Episode #258: Actual Data from a Dental Practice that Has Successfully Dropped PPO Plans
Confidence is absolutely EVERYTHING when it comes to dropping PPO plans. Every single time when a dentist resigns from PPO plans, they tend to have second thoughts on whether they did the right thing as they may lose some patients as a part of the process. In this episode, Gary shares a real-life case study that will illustrate how dropping from PPO plans does not significantly affect the number of patients who walk into your practice. It is all about the confidence a dentist has in the decision taken to overcome the challenges that arise. Listen and find out how Gary suggests you reinforce confidence within yourself and your team!
N: Hello everyone, welcome to another amazing episode of the less insurance podcast dependence show. This is our 127th episode; it is titled the role of confidence in successfully dropping PPO plans. This is really really important, before we jump into this I wanted to make a quick announcement, and the announcement is based on popular requests we are bringing back a format that all of you loved. It is the 3 evening format of the thriving dentist show format, it is on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd, Tuesday Wednesday, and Thursday of April – this year, so 20th 21st 22nd of April this year Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 7 to 10 pm eastern time, only 20 spots available so take advantage of this opportunity sign up as quickly s you can when you go to the website thrivingdentist.com/mba you will see how many spots are available and if there are any spots available Pease sign up. We think there are a few slots left, and you will get 9 hours of CE – and Garry will talk about the 24 systems that make up a thriving practice and the 10 elements of a thriving practice. Also, he will share the 6 goals, there are 11 exercises that he will go through, so it is like a working workshop where you not only learn all the connections but you learn how to figure out and apply them in your practice, thank you for check-in it out and if you have any questions, you can always email us. Garry lets jump into the podcast the role of confidence in successfully dropping PPO plans, in my life most of my challenges have been in me not having confidence in other words the minute I say to myself this is a piece of cake it is a piece of cake, but a lot of times it is not that easy, it is easier said than done so I am really interested in talking about this today, Gary.
G: Naren confidence is everything in successfully dropping PPO it is absolutely everything, and certainly there are tactical components to it, but from the big picture, confidence is everything, henry ford said it and it is often quoted and attributed to him, ‘believe that you can, believe that you can’t – either way you are right.’ And that is so true – I mean think about the words there- believe that you can, you are halfway there, believe that you can’t it is not happening, and here I the behind the curtain detail I want to share with our listeners because this has happened every single time, every single time now Naren I have to be careful about using absolutes like always and never – rarely is something always or rarely is something never would you not agree?
G: But on rare occasions, we can use absolutes accurately, and in this case, I can say that what I am about to tell you has happened one hundred percent of the time of every single dentist, we have worked with and coached to successfully reduce insurance dependence – how is that for a teaser. It happens every time so if you are listening you are thinking what is that Garry what is it? Well let me tell you what it is – every single time a dentist resigns from a PPO plan, he or she will start to have 2nd thoughts – did I do the right thing? Now what happens after she resigns, now remember when you resign from PPO plans you will lose patients,
G: Again I say that confidently because you will lose patents, now when we did this initially in our practice back in 07 and 08 we had no idea what to expect we knew we were going to lose some. We knew it – we just did not know how many, and we are confident that however it shaped out was going to be better for us – today what we know and this is with a few hundred practices, successfully navigating and dropping insurances today what we experience because we track it in very detailed manner – our clients keep between 80, 85 and 90 percent of their in network patients when they go out of network, which when we look at the other way – they lose 10 to 15 percent now when we talk to dentists ahead of time about hey how’d you feel that you lost 10 to 15 percent of patients, they say oh my god f that is all I lose I would be thrilled but now here is what happens, and this happened this week I want to really use a case study it happened this week I won’t use our client’s name in deference to confidentially, but this doctor outlet the trigger resigned from delta and now the office because here is what happens, we send the letter out first to patients, letting them know what we have done because we know that delta is going to send their version of the letter to all the patients, it is , you know they do that every time and we want our letter to arrive first because it has an advantage because basically the letter from delta makes it sound like they have to find another dentist, it makes it sound that way – with the letter that goes to your patient’s doctor from delta, it makes it sound like it confuses the patient in to thinking that they have to go find another dentist so we send a letter out first that either arrives in their email box or in their physical mail box before delta’s letter does and it says you are going to receive a letter from delta be on the lookout for it – it will make you think that you have to go to another dentist but that is not the case – you can absolutely still come here for your case – now imagine being a patient that is now getting these letters and they are confused – what are they going to do? What are they going to do Naren when they get these letters? What are they going to do?
N: I think if they get a letter I think they have not had a conversation with a doctor or been notified by the doctor with a letter – they are going to believe what that first messenger tells them, you know which is A
G: They are going to call the office and say hey buddy I am kind of confused about what happened so this client got a hundred phone calls in the first couple of weeks after she resigned from delta
G: That really is not bad – it is a bigger practice, hundred phone calls – and how does that affect the doctor’s confidence
N: Oh no
G: Oh no so many calls – did I do the right thing? And then we dug into the data – out of those hundred calls – only 12 requested that their records be transferred somewhere else.
G: That is – so do the math, that is 12 percent thy lost and remember what did we say she as going to lose?
N: 10 to 15
G: 10 to 15 – right in the sweet spot.
N: Yeah and then the other patients, the other 80 said oh I am so glad I called – I was confused after I got this letter I will see you, next week doctor
G: Yeah and furthermore many of them said I am never going anywhere else – that was nasty of Delta to send that letter –
N: You know I think part of the reason these practices got the kind of result is the one you just shared– 88 percent of them decided to stay back – is because of your coaching the verbal skills you give them, the talking points you give them, the steps you teach them to take, one by one by one – if you do not have the coaching I think the results will not be 88 percent, it would be a lot less –
G: Yeah especially if the team does not know what to say for those calls, we go through extensive coaching with talking points and what to say, how to say it, and how to respond to the questions we know that they are going to get, but in this master theme of this episode on confidence.
G: I can imagine any doctor’s confidence getting rattled a little bit when they have a hundred calls essentially confused and kind of turning to the office and saying help me sought this out,
N: I think as a human being when something unexpected happens we panic for example a lot of people are taking a vaccine, but a lot of people know that especially after the second vaccine you might feel, you might get a fever or stuff like that – they know it they expect it they do not panic, imagine nobody told them that and they go and take the second vaccine and they start – oh something is wrong with me! I am sick and stuff, so I think part of what you do and so marvelously it is – you have seen this rodeo like a hundred times
G: I have seen this movie, um again and again
N: So for them, they have not seen it and having someone like you kind of guides them and you know leads them, and I think that is critical and typically what I think happens is this happens and they have not been trained or coached or supported or told what is going to happen. They panic and what do we do when we panic? We run for the hills, we run away we make it worse we almost like take a situation that is bad and that is like taking something from a frying pan and putting it into the fire you know we do that – so i
G: You know Naren I do most of my running solo
G: By myself – I can’t imagine why my friends do not want to get up at 4.30 in the morning and run with me I mean what? Come one
G: But recently I had a friend join me for a run and I was doing some hill work that day, and this is someone who has about the same fitness level as I do and he is a very accomplished runner and when we were stretching to being the run and I told him hey just a heads up – mile 5 pretty steep hill it goes on for about a mile and a half, it is steep but I chose this route today because today is my day to do some hill work and I just wanted to give you a heads up – do not be surprised when we get to mile 5 and it goes on for about a mile and a half. Just follow my pace and I will lead you through it, and then the last 2 and a half miles are pretty easy so we get a break after that, ok so the reason I am telling you this story is that now when he was at mile 5 he was ready for it – he said yeah Garry you were right it as pretty steep but I did not know it was that steep, it was pretty steep but it is only a mile and a half and then we get to cruise – so it is just the idea of being prepared. Well I want to shift gears, and I want to share a story with our listeners that on confidence that is maybe the best story I have ever heard – I have ever experienced actually, about confidence and it is kind of timely, and some of you will know that I am a golfer and I happen to be a fairly decent golfer and last week was the phoenix open. Many of you watched it on TV, and in 201 there was an event of a practice round and I wanted to describe it to you, now we actually have the video of it for you in the show notes of this podcast, I want you to watch the video – you will love this video it will make your day but the video will be at less insurance depence.com just scroll down to the episode, click the episode and you will see a link to this YouTube video, so let me describe it to you, and I will tie it back into the story of confidence so it was the practice round, it was a Wednesday before the tournament started and it was the 16th hole and the 16th hole by the way TPC is played well the phoenix open is played at the phoenix players club of Scottsdale it is actually my home golf course that is where I play when I play golf – most of the time, and I am very familiar with that course having played it hundreds of times, hole number 16 is part of three that is for the tournament it is completely surrounded by 4 levels of bleachers of scaffolding with bleachers, Naren this is literally a 4 story stadium you know that is completely surrounding the course – 4 stories, and during the course, the tournament, not this year because of Covid but normally in the normal years there would be 30,000 in the stand – fans in the stand, 30,000 – can you imagine that? Playing golf – golf is usually kind of quiet and sedate except for the phoenix open, phoenix open is kind of crazy they will have 250,000 fans there on a Saturday, and on this hole, there will be 30,000 of them sitting in the stand surrounding this hole, now during the practice round the PGA decided to partner with Special Olympics to raise some money for special Olympics and they invited a golfer from special Olympics – her name is Amy Balderstad and they invited her to play – excuse me Buckerstad, Amy Buckerstad – they invited her to play, they invited Amy to play that hole with a PGA golfer – Amy is not only a golfer, a young lady, she is not only a golfer but she also has down syndrome and she is a very good golfer, anyway they invited her to play the hole with Garry woodland – Garry woodland is an awesome PGA tour player and anyway they step p on the t. she meets Garry for the first time, she is thrilled to meet these gofers. She meets Garry woodland and he says, I heard you are a really good golfer and she says yes and he says would you like to play the hole with me? She says yes and so here she is T’d up and the fans are going crazy. Now there weren’t 30,000 fans in the practice round but there were about 10 to 15000 in the stands. Naren I have to tell you if I play inform of 10 people I get nervous playing golf can you imagine playing in front of 20,000 people in front of TV cameras – yep
N: I get it because I saw that video you made us watch us in one of your office hours with one of our mutual clients
G: I did! So what – let me tell you what happens, so she hits the ball, hits a really nice t shot 10 high, and it rolls into the green – I have been in that sand trap hundreds of times ok but great shot, great t shot, pin high lands in the sand trap – so now they are walking and Garry woodland says Amy would you like to hit the ball out of the trap? She says yes and she is talking to herself, she is saying I got this I can do it, I can do this – it is so cute, she is literally in a totally transparent way which we all should do by the way; I got this, I got this. Garry hands her the sandwich and if you do not play golf it is not easy to hit a shot out of a sand trap, it is not easy it is hard anyway she hits a perfect shot out of the sand trap and it rolls to about 15 to 18 feet from the cup everyone is cheering and Garry says great shot, she said thank you and Garry says would you like to putt and she says absolutely I would love to put and he hands her the putter and she says I got this I got this I can do this I can do this, now her and Garry woodland are lining up the putt, he said it looks to me like it goes a little bit left, and she goes yes a little bit left, she hits the put goes right in the middle of the cup drops into cup number 3, and fans go wild, fans go absolutely wild, now what is the moral of that story? I want you to watch the video because it is the most heartwarming thing that you are going to see – what is the moral of the story? The moral of the story is confidence, I got this I can do this
N: I think it is self-talk, a lot of people say
G: It is self-talk!
N: A lot of people do the opposite thing, oh it is going to be hard, it is going to hurt my practice, and all this stuff we say in the opposite direction, well self-talk we say things to yourself that we would never say to someone else,
G: nowhere is the backstory that you do not know Naren and our listeners may not know – that happened in late January 2018, the video that you have seen is late Jan 2018, and in June of 2018 Garry woodland won the US open
G: One of the 4 major championships, if you are a PGA golfer your lifelong dream is to win a major, so there are 4 majors – there are the masters, us open, the British Open, and the PGA championship – those are the 4 and the us opens are always in June or was before Covid and he won the us masters and when he was doing the interview, I remember the interview on CBS, and they go awesome Gary you have been close before but you have never won a masters – what was it? What was the difference this year? Do you know what he said?
G: What was the difference? Can you guess?
N: Maybe something to do with Amy?
G: The difference is Amy Buckerstad.
N: Oh wow
G: He said she is why I won, he said I watched her on this hole, and I am thinking she’s my coach; she is my sports psychologist –
G: This young lady had confidence and she pulled it off, she did not hesitate, she had no doubt, there was no negative self-doubt, no negative self-talk, he said ever since that day I have been following Amy buckerstad’s role model – I’ve been using positive self-talk I have been telling myself that I have got this, I have been telling myself I can do this and guess what – I did it. So he credited her with that, I thought that is such a cool backstory well as we bring this episode to completion, it is all about confidence, doctor you are going to have some patients that leave your practice because you are no longer in-network, you are going to have some leave however do it right and that number is going to be very manageable – typically 10 to 15 percent, and reverb the 85 to 90 percent that stays, when you start to have those moments of doubt – did I do the right thing, did I do the right this, am I doing the right thing, use the lessons from May – tell yourself you have got this, you can do this. Tell your team memes that they can do this – reinforce them, mind yourself, all of the amazing patients, that choose to stay with you when you go out of network well on that note I want you to take a minute and enjoy that video, share it with everyone you know, it is probably the most heartwarming video you have ever seen. On that note I want to take a minute and say thanks to all of you we appreciate each and every one of you listeners here at the less insurance dependence podcast, 3 things you can do to support our work, you can tell a colleague – maybe you can tell a friend that would benefit, from this lesson – the second thing that you can do is that you can write us a review on iTunes if you have not done it already go to iTunes lookup less insurance dependence and write us a review – third thing you can do is you can hit the subscribe button you can do it on iTunes Google Play or wherever you get your podcast to be sure to hit the subscribe button, that means every Thursday when we upload a new podcast episode, it will be uploaded for your listening convenience – thanks so much for the privilege of your time today.