some version of the same thing George says I thought I had to go somewhere I thought I wasn’t able to still come see you now that I know I can’t I’m never going anywhere else and, and, you don’t have to do any special accommodation with me. I don’t need any special treatment, I just need to know that I can come here. Now why would they think that Naren 

Naren: why would they think that they can’t come here 

Gary: yeah 

Naren: you think because they got a letter from delta 

Gary: They got a letter from delta 

Naren: Yeah, and the letter from delta is so confusing that it makes them think they have to go somewhere else. Even though we had sent that patient a, a, early letter before the delta letter said you’re going to get a letter from delta, it’ll make you think you need to go somewhere else right but just so you know that’s not true you can come here, but you know it’s kind of like here’s a good way to look at it Naren you get emails letters that have a postscript 

Naren: yes, yes, 

Gary: you won’t remember anything in the letter but you remember the P.S

Naren: Yes

Gary: you remember the last thing 

Naren: Yeah

Gary: and so, this is like last thing and that’s why delta does this 

Naren: right 

Gary: so, when she told these patients that you know no, no, you can still come here that was all they needed to hear 

Naren: right

Gary: That became the new last thing that they heard, and they stayed. So, you cannot tell your patients enough that you can come here. You can still use those benefits here and that is the talking point we need to emphasize and emphasize and emphasize again.

Naren: make sense right because they have a relationship, they love you they, they, appreciate your technology they appreciate your team they have worked with you for the last five years three years two years right as their dentist

Gary: right 

Naren: so, they want to come to you the only reason they, they, may not come to you because they think they cannot so you have to kind of reinforce that you know and say

Gary: Now let’s put this in the context of the disc, D-I-S-C personality styles.  The s’s and C’s which constitute the largest percentage of people. 40 percent of the people are high S, in, in the disc personality styles, 25 percent are high C, add those up,

Naren: 65

Gary: 65 percent, two thirds are rule followers.  They’re rule followers. That’s how that’s in their dna 

Naren; Right

Gary: that’s in there they are rule followers they follow the rules 

Naren: right and they think the rule is they have to go somewhere they can’t go 

Gary: yeah, they that’s a new that’s the rule and so that’s another reason why this can happen

Naren: Right

Gary:  the rule following the subconscious rule following dynamic kicks in they read the thing like oh bummer it’s a bad letter they got from delta because I can’t go to my favourite dentist all 

Naren: right 

Gary: and so, it works on their delta knows this delta absolutely knows this that’s why they write those letters that way and they do everything they can to discourage people to, to, go to dentists that aren’t in the network but so you need to figure out as a listener how many different ways can we tell the patient whatever you can use your benefits here

Naren: Benefits yeah 

Gary: Whatever benefits you have you can use it and not only that but we’re going to help you get every dollar of benefit. Let’s brainstorm about how many different ways you can say that,  and when you think you’ve done it enough, dial it up dial it up again, when you think you’ve done enough dial it up a little bit and you know maybe we use positive mindset training, Naren, and imagine  you know you’re a mid-career dentist having this conversation with a patient you say Naren I look forward to taking care of you for many, many, years into the future positive thinking right, Naren I look forward to taking care of you and your family not only now but long into the future, positive thinking positive training positive  visioning around this and  I’ll I look forward to taking care of you and your family for many, many, many years and that you know that’s another way to say you know hey you’re going to stay in my practice, you know it’s positive, positive, thinking. So that’s a takeaway on, on, today. Most important talking point is that you can use your benefits in our practice. You can still use your benefits in our practice, whatever benefits you have you can use them here we’re going to help you get every dollar of benefit you have. Hey as we wrap this up today Naren, thanks for talking to our listeners about our upcoming thriving dentist MBA on June 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.  We have another event coming up that our listeners might be interested in. It’s the I love dentistry business summit and that’s happening on Friday June 10th. It’s from noon to 4 p.m. eastern. It’s our I love dentistry Facebook group that we’re doing our first ever business summit. We’ve got a list of great guest speakers, we have some Q and A sessions we’re hosting some panels all related to the business side of dentistry and if you’re as interested in the business side of dentistry as I am you’re going to love that summit and here is our gift to you there is no tuition, if you attend the entire session, you’ll get four hours of CE there is no tuition. If you’d like to register for that we do need to register, go to ildsummit.com, ILD stands for I love dentistry go to I love dentistry ildsummit.com and register and we’ll look forward to seeing you on June 10th as we wrap this up, I want to express some thanks. Naren, hey thanks to you and your team at EKWA for all you do to support the marketing of my practice we’re a client of EKWA and we love how you help us attract quality new patients to our project very important piece of the puzzle when successfully dropping PPO plans is have a marketing plan in place to replace any you might lose and I’m very appreciative of you and your team for all you do to support us. Also want to take a minute and thank our listeners. We love what we do here at, at, the less insurance dependence podcast but we try to never forget the fact that we couldn’t do what we do without you. If you haven’t done it already, jump on iTunes and write us a review. A review on iTunes helps more dentists find us. On that note let me simply say thank you and tell you that Naren and I will look forward to connecting with you on the next less insurance dependence podcast.

Resources


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:: www.thrivingdentist.com/coaching/
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: www.lessinsurancedependence.com/marketing-strategy-meeting/

Recent Episodes

Episode 216: 5 Specific Things We Learned from the 2022 RIDA Summit
Episode 215: Does it Work for me as an Owner Dentist to be Fee For Service but for my Associate Dentist to be a PPO Provider?
Episode 214: Tips to Get New Team Members on Board when Resigning from PPO Plans
Episode 213: Turning Patients into Ambassadors