March 2019 - The Dental Practice Fixers
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March 2019

Dentist Cheating Insurance Company

The Dentist and Office Manager are Cheating Insurance Companies

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Welcome back to The Dental Practice Fixers podcast, dentistry’s most unique show! Today we have a question from a listener asking if the office manager would be liable for falsifying dental records sent to insurance companies if it’s being done under the dentist’s direction. It appears as though this office is having a difficult time getting insurance to approve scaling and root planning so they are fudging the records that are sent to insurance. Listen to what Dave and Rich have to say about this one. Then of course we do the call of the week. A caller who is a potential new patient asks an office if they are having a “Teeth Cleaning Sweepstakes.” Listen in to see how this one was handled! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to podcast@madow.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!

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Season Two – Episode 6

The Dentist & Office Manager Are Cheating Insurance Companies

Dr. Richard Madow: Hi, I’m Dr. Richard Madow, and welcome to Episode 6, Season 2 of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. And this is a really really big day for those of you in Dental Practice Fixers land which obviously you’re in Dental Practice Fixers land that you’re with us today. Those of you listening on iTunes and Spotify and Sketcher and Diesel and Weasel, whatever you’re still on. You might not know this, but if you’re watching on YouTube or some other video server, you can probably tell that this is our first live video podcast of the Dental Practice Fixers. We’ve been all audio up until now finally, Episode 6, Season 2. We’re coming at you and you can actually see us for better or worse. So I’m not sure if that’s better or not but as you can tell, we’re actually in different locations today. So here I am over here, Dr. Richard Madow and over there is my bro, my main man, my business partner and my co-worker, Dr. David Madow. How is it going today Dave?

Dr. David Madow: What is going on? I’m doing feeling fantastic. Rich this is a monumental day in the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast because we’re… I just want to make sure people understand. We’re keeping… it’s still going to be available on iTunes in all of the audio podcast formats. We’re not going anywhere but we’re adding another dimension. We’re doing… we’ve got a video channel setup. It’s called the Dental Practice Fixers on YouTube and you can actually watch us for better or worse, I guess. Watch us as we’re doing these shows. So feel free to go to the Dental Practice Fixers on YouTube. Just do a search for that, it’ll come right up and subscribe. Subscribe and make sure you enable notifications if you’re watching us on YouTube. So, then every time a new episode comes up with just once a week, you’ll get an extra notification. And please interact with us. I think YouTube is probably more… what’s the word I’m looking for. It’s easier to interact with us.

Dr. Richard Madow: Interactive. Maybe it’s more interactive. Is that the word you’re looking for?

Dr. David Madow: That’s the word I’m looking for. So you can comment, you can like, you can comment back. It will feel definitely more interactive. So we’re looking for this YouTube channel to really grow with some help from you of course.

Dr. Richard Madow: Now Dave before we go any further, I do want to point out that our lawyer [inaudible – 0:02:31.8] Goldberg pointed out that we do need to read some instance we’re going on video and that is that if you are enjoying the podcast while driving, we cannot be responsible for anybody watching the video and getting it to any kind of accident. So this whole disclaimer we have to send, courtesy of [inaudible – 0:02:48.0] Goldberg. So if you’re driving, please do the audio only. But if you’re sitting in your office, your home, you’re on the treadmill, you’re at the movies, wherever you are, you can watch this on your computer or any of your devices.

Dr. David Madow: But they could still… let’s say they’re driving and they’ve got their iPod, iPad, whatever it might be, as long as they’re not… if they got only on YouTube only and as long as they give us their word they’re not watching, I think our lawyer said that might be okay.

Dr. Richard Madow: he only said you cannot utilize YouTube. Well we’ll leave that up to the discretion of the listener.

Dr. David Madow: But what about some of our field insurance guys? Are we insured just in case somebody tries to sue us for watching our…

Dr. Richard Madow: It’s funny that you said that because I contacted them yesterday and told them what we’re doing, and he looked through the policy and he said, guess who doesn’t have insurance. So I guess we’re not. So please be kind, rewind. Well that was quite an intro. So again we’re still on audio if that’s the way you want to enjoy it. But if you’re really a glutton for punishment, you can watch us live. I’m on the east coast today. Dave is in mountain time through the magic of electronic technology, here we are all together. So Dave, I understand that you’re got a really crazy questions today that someone submitted.

Dr. David Madow: It’s unbelievable. So we’ll get into right now because it’s

Dr. Richard Madow: Let’s do it.

Dr. David Madow: It’s an incredible question I think, not only can we give a great answer to. I promised this listener that we will give him a great answer too.

Dr. Richard Madow: Great. That’s subjective.

Dr. David Madow: But we can expand on it. I think everybody is going to love this. So I’m going to go ahead and read the question. It’s a little bit on the long side so bear with me. I actually edited it down a little bit too. So okay, here is how the question goes. Hello Madow Brothers, I just left an office that is practicing insurance fraud. That’s good enough already isn’t it?

Dr. Richard Madow: Right on. Let’s just say congratulations.

Dr. David Madow: It gets better. They’re cooking up a double set of records. One pair of your charts for the insurance company and one for the patient. Granted, the insurance companies are being more and more ridiculous about the perio unless there is calculus visible on x-rays. So I get it, I’m kind of talking at her tone. But there are other cases where they say, well if we add a few more millimeters here and a little mobility there, we can submit another quad or two for scaling and root planing. To make matters worse, the doctor tells the office manager to do whatever you need to do to get those treatment plans accepted. I don’t want her to get in trouble, if caught… here’s my question, if caught, is there any way that just the doc alone would be liable or will the office manager be liable too? Name withheld, I request.

Dr. Richard Madow: Good move withholding your name. Let’s just start with that. Now let me just get this straight.

Dr. David Madow: a double set of books here.

Dr. Richard Madow: We’ve been coaching for 30 years, and just when you thought you’ve heard it all, I’ve never heard this before. This is amazing. They are keeping an accurate record for their patients’ treatment sake, but then submitting a completely falsified record, an exaggerated record in order to get insurance coverage. So it’s pretty much what’s going on here.

Dr. David Madow: Yes.

Dr. Richard Madow: And they add extra pocket depth and mobility. Now they don’t add any extra We’ll give them a little credit for that.

Dr. David Madow: We don’t know for sure. They might be adding [inaudible – 0:06:27.6]. That wasn’t really stated so we don’t know exactly.

Dr. Richard Madow: My first comment is will this doctor be comfortable being the prison dentist one day because that’s where they’re headed. Is this what you have to do to get a job as the prison dentist?

Dr. David Madow: I mean, Rich it’s just an unbelievable story. We can go for so many tangents here but let’s… maybe the first, the quick answer. The first quick answer is the office manager liable also. I’m going to say yes. I mean even though it’s under the doctor’s direction, she is falsifying records. It’s illegal.

Dr. Richard Madow: That’s illegal. We’re not attorneys.

Dr. David Madow: I felt we were.

Dr. Richard Madow: I sleep with an attorney every night so maybe it’s starting to rub off for me a little bit.

Dr. David Madow: Oh I don’t know that. Oh your wife, that’s right.

Dr. Richard Madow: I’m going to say the office manager knows this is illegal. And also, again, from what I’ve learned a little bit in living with an attorney, there’s an exact phrase which I can’t recall but it’s something among the lines of just because you don’t know the law, it doesn’t excuse you if you break the law.

Dr. David Madow: That’s very true.

Dr. Richard Madow: You can’t rob a bank and then go to court and say, well I didn’t know robbing a bank was illegal. And then in this case, I’m not even sure how that applies because the office manager knows this is illegal. They’re complicit in insurance fraud. If I’m prosecuting on behalf of the insurance company, I’m going after everyone especially the office manager who’s making these notes to patients. The office manager is falsely claiming and knowingly falsely claiming these records that are true. What a bad situation. Congrats on quitting.

Dr. David Madow: The writer quit but she’s concerned about the office manager is still there. But Rich we can also go off in a different direction because first of all, we would never ever ever recommend doing anything illegal in dentistry or in our lives. So that goes without saying, falsifying record is illegal. But the other direction we can go on is… the basic problem is they’re having a big issue of getting perio cases, scaling or root planing approved. So there’s a reason for that, and I’ll tell you something. I know for sure that if they just maybe submitted things a little bit differently to the insurance, I mean, totally honestly, but let’s say there’s no real visible calculus on the radiograph, but let’s say if they sent a narrative and said you might not be able to see this on the radiograph but there is a ton of information, there’s calculus that maybe can’t be seen, there’s mobility. This person, this patient definitely needs scaling or root planing. This is what I’m recommending professionally and I would even take it to the point where if the insurance company denied it, send another narrative and say you are denying something that is absolutely and medically necessary if this patient gets upset and comes after somebody. You’re going to be named in the lawsuit. You do not want to deny this claim because this patient needs this treatment. And I’ll tell you something, I think the insurance company would reverse their decision very very quickly.

Dr. Richard Madow: I agree. Unless Sonny Lee is the insurance clerk, then they might not. Denied, but I was going to say a very similar thing. It’s all in the narrative. Numbers are numbers. Narrative is narrative. The insurance person cannot see the case and you’ve got to describe to them in detail and this is the one time I love using dental lingo. I would say, I know you agree. Don’t use dental lingo with patients, but with insurance people I love to use dental lingo and make it sound very complicated. So I would describe as complex ways as you can, and have about some photographs. You’re saying that the calculus is not visible in the radiographs. Send some photographs. Send some photographs of perio probably around it. I mean just do whatever it takes to let them know that yes there is perio disease here, and as you said I think it’s great to say and you’re going to deny this patient’s treatment that’s going to save her teeth? Are you willing to be responsible for that? Won’t always work but I love a good narrative.

Dr. David Madow: Yeah. So I think the dental office is going about this totally the wrong way. Trying to make things up and fudge things with a different set of records as opposed to just telling the truth and saying this patient… look, I’m a doctor. You’re an insurance person, I’m a doctor. I’m telling you this patient needs this treatment. If you’re ready to deny this, you’re going to face the consequences if that comes back on. And I’d say 99% of the time the insurance company say okay you got me.

Dr. Richard Madow: I give. You know what’s weird Dave? Is that so frequently we see practices through our coaching that are under diagnosing and under treating periodontal disease. I wonder if this office is actually over diagnosing and over treating periodontal disease. Dental perio claims approved if you really do it right, it’s not all that difficult.

Dr. David Madow: Yeah agree.

Dr. Richard Madow: My gut feeling is they may be pushing their perio cases for a little more than they actually are. Maybe not but it’s possible.

Dr. David Madow: I mean I didn’t think of that but it’s possible because if they’re trying to do scaling or root planing on a ton of patients that have twos and threes, maybe they are. That’s a good point too. But if the patient… if they’re diagnosing the patient who truly needs it, it’s up to the doc and the team there to make the insurance company realize that this treatment has to be done. So we’re going full back to that office. They’re doing something wrong and certainly, falsifying records is really wrong, really not good.

Dr. Richard Madow: Do you remember back in the day when we were in dental school? We weren’t there together. You’re 4 years ahead of me school wise, but…

Dr. David Madow: Oh watch it. Don’t tell anybody that.

Dr. Richard Madow: When we took the Northeast Regional Boards, you had to have like a perfect class two lesion because you wanted to do a gold… in-layer gold foil and I think they have to do it on an amalgam on a class two as well back in the day.

Dr. David Madow: We did.

Dr. Richard Madow: And it was tough to find a perfect one and some people would actually take a graphite pencil and draw a little [inaudible – 0:12:31.2] area in the inner proximal and duplicate the x-ray. I’m thinking, geez this is just… it’s complete fraud. It’s unbelievable. And those are probably the same people that are doing this.

Dr. David Madow: I was ready… the things that you had to get done to get your license.

Dr. Richard Madow: I want to make another comment too. Back when I was in my practice, I remember early on I have a patient pay for… it’s fairly large case. It was large to me in those days. Probably would seem like nothing now in cash. And they handed my office manager Carol cash and said I bet Dr. Madow is going to like this. And then she came to me at the end of the day and totally innocently said, Mr. so and so who paid in cash, do you want to just pocket this? And I said absolutely not. We have to report this income just like everything else. And it’s one of those things where if your team knows that you’re willing to bend the rules, especially rules like that. Tax fraud, pocketing cash. If they know you’re willing to do that, that where you draw the line and where do they draw the line. If you’re willing to do that, well what’s wrong with them taking home a couple of paper clips which leads to them taking home some more office supplies which we…

Dr. David Madow: Toilet paper.

Dr. Richard Madow: Toilet paper, of course. They can wipe you out with toilet paper. And then was that going to lead…well we don’t really need all this …. I’m going to sell some on eBay. Little dishonesties can turn into some big dishonesties especially if they think you’re dishonest or if they think they have something on you so to speak.

Dr. David Madow: Yeah. And let’s close this little segment and I’ll give you my opinion on how I live my life. Rich I’m pretty sure you live your life the same way. We’ve known each other for quite some time. But I just don’t do anything in life that is going to come back and haunt me that I’m going to get a knock on the door from the IRS or anything. It’s easy to cheat a little bit here now on your taxes but why do it. If you do things right, if you follow the rules, nothing is going to… it’s just not going to come back and haunt you and that I think is a great way to live your life.

Dr. Richard Madow: I totally agree. And that doesn’t mean that we’re like total dorks and do things that are crazy and fun and outrageous and pushing boundaries. When it comes to breaking the law of cheating on taxes or committing insurance fraud, you got to be crazy to do stuff like that.

Dr. David Madow: Yup. Don’t do it.

Dr. Richard Madow: Don’t you break my heart.

Dr. David Madow: Are you ready for the call? We got a great… we’re going to do a great call…

Dr. Richard Madow: Before we do the call, I just want to mention something.

Dr. David Madow: Sure.

Dr. Richard Madow: The last podcast, I was talking about Fattmerchant and talking about how it’s the most incredible way to save on your credit card processing. Because they don’t take an overage percentage. They just charge a low monthly fee. No percentage at all. And I said there’s a special page we have. If you want to check out Fattmerchant, start saving money right away. We use it in our office. You should use it in yours. Go to this website and then guess what, I gave the wrong website.

Dr. David Madow: Oh no, ouch.

Dr. Richard Madow: So I think a bunch of people might have been stranded in like some under construction sites. The website still has under construction signs. It seems to be a little anachronistic.

Dr. David Madow: I think it probably depends on the website and the host I’m guessing.

Dr. David Madow: Okay. Well this is a very nice host. So here’s the correct website. If you want to find out how to save money, get the best credit card processor with Fattmerchant. It’s B I T.LY/FATTMAD. So Fattmerchant is spelled with two Ts. Madow is spelled with MAD, so we kind of combined little shorten versions and I somehow screwed it up. So again it’s BIT.LY/FATTMAD, that’s it.

Dr. David Madow: And if you’re watching the video version of this on YouTube, if you’re watching this on video, right below we are putting the… any time we give a link or something, it’s going to be written below. So there’s no mistake now. Of course, last episode, when you gave the wrong one, our video editor guy of course took it from the script and he put the wrong one.

Dr. Richard Madow: How dare he.

Dr. David Madow: I know. Can you believe it?

Dr. Richard Madow: It’s almost as bad as committing insurance fraud by exaggerating perio pockets but how it seems to know.

Dr. David Madow: I know. Right?

Dr. Richard Madow: That’s no excuse if they didn’t know though. Right? And there’s no www, there’s no .com. It’s just a cool little shortened thing. BIT.LY/FATTMAD.

Dr. David Madow: And while we’re talking about some really cool things that we are helping you within your practice, really quickly, our mastermind… sorry, our Masterclasses are really doing great. It’s a very small group of people that we invite to a location generally in Baltimore. Occasionally you have to check the website which will be below in one second. We might travel to another city but it’s pretty much we like to do it in our hometown of course of Baltimore. Let’s face it, it’s comfortable, it’s easy for us so that’s what we’re doing. And let’s face the fact that we generally have a group of great docs that come in somewhere between… we have only between 8 and 12 per Masterclass. And it’s way that… one of very intimate basis we can show you exactly from start to finish how we could help you and your practice through dental coaching and we’ve been helping a lot of practices over the last few years. Really go from here to here very very easy. And love when you do so much more. So check out. I’m going to make sure I get this right, and in case I don’t, it’s going to be right here below…

Dr. Richard Madow: Who would ever get a website wrong? You’ve got to be an idiot to do that. Come on.

Dr. David Madow: But this is an easy one. It’s simply Masterclass.madow.com. And it’s written right there. If you’re watching the video version but if you’re still listening on ITunes which is very cool, masterclass.madow.com.

Dr. Richard Madow: Fantastic. Let’s do our call of the week. I don’t know about you. I think these are always the most fun part of the podcast.

Dr. David Madow: Let’s dial up a real good one today Rich. Okay? I’ve got a great concept so hang on one second.

[phone ringing]

[foreign language]

[machine recording]

Female Speaker: Hi, how can I make you smile today?

Dr. David Madow: Hi, how are you? I have a question for you. I’m kind of new in town and I know I probably need some work and a neighbor of mine told me… I hope I got the right place so you’ve got some kind of a cleaning sweep space contest going or something like that.

Female Speaker: I don’t think so. I haven’t heard about that. Was it our office?

Dr. David Madow: Maybe, I might be mistaken. It could be my fault. I’m not sure. You don’t have any kind of like contest going for cleanings?

Female Speaker: No we do not. I’m sorry.

Dr. David Madow: Okay. I guess I got to find out who’s doing that contest. I know I need a lot of stuff going. Okay well thank you very much.

Female Speaker: You’re welcome. Have a good one okay?

Dr. David Madow: Same to you. Bye.

Female Speaker: Bye.

Dr. Richard Madow: Wow, what kind of contest? She was a little surprised. You caught her by surprise there.

Dr. David Madow: You didn’t hear about the cleaning sweepstakes in the nation? You didn’t hear about that?

Dr. Richard Madow: We’ve been in… okay let’s back up for a second.

Dr. David Madow: Back, yes I know…

Dr. Richard Madow: I know you’re going to agree. I cannot stand the automated menu stuff. It just screams corporate dentistry; we don’t care. You’re just a number.

Dr. David Madow: That is ridiculous. I mean how large… it’s probably, okay if you’re a new patient press 1, if you’re something press 2, if you have a billing inquiry. I mean how large… I mean it’s going to the same person.

Dr. Richard Madow: If you’re an old patient press 2, if you’re a middle age patient… yeah I agree.

Dr. David Madow: That was ridiculous.

Dr. Richard Madow: Really bad. If you’re so short staffed that you need to have some kind of menu for people to call.

Dr. David Madow: So that part was totally ridiculous and I think most people are going to hang up on those things.

Dr. Richard Madow: I agree. Okay I have something positive to say.

Dr. David Madow: You do?

Dr. Richard Madow: I like the way she answered the phone and just gave her name and said how can I make you smile today. Something like that.

Dr. David Madow: Oh I loved that. I thought she was going to be totally great because when she said that I felt that was fantastic.

Dr. Richard Madow: I agree. Again it’s a different entry. Differentiate or just like we teach practices to say how can I help you. How can I make you smile today? It’s great. She might get some weird answers but still great.

Dr. David Madow: Okay look. I don’t know what else I could have done. I told her I’m new in town. I think I need a lot of work. It’s been a while since I’ve had a cleaning and of course this bogus thing about some kind of sweepstakes contest for cleaning. But oh my god she didn’t take the bait. She just said I don’t think we’re doing that, goodbye. She could have said, well let me tell you something, we’re not having an actual contest going but certainly come on in to our office and here are the reasons why we would take great care of you. Done, game, that’s it.

Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah I’ll say it was a kind of a funny/crazy thing to say which was great and it really caught her by surprise. And you could say well she was so caught by surprise, she was a little bit off her game, but as the call went on after the contest sweepstakes thing. It was already settled that’s not them, she made no effort to get to know you and ask you any questions, say welcome to the neighborhood or we’re not doing a contest but we think you’ll love Dr. [inaudible – 0:22:32.3], whatever it is, something rather than you called the wrong office, bye.

Dr. David Madow: And I know that this was meant to take her by surprise because she probably never got a call like that before saying are you having a cleaning sweepstakes but my point is though that all day long, people that answer the phone at a dental office, they might be taken by surprise. It might not be that question but it might be something else that they got to be quick at thinking on their feet and she was not quick and she lost a possible patient because of that.

Dr. Richard Madow: Agree. It’s kind of like our old lesson. Anybody that calls your office as a potential new patient, they might say a hundred different things, but it’s the same thing they’re saying and that is out of all the dental practices in your town or your city, I picked your office, I called you, I’m trying to become a patient of your practice, please let me do it.

Dr. David Madow: You forgot to say one thing.

Dr. Richard Madow: I want you to be my dentist.

Dr. David Madow: Agree. That’s basically what they’re saying. What can I do to help you? I want you to be my dentist.

Dr. Richard Madow: Every darn one of them. So why not get that person? Okay so they thought they was some [inaudible – 0:23:39.4] cleaning contest, let’s get them on the appointment book and show them our dental practice is the best.

Dr. David Madow: So since we grade this at the end of every call, I’m going to have to give an F because she had all the ammunition right there. I’m new in town, I need to lot of work. I think I need a lot of work. No effort was made whatsoever. I give her an F. I’m sorry.

Dr. Richard Madow: I’m going to say it wasn’t her fault if they had that crazy voicemail pick a number menu. I love the way she answered. She was at least somewhat friendly. She completely dropped the ball where it can which she did not even attempt to get to know you or get you to get you in the appointment book. But just because I’m feeling a little warm-hearted today I’m going to give her a D- because I think she’s trainable.

Dr. David Madow: Okay fair enough.

Dr. Richard Madow: Well there you have it. Our very very first video episode of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. It happens to be Episode 6, Season 2. But for those of you who are listening to audio only, we still love you just as much. If not more. So wherever you’re listening, go ahead and give us a five star. If you’re on YouTube give us a thumbs up, make some comments and we’re going to be back with another episode really soon. What do you say Dave? Where are you? Can you adjust that? I think the…

Dr. David Madow: What am I adjusting?

Dr. Richard Madow: The little fader or on channel 16 I think should be 15,000 mhz.

Dr. David Madow: Hold on, let me move that up.

Dr. Richard Madow: Perfect, you got it.

Dr. David Madow: Is that better? Does it sound a little better?

Dr. Richard Madow: Much much better, perfect.

Dr. David Madow: Hey guys until next time. I’m Dr. Dave.

Dr. Richard Madow: Dr. Rich. We’re the Madow Brothers.

Dr. David Madow: The Dental Practice Fixers. We fix all through your practice. See you next time.

[music playing]

 

 

 

 

Dental Consultant Recommended Dropping Two PPOs and Now Practice is Declining

By | Episodes | No Comments

Welcome back to The Dental Practice Fixers podcast, dentistry’s most unique show! Today we have a question from a listener asking for help. He hired a consultant and she immediately recommended that he drop two PPOs. Upon doing so, he noticed that he is now not nearly as busy as he used to be. Was it a good idea to drop these insurance plans even though they were PPOs? What is the next step to becoming more productive? Listen to what Dave and Rich have to say. Then of course we do the call of the week. An office in Delaware claims that they were voted one of the state’s top dentists. But when questioned about it, things all of a sudden begin to fall apart. Listen in to see how this one was handled! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to podcast@madow.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!


Dental Consultant Recommended Dropping Two PPOs and Now Practice is Declining

Female Speaker: The Dental Practice Fixers Podcast is brought to you by the Madow Center For Dental Practice Success. To find out how we can help increase the success of your practice, check out madow.com or call us at 1-800-258-0060.
 [Music Playing]
 Dr. David Madow: Hello there and welcome to the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. I’m Dr. David Madow, and Rich and I really appreciate you being here. I’ll bring Rich here in one second. But before I do, I just want to thank you so much for being a friend and a listener. If you have a second, we will would appreciate some help from you. Simply if you like what you’re hearing, we’d love to have you go to iTunes and give us a nice honest review. If you give us five stars on that, it’ll be great, but just if you want to give us a comment, like, a review or whatever what you want to do, it helps to show a message. So, we appreciate whatever you do. And without further ado, I’m going to go ahead and bring my co-host Richard Madow. That’s Dr. Richard Madow into the show. Rich how are you doing today? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I am doing great, and you don’t have to doctor me but I’ll take it. So this is Dr. Richard Madow…
 Dr. David Madow: Oh you told me to always call you doctor. That’s what you’ve always said in the past.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah okay.
 Dr. David Madow: Even when we were little kids. I had to call you doctor for some reason. I don’t know, I certainly don’t understand that.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah I want to be called maestro now. 
 Dr. David Madow: As long as your nickname is Downtown.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I have a lot of nicknames. 
 Dr. David Madow: You really do. But anyway, same thing with the last episode. Rich and I are in different locations right now. Rich is in beautiful downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Right?
 Dr. Richard Madow: I am. Still in my home studio. 
 Dr. David Madow: Beautiful, and I’m here in Salt Lake City, Utah and we are probably roughly 2,000 or 2,500 miles apart. We sound like we are in the same room due to modern technology here. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I’ll tell you something else. I could just drive about from home, in about less than 20 minutes. I can be right at the very beginning of I70, and they just take I70 all the way out to Utah but it doesn’t go to Salt Lake City but it goes somewhere where I can just take maybe I15 to Salt Lake City.
 Dr. David Madow: I believe that would be right.
 Dr. Richard Madow: In my two terms could be wherever the heck you are.
 Dr. David Madow: I’ll tell you something, Rich come at me. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not doing it. I’d rather fly out there. Hey can I just go on a tiny rant here?
 Dr. David Madow: Please.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I cannot stand dealing with irresponsible people. 
 Dr. David Madow: Oh I love it.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Here’s an example; let’s just say that… I’ll just make a situation up because this happens all the time. You get like a little dent in your car, you take it to the body shop, they look it over, they say okay I’m going to send you an email this afternoon with your estimate. Does that email ever show up? No. And then like a day or two you don’t want to be the pain in the ass because that’s the worst thing to be. And then you have to start hocking the person then you feel you’re being annoying to them, when meanwhile they’ve been irresponsible in the first place, you wouldn’t have had to go through this.
 Dr. David Madow: Well that’s quite a rant. Tell me what happened. What’s the story? Did you bash your car for some reason?
 Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not commenting.
 Dr. David Madow: What did you do? You didn’t tell me you hit your car again.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I’m just saying this is a rant. I’m not saying I did it.
 Dr. David Madow: Oh you made it. I’m going to guess. You were in your parking garage at your home, and you backed into a pole. That’s my guess.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not commenting on that. I’m just fed out with irresponsible people. 
 Dr. David Madow: And I’m going to say one more thing. If that is true, which I’m not sure because you’re not commenting. It’s not the first time. Why don’t you have them remove that damn pole or relocate the pole or give you a new spot or something.
 Dr. Richard Madow: It’s so funny. In my parking garage, the poles and the walls all have like a million dents like black spots on them where you can see people rub up against them. it’s a disaster down there.
 Dr. David Madow: What’s the story? Why do you keep hitting walls and poles?
 Dr. Richard Madow: I didn’t hit a wall and pole. I’m just ranting on irresponsible people. 
 Dr. David Madow: Okay got you. We won’t take this any further.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Let’s put it this way. When you tell a car insurance company that you live in my building, they won’t give you insurance. That’s how bad it is here. 
 Dr. David Madow: Or they double the premiums on travel. Maybe triple them.
 Dr. Richard Madow: There’s like a pole clause. 
 Dr. David Madow: Oh my god. Well you tell me more of the story offline. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I am not commenting. 
 Dr. David Madow: Okay.
 Dr. Richard Madow: So hey, we have a great question here today. Thanks so much for sending this in. Just like the last time, we’re not going tell this doctor’s name because they asked us not to. So, if you want to send in a question and you’re fearful that we’re going to out you in front of all of our listeners across the world, just put your name with how or if we’re not sure where to withhold your name, we want to protect everybody’s privacy. But as usual, I think a lot of these questions are so universal that they could apply it to anyone anywhere. So, what do you say? Get down to it.
 Dr. David Madow: I can’t wait to hear it.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Okay. Did we say that this is Episode 5? I can’t remember if we established…
 Dr. David Madow: Well we didn’t say it. I say it.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Okay good. Well I’m going to say it now too. This is Episode 5 of Season 2. Just look in my notes. I want to make sure everything is in place here.
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah we said it. I might not have said Season 2 so to be clear, to be very clear, it’s Season 2, Episode 5.
 Dr. Richard Madow: We’re just doing a little housekeeping here. 
 Dr. David Madow: Bathroom is into the right.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I'll tell you something. When we speak at seminars all over the place, I don’t like it when the person introducing comes up and said we have a little housekeeping first. Well let me just say this is how you get your credits, there’s not going to be a break. Why do they have to say we have a little housekeeping? 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. Turn off all cell phones. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Exactly.
 Dr. David Madow: I know.
 Dr. Richard Madow: It’s kind of an insider’s term, housekeeping. 
 Dr. David Madow: We’re going to put that to rest. At TBSE, if somebody does it, we’re going to kick him off stage.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Right off stage. Okay here’s our question. Here’s our question for today. It says, “I hired a dental consultant”, then in parenthesis “(not you guys).” I love it when there’s some parenthesis in their question. Last episode’s question had some parenthesis too, I think. “I hired a dental consultant (not you guys), and she”… well shouldn’t “she” be a giveaway of whatever? Actually, most of our coaches are she. “So, I hired a dental consultant (not you guys) and she suggested that my cash flow would improve and overhead would go down if I drop two of my PPOs. So, I listened and now have lost many patients. We are not busy anymore. What should I do? And what do we tell people who call and ask if we are in their network?” Signed, name withheld.
 Dr. David Madow: When you were reading the question and the parenthesis and little inside jokes, why did I feel like we’re like drive-time DJs? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult.
 Dr. David Madow: Maybe another complement. We’re just killing this one. It’s a great question. I’m going to say that number one, I don’t think enough information was given on this either. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Well okay, but let’s take it for what it is. Okay so I know where you’re getting. Like did the consultant actually do an analysis and say I’ve determined that you should drop this two PPOs or they just come in and say, hey let’s drop a few PPOs.
 Dr. David Madow: The later is my guess. But what I meant was this doctor is saying… was the doctor he or she? Did you indicate that? I can’t remember.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I did indicate them. The doctor was a she. We’ll say that.
 Dr. David Madow: Okay so doctor was a she.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I’m assuming by name. I mean you’ll never know.
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah okay. So, she could be not as busy, but still here bottom line could be better because last thing I would want is to be seeing patients all day long working my butt off and actually draining the practice and calls in a negative cash or not making any money. So she might have a feeling of not being as busy, but maybe it’s… I don’t know the answer to this but maybe it’s better for the practice. That’s why I’m saying there’s really not enough information here.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I’m going to interpret and say if that were the case, she probably wouldn’t have written in. I think if she were less busy and more profitable, then she wouldn’t have had the need to ask this question. Just kind of an assumption but I think that’s true. 
 Dr. David Madow: You know I think unfortunately, from my experience also, a lot of doctors feel that the busier they are, the more patients, the more hustle bustle during the day, the more successful they are even if they’re not. Even if they’re not making money from the patients. So, I’m not sure. I don’t know the answer but let’s assume that maybe she’s not as busy and she’s not making as much money. Let’s go under that assumption. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Right. I think it’s kind of those things. Nobody likes PPOs and so they drop them and then their practice goes downhill. So, it’s not something you can just do randomly. You’ve got to really figure out if that’s the best move for you. And I’m also thinking, again just reading into the question that sure you can drop PPOs but it has to be done carefully and cautiously and correctly. For example; let’s say that you decided to drop your worst PPO, you don’t just drop it and say I’m not longer in this PPO. You do it over a period of time say maybe in 9 months I’m going to drop this PPO and then as each patient on the PPO comes in, talk to them and let them know what’s going on and let them know that they’re welcome to stay in your practice and that we figured out that you can join our membership plan or this is a good way that we can help you if you no longer have this crappy… I hesitate to call it an insurance because it’s crappy insurance. But if you no longer have insurance, they’ll just drop it and hope for the best. Do it strategically and start with your worst one, and then do it at a time where you would be able to at least speak to each patient personally and let them know what’s going on and let them know if they go to some crap office that they’re not going to get the same level of care. Don’t just drop it and hope for the best.
 Dr. David Madow: And not only that. Have a plan to fill the void. I mean you can’t just drop a whole bunch of stuff and then not have a plan. So in other words as you’re dropping this PPO, you’ve got to have a marketing plan in place. How are we going to replace these patients? Well you better have a great marketing plan in placed that you start right away, and you’re getting more new patients. There are cash paying patients or better endemic insurance patients or something like that.
 Dr. Richard Madow: It’s a fantastic point. We’re dropping it, we’ve been super busy, we’re dropping this PPO, we anticipate and we won’t be quite as busy. What can we do now to fill the schedule that we haven’t been doing? Really good point. 
 Dr. David Madow: And the worst thing somebody could do is we’re going to start doing some marketing and they just start has or different marketing things without really having a plan, and we see this so often Rich. I don’t know, typically what will happen, they’ll go to a dental conference so they’ll walk around an exhibit hall or talk to some kind of rep that comes in or something like that. And they’re just kind of it’s a hit or miss marketing campaign. That is ridiculous, it could be expensive, it can fail. You’ve got to make sure if you’re going to be doing marketing, do it right. Have a plan, have a budget, know what you’re doing, know what you’re… anticipate what the ROI is going to be and do it the right way. Not to put it in a shameless plug for what we do, but the Total New Patient Plan. We’ve got this total… it’s a total plan all together we do everything for you. You might want to look into that. It’s on our website somewhere, madow.com, check it out. And again, we didn’t even mean to plug it but why not plug something that totally works and it’s totally well-thought out.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t know that there’s a shameless plug at all. It was kind of a shameful plug. 
 Dr. David Madow: Well I think the most important thing is what we see is all the time, docs are mainly doing a hit or miss marketing and that just does not work in the long run at all. Yeah you’re getting a few patients, it’s a start but it’s not going to work long term.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Totally agreed. And also, as we reinforce on every episode when we do our call of the week, you better make sure that your front desk team is incredibly good at turning every potential new patient on the phone into an actual patient in the practice. And maybe just homing that skill will get that schedule full again. 
 Dr. David Madow: I’ll tell you something, that was a really important comment. It bears talking about for a couple of seconds because so many doctors out there are complaining of how they need more income. They need to be more successful, they need more new patients. And Rich, when we do these calls and I want to make it very clear. We don’t do 20 calls and the take the best of the best. We generally… every time we do a call, unfortunately it’s a bad call on the dental office’s end. What I’m trying to say is most doctors think that the person answering the phone in their office is an exception to the rule, and they’re doing a great job. But I’m here to tell you, statistics really don’t lie and most front desk people need a lot of work because just listen to our calls every week. You’ll see what’s happening in most dental office across the United States.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Yup. And it’s kind of circling back to what you called your shameless plug. And whether you use us for your marketing or someone else, whatever you’re doing, there’s so many great avenues in there. You can do all the marketing in the world and it stops at the front desk. You can have 50 incredibly qualified cash paying potential patients calling and if they never get on the schedule, it doesn’t do you any good. 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah so let’s just circle back to this, kind of like summarize the answer to this question. Do we know that the dental consultant did the right thing? Do we know that the dental consultant ran reports and really understood the mathematics behind that suggesting dropping two PPOs? We don’t know the answer but you did drop them, let’s move on and do the right thing to get better patients and by marketing, by training your front desk. Again, it just comes down to basics. We’re not reinventing the wheel. It comes down to these basic things that you need to be doing in your dental practice to be successful. Are you doing them? 
 Dr. Richard Madow. Totally agree. And also, let’s make another point. People that are not… if people have a PPO that you don’t accept, let’s face it, most of them will not come to you but some will. And the ones that do come to you for a reason and they can be some of your best patients. So, if you’re about to drop a PPO and you’re having a discussion with the patient about it, make it very clear. They are welcome in your practice at any time. And should they leave your practice, still it make it clear. They didn’t burn the bridge. They are absolutely… if they don’t care for the practice they went to, they’re absolutely welcome to come to your practice. You can work on financing, you can offer them a membership plan. There are so many great things that you can do. And same when somebody calls and says are you on my plan? You don’t just say no and hang up on them. You let them know that we’re not technically on your plan but you can still come here and this is how it will work if you do. And we’d love to have you and we think you’ll really see the difference. So again, most won’t do it but some will, and some will go to an office and get burned and then come back thankfully. So just don’t count them out automatically. 
 Dr. David Madow: Right. And if you’re listening to this and you’re at a place where you can actually take notes. We’ve talked about this before, write down the term “you are a non-restricted provider” which means again, you’re not technically on the list but you can work with the company and get some benefits. So yeah always use that. We are non-restricted providers. You can come to us. You’re welcome to come with us. We’ll do the best we can. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Fantastic. Great question. Thanks so much for writing in. What do you say, speaking of front desk skills? Let’s do our call of the week. This is not just any call of the week. This is the call of the week to one of the best dentists in the state. How do we know they’re one of the best dentists in the state? We’re going to find out. 
 Dr. David Madow: I’ll tell you, before we do it really quickly, I want to remind you that Rich and I are running this Masterclass for dentists. It’s a small intimate setting. We’d love to have you attend. It’s a way to take your practice into the next level and the best way to find out more about the Masterclass and how the whole thing works is we set up actually a web page for it. It’s masterclass.madow.com. Check it out. We’ve got all the information you would want. If you need more, just get in touch with this. We’d love to see you in a future Madow Masterclass.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I got to say, the Masterclass has been a turnaround. There are so many dentists, the day they made a huge difference in their lives. Don’t you think?
 Dr. David Madow: No question about it. I think we are really helping dentists become more successful and happier in the practice of dentistry. We really are. We’d love to have you join us at one.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Speaking of… there’s things like a Masterclass, they make a huge difference in your life. Other things that you can make difference in your life like saving a few thousand dollars every month on your credit card processing. So please check out Fattmerchant. They will save you money on your credit card processing because they just charge a low monthly fee and no overage percentage. Check them out at bitly/… well I’ll spell it out because who knows how the heck to do that. It’s B I T. L Y/fattmadow. Fatt with two Ts. So it’s F A T T M A D O W. We’ll work out a special deal just for our Madow listeners. You’ll get a free processing terminal, you’ll save money. Your patients won’t know the difference. You won’t know the difference except you’ll lower your overhead. So again, Fattmerchant is the best way to process your credit cards. B I T. L Y/F A T T M A D O W. And now we teach you a little bit…
 Dr. David Madow: Hey Rich!
 Dr. Richard Madow: Go ahead.
 Dr. David Madow: I’m going to make a really really quick comment about Fattmerchant because in the old days, when somebody said hey you got to change your credit card processing company and then it was a real hassle. There was nothing easy about it; it took a long time, there was a ton of paperwork. These days, I’ll tell you something. With Fattmerchant, you pretty much contact them with pressing a few buttons, they can change you over to Fattmerchant and there is just no reason why any dentists should not be using Fattmerchant. What you said Rich in the beginning of that segment, save a few thousand dollars a month. Who wouldn’t want that? I would take a few thousand dollars in my pocket every single month from here till the end of eternity.
 Dr. Richard Madow: And we started using Fattmerchant at the Madow Center. It’s fantastic. It’s cool.
 Dr. David Madow: Absolutely. It’s great stuff.
 Dr. Richard Madow: So, we kind of tease the call because we’ve got the call lined up and we just noticed from this person’s website that said they’re one of the top dentists in the state. We have no idea what’s about to happen but let’s find out. Ready? 
 Felicia: Thank you for calling. This is Felicia. How can I help you? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Hey Felicia, I saw on your website that you were ranked top dentist by Delaware Today Magazine? 
 Felicia: Um-hmm.
 Dr. Richard Madow: And what that does mean exactly?
 Felicia: Here one moment. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: It certainly doesn’t mean you have the best on-hold messaging. Anyone home? Okay this is literally over one minute of hold time. I’m watching the timer. Tick, tick…
 Felicia: Hi, sorry. I’m sorry I just… it looks like we were just awarded that for being one of the top dentists in the state.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Being one of the top dentists in the state? Like based on… I’m not trying to be a wise guy. I’m just wondering what the criteria was for that. Do you have any idea?
 Felicia: I personally am not sure. Yeah, I’m not sure. I’m sorry. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Oh, so do you think it’s one of the top dentists in the state?
 Felicia: Yeah, I think so. I think we’re a great dental office.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Fantastic. Thank you so much. 
 Felicia: No problem.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Okay bye. Wow! So many things to say about that but they’re one of the top dentists in the state. They really are. 
 Dr. David Madow: How do you get to be one of the top dentists? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I think first of all you have to put people on hold for a long time. 
 Dr. David Madow: Let me tell you something. When we were on hold for a like a minute?
 Dr. Richard Madow: Over a minute.
 Dr. David Madow: Over a minute. I was just picturing, what are they doing or did she go to a big huddle and they’re trying to figure out how to answer the question. What was going on? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: It’s funny Dave. I was thinking the same thing like is she getting coached on this, but then she came back and all she can say was yeah I think we’re one of the top dentists in the state. 
 Dr. David Madow: That call was unbelievable. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Plus, she was getting like five texts during the call. Did you hear that text tone that kept ringing?
 Dr. David Madow: Yes. I was wondering where that thing was coming from too so that maybe  texts that were coming through. She didn’t know what was going on. I’ll tell you something though. I mean I don’t really know much about the award they got but she could have really played that thing up and made themselves sound really good. But she turned it into a call that made us tell us she didn’t know what was going on. And using the term “we’re one of the top dentists,” that didn’t give me a whole lot of confidence in that practice.
 Dr. Richard Madow: But you made a really good point. We always love to teach front desk team members to brag about the office a little bit. Could there have been a better chance to brag? Yeah, we have been voted one of the top dental practices in the state and Dr. Jones is such a fantastic dentist and he’s gentle and the smiles that we produce are just a beautiful, we’re changing people’s lives every day and we’re just so flattered that we won this award. Just anything. 
 Dr. David Madow: Well unless the thing was totally bogus and like you busted and she just doesn’t know what to say because maybe there was really no vote. Who’s voting for this anyway? Where does this vote come from? Other dental practices voting?
 Dr. Richard Madow: Well I know here in Baltimore there’s a magazine called Baltimore Magazine and they have the top dentist issue and it’s actually voting by peers. I’ve been asked many times to vote for top dentists in all the different specialties and GPs for Baltimore Magazine. So of course there’s a lot of politics and who knows, and it seems like the dentists who will throw full page ads in the magazine seem to do a little bit better. 
 Dr. David Madow: They’re always the top dentists. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Right. Look at those airline magazines. They’ve got top plastic surgeons in the country. And where was that? The person that writes a check, I always thought.
 Dr. David Madow: I think it must be. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Nevertheless. It looks good for patients if your reception area has plaques showing that you’re the top dentist in the state and on your website it says vote of the top dentists in the state. It looks great. So be able to speak intelligently on it. 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah I think chances are that shows, I think it sounded like they were in Delaware or somewhere, and if it truly was in some type of Delaware Magazine and they were voted one of the top dentists, all the team member should know about it. She should have been at least been able to say yes we’re so proud. Delaware Magazine voted us one of the top dental offices in the state, and we are so proud of the small… they should at least know it.
 Dr. Richard Madow: She knew nothing. 
 Dr. David Madow: Nothing. Zero.
 Dr. Richard Madow: I just have to keep going back to that she said we’re one of the top dentists. It was just great.
 Dr. David Madow: And insult to injury, did she tried to get an appointment? Nothing happened.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Nothing.
 Dr. David Madow: The call went nowhere. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Sir if you come in, we’ll show you why we’re one of the top dentists in the state. Let’s get you on the schedule right now. 
 Dr. David Madow: Right now. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: You come right now.
 Dr. David Madow: Oh my god. Again, I just want to reinforce that doctor if you’re listening to this and you think that these are all exceptions to the rule and your front desk people are the… maybe yours are. I don’t know the answer. But again, we just don’t make any calls that make perfectly. It just doesn’t happen. So please, our goal is… we want anybody answering the phone in a dental office to be great and perfect and gets the appointment. We’re working on that, it’s just not happening yet guys. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: At least don’t put somebody on hold for a minute and a half and if you have to put somebody on hold which let’s face it, it happens from time to time. At least have something playing. We’d love having customized messages playing to tell how great your office is but at least some nice soothing music or something so they don’t think you hung up on them.
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. Maybe breakfast with the Beatles or something. Just something.
 Dr. Richard Madow: That would be perfect. 
 Dr. David Madow: Rich that was a great call.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Alright. We’ll keep them coming. So that will give us something to look forward to on Episode 6, but this was Episode 5 Season 2 of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. Thanks everybody for listening. I’m Dr. Richard Madow with my co-host, business partner and co-worker, Dr. David Madow. Thanks so much everybody and we will see you next time.
 Dr. David Madow: See you later.
 [Music playing] 

 

Associate Dentist Deep in Debt With Poor Treatment Planning Skills

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Welcome back to The Dental Practice Fixers podcast, dentistry’s most unique show! Today we have a question from a listener asking what he should do with his associate. The associate is a decent clinician but has very poor treatment planning skills. Add to that, he is $300,000 in debt, which is causing him to be extremely aggressive when it comes to recommending treatment. Listen to the advice that Rich and Dave give to this great question. Then of course we do the call of the week. Today we are going to a wedding and need our teeth super white. Is it better to have a cleaning or a whitening procedure? Find out how the woman at the front desk handles this one! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to podcast@madow.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!


Associate Dentist Deep in Debt With Poor Treatment Planning Skills

The Dental Practice Fixers Podcast is brought to you by the Madow Center for Dental Practice Success. To find out how we can help increase the success of your practice, checkout madow.com or call us at 1-800-258-0060
 Dr. Rich Madow: Hello everyone and welcome to season two, episode four of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. First of all, thanks so much for everybody for your great support of season 2. We've gotten so many nice comments so far and we really, really love it. If you want to take it a step further and help out the Dental Practice Fixers, please go on iTunes and rate the podcast. Give us a five star, give us a nice review, an honest review. If your honest review is a five star, you'll really, really be doing us a favor and helping us out. So again, thanks for all your great listenership today. It's a little unusual because, uh, Dave and I are in different locations. This is the first time in the history of the podcast that we've been doing it remotely. So, this is Rich speaking to you right now. I'm in my home office in Baltimore, Maryland and Dave is out in some undisclosed location. I'll just tell he's in the mountain time zone and I think maybe through all those mountains and the fog and the snow and the rain and the sunshine. Let's see if we can hear him. Dave, are you there?
 Dr. David Madow: I am here. Can you see my green screen? I greenscreen the mountains in the background here, right? Oh, it's only you, oh darn. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: It looks good though. I can see it. It looks really nice.
 Dr. David Madow: I have to admit Rich, I was trying to be quiet during the intro and let you do the intro, but when you give us, give us a five-star, honest review, I was just, it just hit me as funny. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Is there any other kind of review? 
 Dr. David Madow: Well, we deserve it. This is the best podcast in dentistry. There's, there's no questions about it. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Or so, or so, we've been told. 
 Dr. David Madow: Exactly, exactly. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: There are a lot of podcasts in dentistry. Some are really good. I mean we, we listened to other people's podcasts. Some of them, you just wonder why people think they should be doing about this. 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah exactly right. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Lot of great ways to get information out there. We've really enjoyed the podcast, Again, your fantastic comments. So, Hey, what do you say man? What's going on today? 
 Dr. David Madow: I'll tell you something, Rich. Uh, I'm feeling great. Ready for a fantastic episode. How are you doing there? Are you good? 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Doing good. Love it. Loving life in downtown Baltimore. I'm overlooking the beautiful harbor. They're not, they're not dragging any bodies out today, so it's a good day. 
 Dr. David Madow: Oh my God. Okay. Hopefully they won't be any time today or anytime in the near future. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: You know, it's funny, one of the things we really enjoy, we've been, you know, writing, publishing, teaching for so many years and we get, when we do our emails, we get nice replies. It seems like we just started getting comments to the podcast, so I'm keeping it up. We really love hearing your opinions. If there's something you like, something you don't like, if you want to ask a question, make a comment, please feel free to write in. But I can never remember if the email addressed as podcast or podcasts @madow.com, but I think it's singular podcast.
 Dr. David Madow: Yes. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Is that correct? 
 Dr. David Madow: It is. And I'll tell you something, Rich, every episode we talk about having Sylvia fixed the thing, so any either of them will work, but we, I think we haven't done it yet. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Okay, well we've got too many other things to do here in podcast land. If you're listening, Sylvia, make it, so podcast@madow.com or podcasts@madow.com, come to our direct inbox. Not some bogus inbox, but our direct inbox.
 Dr. David Madow: Can't be bogus, can never be bogus. And before we start with, we got, Rich, we’ve got a great question here. I'm going to, I'm going to share it in a second, but I've got to tell you, I don't know if you've ever done this. I'm just, I'm working on like a blend. I made this, I made this dark coffee this morning, very dark roast coffee, but I added a tiny bit of French vanilla to the mix as well. It is just awesome. I'm just, I'm just feeling great. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Well, I am not a flavored coffee guy. I like my coffee hot and black. I'm straight up. No cream, no sugar, no flavor. But I got it too since you brought up coffee. I got to tell you, our coffee maker, we've had the same um, Cuisinart coffee maker for about 10 years. Candy and I got it when we moved downtown. So, we've had it for 10 years and finally, finally gave up the ghost as they say. Um, and-\
 Dr. David Madow: It went up. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: It went up as they say in Baltimore, our coffee maker went up. So, we got this Ninja coffee maker. Ninja is known for making like juicers and juice extractors, I don't know if you're familiar with the brand. So, we've got this Ninja coffee maker and it is fantastic and the coffee is strong and most of all it's really hot. Like it hot like so it almost burns your mouth.
 Dr. David Madow: It's the only way to, yeah. And I like, and like you said, I like it black too but, but hot of course. I'm going to. Rich, I'm going to write this down because I might end up getting one of those and maybe, maybe we can set up an affiliate links. So, and our listeners could get this Ninja coffee maker, we can make a few pennies per coffee maker. 
 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Now that's a great idea. The coffee maker that pays for itself. 
 Dr. David Madow: So, let's get into the question because we have a good one. Richard, we're going to want to talk about this one for a few minutes. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: I know you've got it all primed and ready to go. So, let's do it. 
 Dr. David Madow: So here is the question from a doctor and I will tell you we're going to keep this doctor’s name anonymous as he requested it for obvious reasons. You'll see as we as, as we ask this question, but here's what he says. He says, I have a young dentist just out of residency working with us. His skills are good, but he has no treatment planning skills. He's also- 
 Dr. Rich Madow: I'm cracked up already, he's a good dentist and he has no treatment planning skills, none. 
 Dr. David Madow: His skills are but he has no treatment plan. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Okay. So, so in other words, his clinical skills are good. 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah, I think that's what he meant by that. And he's also $300,000 in debt and he needs money. In parentheses, he has three young kids. I liked the fact that it's in parentheses. I feel he is doing treatment just to generate income such as crowns instead of fillings, etc. He wanted to do an extraction last Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM on a 92-year old woman. She was not in pain. He just wanted to produce. I stopped him. I found out today she is taking Prolia, which could cause, which could have caused a real problem at her age. What do you think? Name withheld. Keeping it confidential.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Wow.
 Dr. David Madow: I mean. What can we say about that? There's so many routes we could take on answering this question is just, it's unbelievable.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Yeah. Well I'll say it's kind of a modern take on the age-old question in dentistry, you know, we're here to make a living. We deserve to make a living. There's nothing wrong with making a lot of money if you do it ethically and if you treat your patients correctly and do the right treatment. So, this guy's got kind of a double dilemma because he's under a lot of financial pressure, but is a poor treatment planner, maybe a poor diagnostician, and it sounds like maybe a little bit lacking in ethics, don't you think?
 Dr. David Madow: Oh, absolutely. From what it sounds yes. And you know that this problem has always been around even before this tremendous, I'm going to say tremendous student debt crisis. Back, you know, back in our day when people didn't have this kind of student debt, there's debt for, you know, for paying for dental school and practices and whatever, um, there were other reasons people were over-producing. And Rich, you and I saw it all the time, you know, I'd like to think we didn't do it, but, um, I guess there are always going to be people that just want to produce, produce and be unethical and make more and more and more money. And that's, in my mind is it's just not cool. I think you have to look at the patient as the kind of, suppose this was you or somebody in your family, how would you want to be treated? I think you always have to look at it like that.
 Dr. Rich Madow: I don't understand the little dichotomy in this question because it sounds like this associate has poor treatment planning skills, yet they're always trying to get patients to do unnecessary treatment. It seems like the kind of person that does that will be like a real slickster. They can talk anybody into anything. So, the whole thing is just bizarre.
 Dr. David Madow: It's a mess. But what do you do if you've got, again, like I said, this can go in so many directions because as I've talked about in previous episodes, this student debt crisis thing for, especially for dentists, which just really, really worries me. I mean Rich, we spoke to somebody, we were speaking in a city, which we'll, we'll, um, we won't even, we don't have to name the city just a week ago, and we spoke to a dental student there. So, he's in his fourth year of dental school and he already has $600,000 of student debt, where, where does he go from here?
 Dr. Rich Madow: Well that's another story all together. I remember that guy, super nice guy, the D-force, they call them. And he also, he also didn't like doing crowns and was under pressure from his father who thinks his rich dentist son is going to support him when he graduates. What a disaster.
 Dr. David Madow: It's a, it's a huge problem. But I think, so my point is a lot of these docs who are accumulating massive debt, they're in trouble because what can they do? That's why I think that's why there is going to be, there already is, and there's going to be a lot more overtreating to see, to get out of this debt, sooner rather than later. But it's, it's horrible.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Okay, so what can they do? Well, first of all, what can't they do? They cannot get unethical. You cannot intentionally overtreat a patient just because you're under financial pressure. So, let's start with that. But, but secondly, I think it was interesting that the writer of this question, um, remarked on this associate dentist poor treatment planning skills because you know, it, it seems like if the practice is fairly busy and they must be fairly busy, if they hired an associate, there's enough ethical dental treatment to be done that this dentist should be able to make a good living. Don't you think?
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. But maybe in this doc's mind, maybe not fast enough. Like he's got three kids, $300,000 in debt. Maybe he just feels I need money. And you know, it just seems like a lot of people these days especially, want things sooner, rather than later, they're not willing to do the right thing and take a little bit of time. They just, they want it to happen like now or yesterday. That's a problem. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Okay. Well for, okay, let's, so let's go back to this, this exact situation. The letter was written by an experienced dentist, I'm assuming, who's been around, actually you withheld the name, but I know this dentist and so do you, at least enough to say that this person is an experienced dentist with great skills that he's honed over many years. Agree?
 Dr. David Madow: And ethical.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Right, ethical. So why doesn't the dentist become a mentor of sorts and work with this young dentist on their treatment planning skills and work with them on their diagnostic skills, so they can diagnose optimum treatment, which let's face it, many times the right treatment for the patient is the most expensive treatment. And if it's the right treatment, then that's great. And work on them to diagnose proper treatment and present it properly and carefully to the patient. It's a long-term plan. It won't put money in your pocket tomorrow, which is why this dentist must be so anxious, but long-term it will be good for the dentist, good for the practice, good for everyone.
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. I, I would agree with that 100%. I don't know of another answer. Well, again, we can get back to the root of the problem and then let's take care of these student loans, which I think are just crazy, but it's too late for this guy. If I were him, I would not get into any more debt. I wouldn't go out and buy a house now. I wouldn't like buy into a practice. I wouldn't incur more debt. I would work on his treatment planning skills, be the best dentist he can and start chipping away at this $300,000 a day. And I think maybe they'll start to feel better about themselves.
 Dr. Rich Madow: You kind of starting to peel open a can of worms there because you know, one of the things you'd have to ask is, okay, this dentist has three kids. Do the husband and wife think that they deserve the dentist's lifestyle or are they sending the kids to private school and buying them shirts with little horses on them and you know, living in an expensive house, are they doing all those things? Well, Jeez, that that's going to multiply the financial pressure.
 Dr. David Madow: Yup. I would agree. I think you need to live on, live a life way, way, way, I don't care how many kids you have, live a life way below your means to chip away at this debt and then maybe never live the doctor lifestyle. Just live a regular life.
 Dr. Rich Madow: And I think it's also really important, you know, when we're talking about treatment planning skills, the patients, whether consciously or subconsciously can see the financial pressure that this doctor's under and it just kind of comes out of your pores, you know? And they're trying to talk somebody into something, it just as a horrible short- and long-term plan. So, I think this young dentist needs to work on ethically building up the trust of the patient, becoming their trusted advisor, discussing their treatment needs, maybe giving them options and just being totally honest. And yeah, and I like your approach too, do the treatment that you would recommend on your family member and tell the patient that's what you are doing to your family member. Be honest about it. And that's the way that you can hone your skills, but it's not going to happen overnight. And none of us knew what we were doing when we first got out of school. It's just natural law.
 Dr. David Madow: I think you hit the nail right on the head, Rich. Sometimes the answers are really just the simplest answers, and the simplest answer here is do the right thing, to do it right. Treat people like they're you or like they’re somebody in your family and it's really not that much more complex than that. But yeah, hone your skills of course and do it right. Don't rip people off. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Yeah. Listen to Spike Lee. Do the right thing. You know, it's funny, Dave, when we had our practices, as many of you listeners know, Dave and I both, um, had really nice practices but we never practiced together. But at one time we were using the same consultant or consultancy as they might say in the UK and this company, part of their teaching was anytime a patient has a somewhat large restoration, two or three surface amalgam or composite, treatment plan them for a crown and that's just not right. In the short term, yeah, you might get a few more bucks in your pocket, but that stuff just comes back to haunt you.
 Dr. David Madow: Well, I think the most ironic thing from that whole, from that philosophy, Rich, is that these people that were teaching us this or sharing this great knowledge with us, were not dentists. They were, they were business people who were, who were like pretty much telling dentists when to do crowns. That that was the most ironic thing. That was weird.
 Dr. Rich Madow: That's, that's another can of worms. The dental consultants who never, never owned or worked in a dental practice, who never, you know, how do they know? How do they tell him, you, you're on, how do they teach you how to diagnose and treatment plan? 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. I mean a consultant that does not have a dental degree is telling a dentist when to do a crown. I mean it just does not make any sense at all. It's actually unbelievable. We never really talked about in that level, but think about that. It's true. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: That's pretty funny. 
 Dr. David Madow: Oh my God. Okay. Well I think we, I think, um, I hope doctor that wrote in, I hope, I hope this really helps you. Yeah, take this, take this guy aside and help him out because maybe, maybe he's got potential, but I don't know. I've got kind of bad feelings about it.
 Dr. Rich Madow: I do too. I have bad feelings too and I don't think it's going to be fine right away. I think it's a long-term project. And again, if you were his doctor, Dave, would you consider, if things don't shape up quickly, getting rid of this person because this person can bring your whole practice down. Getting horrible reviews on Yelp and just, you don't want that.
 Dr. David Madow: 100%. I'm going to go back to a word that you used earlier to answer the question. He sounds like he might be a slickster and that's the last thing I would want in my practice. Some slick guy who's, you know, who's known in the community for overtreating. It's gonna, you know, with Facebook and all these groups these days, the word's going to get out so quickly. I'd be very, very careful. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: patients think, a lot of patients think you're over treating even when you're not overtreating. 
 Dr. David Madow: Exactly. That's it. It's exactly right. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Too much. Oh, Hey, let's, let's move on and get to our call for the day. But before we do that, just a couple quick really cool announcements for all our listeners. Dave, do you want to go first here?
 Dr. David Madow: Sure. I'd be happy to. So, one thing I wanted to share with you is that Rich and I have been doing these Masterclasses, and they have been some of the most, I'm just gonna say one of the coolest things we've done in our 30 years of helping dentists reach success. We get about somewhere but we keep it very small, 8 to 10 docs in a room. We'd been doing them mainly in Baltimore, sometimes we may choose another city. But we invite you to come attend the Masterclass and the main reason we're doing these Masterclasses, we want to share with you along and we have our coaching staff there and our Madow Center staff, we want to share with you how we can help you become more successful, happier, and just have a greater life in dentistry than you are right now through our coaching.
 And it's, it's, the reason we do a Masterclass is just simply because in an email or in a phone call, we just can't really maybe share all the details or how great this relationship can be. So, we bring you in, spend a full day with you and maybe about 8 to 10 of like-minded docs and in one day we just share with you how we can work with you and how we can help your practice. So, the best way to check it out, and by the way these are free, we don't charge, we don't charge, but you have to at least have an interest in becoming more successful through coaching. The best way to find out where our next Masterclass or Masterclasses will be is go to masterclass.madow.com; we would love to share the day with you, so come see us.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Fantastic. We've also been getting great comments from people who are using Fattmerchant for their credit card processing. Fattmerchant is the disruptor in credit card processing and they do not charge you an overage percentage. It's just a low flat monthly fee and they've got great technology and dashboards so you can see exactly what's going on with your credit card charges and patients and all those things. But the main thing you need to know is it's a seamless switch. Use Fattmerchant, you'll save money every month and then hey, something else will pay for itself, maybe even this podcast. So, check them out. Um, of course we, we established a special deal for our podcast listeners and for Madow members. They'll give you your terminal for free so there's no expense in doing the switch. They'll do the whole thing for you, your patients just hand charge cards to you, like usual and you save money.
 So, we've set up a special website so you can learn more about it. It's bit.ly/fattmadow, but fat is with two t's, and it's a bit.ly, if you're familiar with that. So, there's no www or http or anything like that. So, I'll just spell it out for you. It's bit.ly/fattmadow, checkout Fattmerchant. You will definitely be glad you did and you'll save some money. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Fantastic. Dave, ready to do the call of the day? Let's do the call of the day. I am excited. Okay, here it is.
 Dr. David Madow: Yes. Hi. How much would it cost for a good, for good teeth cleaning?
 Caller: So, you will need an exam and x-rays too, in order to get a cleaning, that'll be $161.
 Dr. David Madow: $161?
 Caller: Yes. That includes the exam, x-rays and a cleaning.
 Dr. David Madow: Okay, great. And one more question. If I want to have my teeth really nice and clean for a wedding I've got coming up, is it more important to have a cleaning or, or like a whitening or whitening procedure?
 Caller: We do have, we do whitening in the office. We have a special going for $175, which you get a tray and 2 syringes and they're reusable. But the hygienist recommends whitening after cleaning.
 Dr. David Madow: Oh, I see. Okay. That makes sense. So, doing both, maybe doing both of them is best, right?
 Caller: Correct. Yes.
 Dr. David Madow: Okay, great. Thank you so much for the information. I really appreciate it. Bye, Bye. Oh my God. I mean, could there have been a better set up for this one? I mean, okay, so the caller said I, I was the caller obviously, but okay. I want my teeth really white. I need a cleaning. I'm going to a wedding, I want, so in other words, I'm going to a wedding. I want nice teeth. And I mean, she didn't do anything. She, she gets, yeah, she gave a couple of fees, but she certainly didn't go, didn't go beyond that whatsoever. Could there had been a better setup?
 Dr. Rich Madow: It was a great setup. I mean, I think somebody really good would have had the entire wedding party in there for whitening.
 Dr. David Madow: Exactly. I mean, that's a really good point. But at least the caller, I mean, how do you know, okay, she could've said something like, well, you're going to a wedding. Let's get you in and make sure your teeth look really good. You're going to be in pictures. You want to look great. It was like a such a great opportunity. She did not take the bait at all.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Well, let's, let's go back. Let's back up a little bit because this is something that we teach in our courses a lot, that we get asked a lot, and that is when you asked how much is a cleaning, she just gave a number. Just said $161 or something like that. 
 Dr. David Madow: Right. Something like that. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Yeah. That's kind of a loser right there. Sometimes with people push, push, push, push, push, you have to give a fee. But as we teach in our courses too, this is time for the person on the phone to take control of the call by saying something like, "Oh, you're interested in a cleaning, it sounds like you're looking for a new dentist, is that true?" And then take that opportunity to tell them how great your practice is, and tell them that, you know, there are different types of cleanings and the best thing to do is to come in for a full checkup and you know, meet the doctor, they'll even do a free consultation, whatever it is. Instead of just saying $161 and again, and we hate answering insurance questions, but let's face it, if you have good insurance, the cleaning is free. So, it's such a loaded question. She could've gotten around by saying, "Oh, it sounds like you're looking for a new dentist. Come on in and you’ll meet everybody." Just anything but just saying $161 and then nothing. And then she left it to you to ask the next question, which she got even worse, right?
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. And see now if I would, if I would have been her, I would've used the wedding a little bit more. I would've said something like, oh, that's great. When's the wedding? And the wedding is in two weeks, that's a little bit more of an issue, but it's the wedding is like a month or two. We've got some time. Let's get an appointment, get you in and let's check everything over and let's make sure your teeth are beautiful for this wedding and you're going to look great in the pictures. I would've, I would've really gone with that one. But she really did nothing. And the scariest thing, Rich, as we see almost every time, some poor doctor that owns that practice thinks that his front desk person is doing a great job. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: And let's take it a step further. Let's, she knows nothing about you. You could be the groom, you can be the best man, you can be whatever. But take it even further, you could have, really, you know, you could have ugly composites hanging out of your anterior teeth and you know, bad shades, all kinds of crazy stuff. You could be a candidate for eight veneers. I mean, and you know, if the wedding's in a month, they can complete a multi thousand-dollar case that you've been looking for and this is the thing that pushes you over the edge because you have a wedding coming up. Who knows what could have happened with this great patient? 
 Dr. David Madow: Bingo. That's it. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: She just did not, she never, ever, ever asked for the appointment. She never made you feel welcome. As you said, you know, it's always good to have a little chit chat, good conversation. You gave her such great bait saying that there's a wedding coming up and she just wouldn't take it. 
 Dr. David Madow: Would you say She muffed it? 
 Dr. Rich Madow: She muffed it. A total muffed job. 
 Dr. David Madow: I'm giving her an F man. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: I'll give her an F plus. 
 Dr. David Madow: Hey everybody, thanks so much for being here. This was episode four of the Dental Practice Fixers and we will see you next time. Thanks so much for being a listener and a friend. 
 Dr. Rich Madow: Bye. 

The Best Places to Find a Dental Assistant

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Traditional methods for finding a new dental team member

When you are looking for a new dental assistant the traditional ways may not bring you success; therefore, the Dental Practice Fixers offers the best places to find a dental assistant.
A team member quits without notice! Consequently, you network by asking your team and your dental supplier to look for a potential new team member. In addition, you posted the position on Facebook. These methods have not worked. You run an ad in the classified page of your local paper; however, classified ads typically attract non-qualified people.

An assistant is hired, accepts, but reverses decision

The Dental Practice Fixers podcast, dentistry’s most unique show, answers a question from a listener asking where he can find a new dental assistant. Unfortunately he hired an assistant, but when she told her current employer she was leaving, a better offer was made, hence she decided to stay. This put our listener in a tough situation but hopefully The Dental Practice Fixers were able to guide him to finding a new dental team member!

The best places to find a dental assistant is closer than you think

The Dental Practice Fixers advises that the best places to find a new dental assistant is in your everyday life.

Front desk answers a call perfectly

Then of course we do the call of the week.  Today we are calling from an Uber. Listen to how the front desk person handles it!

More tips from the Dental Practice Fixers

Learn more about hiring a new team member by visiting The Dentist Coaches Corner.

If you enjoyed this show, listen to The Dental Practice Fixer podcast by clicking podcasts.madow.

Do you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast? Please send it in to podcast@madow.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!


The Best Places to Find a Dental Assistant

The Dental Practice Fixers podcast is brought to you by the Madow Center for Dental Practice Success. To find out how we can help increase the success of your practice, checkout madow.com or call us at 1-800-258-0060.
 Dr. David Madow: Welcome to the Dental Practice Fixers. I am Dr. David Meadow and this is season two, episode three and we are so happy to have you as a listener, as a friend and we really appreciate you. By the way, if you love hearing what you're hearing so far in the Dental Practice Fixers, whether it's season one, season two, whatever you're loving or liking, we really appreciate it. If you just go into iTunes for a couple seconds and give us a review, an honest review, if you hate it, tell us. But it's pretty rare that somebody would have to say, somebody, would ever say that, see, I can't even speak today, or give us a four-star, five-star, six-star, ten star, whatever you want to, five stars is the highest, I'm pretty sure, so if you want to give us that, we would really appreciate it. And really all kidding aside, a review from you, which would really take 60 seconds or so means a lot to us. It really does help our rating and ranking in iTunes. So, if you have a chance to go on iTunes, the Dental Practice Fixers, and without further ado, I'm going to go ahead and bring in my colleague, brother, partner, you know. Hello, cohost, Dr. Richard Madow. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Hey everybody out there in podcast land. We hope you're enjoying season two of the Dental Practice Fixers. And also, should you not have been given the opportunity to listen to season one, go give it a binge, a binge listen. You know people binge watch on Netflix and Amazon and what else, Showtime. Hulu, FX. There's so many TV networks out there these days. 
 Dr. David Madow: I don't know half of those. I really don't. I know, right? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I know right, Facebook now is streaming TV shows. 
 Dr. David Madow: Are you serious about that? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I just heard about that. 
 Dr. David Madow: I have no idea. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Everybody's got them and people binge watch. So why not binge listen to the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast? 
 Dr. David Madow: I'll tell you the funny thing is, which we've had a lot of people that tell us that they, in order to get caught up with all the episodes, they just binge listen for like a long time and they loved it and they thanked us.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Someone messaged me last week and said they pulled an all-nighter, listened to season one, I've kind of felt sorry for them. And now you know, it's funny, my definition of an all-nighter has changed now that I'm 60 years old. It used to be like in my college days, either you stayed up all night studying or you stayed up all night partying. I would call that an all-nighter. These days, If I wake up in the morning, and I didn't have to get up a single time to urinate during the night, I called that, I pulled an all-nighter. So proud of myself. 
 Dr. David Madow: That is great. I'm going to use that somewhere. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Please. Please do. It's not patented, trademarked, copyrighted, anything like that. So, hopefully I will be pulling an all-nighter tonight, a new style all-nighter. 
 Dr. David Madow: Let us know. Okay, let us know in episode four please. We want to know. It's like, what do you call like the cliffhanger, like just we want, we want to know. We'll wait till next time to find out. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Is this maybe in the TMI category? 
 Dr. David Madow: I think so. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Three Mile Island? 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. I think it is. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Harrisburg, 
 Dr. David Madow: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah.
 Dr. David Madow: Oh, right. Let's get started with a fantastic question from a listener to the Dental Practice Fixers podcast, It's Dr. Bill Ross, and here's his question. It says, does anyone have any ideas about a nontraditional place to look for a dental assistant? We've been shorthanded about four months. We've had three offers essentially accepted, but when the DA told their current employer they were leaving, they got a sweeter offer and ended up staying. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: That sucks.
 Dr. David Madow: That's not nice. Do you have a feeling they were kind of using you to get a counteroffer?
 Dr. Richard Madow: Ridiculous. 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah, I agree. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I can’t stand it. 
 Dr. David Madow: He proceeds to say, haven't tried the classifieds of our local paper as that just seems to attract hundreds of nonqualified people. We have our staff looking, our dental supply rep looking, we've advertised on Facebook and on a local dental auxiliary site on Facebook. Oh, I think I know what that one is, but have not had much success. Any other ideas short of me standing out on the curb with a sandwich board and twirling a sign?
 Dr. Richard Madow: Is that really in the question? 
 Dr. David Madow: Yes.
 Dr. Richard Madow: That's hilarious. I say do it. 
 Dr. David Madow: I mean do you do the sandwich board and the sign twirl at the same time? I thought there were like two different arts? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: They're two different arts. I don't know whether people can do both at one time. 
 Dr. David Madow: If someone could do a sandwich board and swirl at the same time, I'd hire them. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Very employable. 
 Dr. David Madow: At least they can, you know, do their, they can multitask. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: How about if you just drive around and looking for somebody doing the twirling or the standard is high say, would you like to become a dental assistant?
 Dr. David Madow: Say, can you take X-rays? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Well what do you think Dave? Where's doctor Bill Ross going to find his next assistant? 
 Dr. David Madow: First of all, I was listening to the question, do people still have the classified ads in the newspaper, like I haven't read a newspaper in a long time. You're more of a newspaper guy than I, but do they still have like actual classified ads? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Yes, it's a great question. I will have to admit, I still subscribe to the print edition of the Baltimore Sun. 
 Dr. David Madow: Loser. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: It used to be a great newspaper in its day and now it's like three pages long. One of the reasons I deal with this is for the daily crossword puzzle. What can I- 
 Dr. David Madow: I thought you'd say something else, I hate to say, I think you'd say for the obits. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Obits. Well, you know, I definitely look at the obits, especially the people that get the big articles. I was wondering how you get a big article like this. Can anybody get the big, they usually seem to be really accomplished people to get to the big articles. 
 Dr. David Madow: Is it a pay to play thing for the big article, you think?
 Dr. Richard Madow: I wonder. 
 Dr. David Madow: I think the newspapers are in it to make money, don’t you think? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Of course. Paid to get an obit. That's very distasteful. 
 Dr. David Madow: You want like a big article on like Eleanor Rigby? Yeah, you pay us a lot of money. We'll put her in there. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Well, Eleanor Rigby got no notice when she died from what I remember. 
 Dr. David Madow: That's what I mean. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I don't know if it's a sickness. I do enjoy the obit articles, but I also look at the classified ads because I used, when I was a kid, I was somewhat fascinated by the classified ads. I used to read them, especially the for sale classified the ads. 
 Dr. David Madow: I thought you like the ads in the sports section, didn't you?
 Dr. Richard Madow: I don't know what you mean. 
 Dr. David Madow: Okay. 
 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Oh, I remember the sports section from Rayco Automotive. Every day there was like one of those little one-inch box ads. It said,” if we say we'll fix it, we'll fix it. Rayco Automotive, Baltimore, Maryland.”
 Dr. David Madow: You know what, the funny thing is how many years later you're talking about this 40 years later, so that ad impacted you. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Wow. It impacted my wisdom tooth. Would that be a good slogan for a dental office? If we say, we'll fix it, we'll fix it. 
 Dr. David Madow: Did you think Rayco had that patented, it's been many decades now? I think you can steal it. If we say we'll fix it. If we say, well, for Dental Practice Fixers, if we say we'll fix it, we'll fix it. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: If we say, we'll, crown it, we'll crown it. Yeah, there you go. 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah.
 Dr. Richard Madow: There you go. Where are we going here? The classified ads of the newspaper. I don't think that one section is very robust. 
 Dr. David Madow: I wouldn't use them at all. I think the writer was right. He said you won't really attract the right people. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I'm looking at the question again. Dr. Ross said haven't try the classified-
 Dr. David Madow: Oh, have not tried. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: -not seems to attract hundreds of non-qualified people. 
 Dr. David Madow: How did he know they're nonqualified?
 Dr. Richard Madow: I was thinking the same thing. So, what do you think? You’re in need of a dental assistant. You've tried the traditional channels, you're trying to network with your dental supply rep, you're making offers, then people are using those as leverage. That's unbelievable. 
 Dr. David Madow: Exactly. I'll tell you one thing I did, Rich, back in the day when I had that practice, growing practice and we were really successful with this one because of course I did a lot of my business in the same community where my dental practice was. Even though I lived maybe 20 minutes away, I tried to do everything like from going to the restaurants, the dry cleaners, the banking, which by the way you should be doing too, when I say you, I mean you're listening to this, make it a point to be doing all your business and same with your team members all around your community. But what I did, I started, so I started meeting and knowing very well the waitresses, the bank tellers, you know, the people that worked in a lot of the service industries and I knew them really well. And occasionally what would happen is if we need an opening, I would say, hey, you know, Sue the waitress over the diner. She's- 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Why did you sue the waitress, which she did to you?
 Dr. David Madow: I like that. I like that Susan, the waitress at the diner, I just remember. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: She spilled hot tea on me. I'll just sue her.
 Dr. David Madow: Sue the waitress, sue that waitress.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Kill the DJ, sue the waitress. 
 Dr. David Madow: She's very personable and she would be great in the dental office. Rich, I did this more than once and I'm sure she knows, she knew nothing about dentistry whatsoever, but you know something, health is difficult to really train a great people person you know, to take, well they've got to be of course to qualify to take x-rays but to do chairside assisting or to even work at the front desk, I used to always hire for personality but not only personality. Somebody that truly had a great positive outlook on life, and it was a positive person and the kind of person you always wanted to be around. I hired that kind of person, whether they had dental experience or not. And I'd say nine times out of ten, it worked out really, really well. Nothing's 100%. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I remember you hired that bank teller one time. I went to your office. She asked me to see my passbook. The training bank tellers are kind of notoriously underpaid or not paid all that well. 
 Dr. David Madow: Absolutely. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Not the management in the bank, but the frontline and the tellers. 
 Dr. David Madow: And the good thing is they're already, so for the front desk they're well versed in handling money, they know about that kind of stuff. They work pretty well. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Interact with the public all day long. 
 Dr. David Madow: Absolutely. That worked out really well too. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: It's kind of a dying industry, isn't it? The bank teller, it seems like it's more and more automated. 
 Dr. David Madow: Even when you go into the bank now, they have like the, you know, you can't really see a human being. You go to the automatic, at least I go to Bank of America and I don't go there often for anything. But you go in there and they won't, they won't even let you see a teller. They try to steer you to the-
 Dr. Richard Madow: They really, they've got like that line where you wait in line and then you talk to a robot. 
 Dr. David Madow: Exactly. Exactly. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: It's unbelievable. I go to M&T Bank and they actually, I think they kind of pride themselves on being old fashioned and customer service, and it's always, I usually go to the ATM to make deposits even, although I hardly even make the deposit. I'm gonna do it on my phone.
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. Nobody pays by check, but the people that do you just, you just take a picture on your phone and…
 Dr. Richard Madow: I gotta check where it wasn't even computer printed or scribbled so badly, the ATM couldn't even read the thing. My phone couldn't read the thing. I actually, I had to go take it with a teller.
 Dr. David Madow: That's impossible. I sure hope that person doesn't send me a check. That's ridiculous. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I have a feeling they're going to. So, let's get back to Dr. Ross' question for a second. Dave, I know that you did that, you told me about that when we both had our practices and it was a great technique. And then I did something and I think I told you about it too, and you liked it. And that was to look through your patient population and think of somebody who you think will be a good dental assistant. And it just, like you said, you know, if there's somebody that's a waitress or a bank teller, they're in the service industry, you pretty much know if they're really personable, you know, when you think about your patient population, you know, who is responsible, who shows up on time, pays their bills, takes care of their teeth, well groomed, well dressed, friendly, you know all that stuff about your patients. You know, there's some patients who you'd say, well, of course we love providing them with good dental care but we wouldn't have them work here. And you know, no matter what if they were the last person on earth, and there are others where you say, wow, that person would really fit in here. So, think about your patient population. Think, is there somebody who, maybe just graduated high school or college, somebody you know, is between jobs and say to them, “Hey, have you ever thought of working in a dental practice? If so, why don't you come in here, spend a few days hanging around, sit at the front desk, come back in the treatment rooms and you know, kind of shadow and see what's going on to see if maybe this is for you.” We found two incredible team members that way. One actually went on to become a hygienist; she enjoyed it so much.
 Dr. David Madow: Fantastic. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah. So, I think both of the answers we gave kind of centered on not looking for someone that is already a dental assistant. 
 Dr. David Madow: And be creative, I mean these days almost every single community has a Facebook group that centers on the community and people are on there. I know there's one here in Reisterstown, Rich, that has 6,000 or 7,000 members and they're always on, they're like talking about a new restaurant that opened up or complaining about something in the community. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I think on the Reisterstown group is typically complaining. 
 Dr. David Madow: They’re complainers. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I wouldn't be in that group if they beg me. 
 Dr. David Madow: You wouldn't be a member of that group if they-
 Dr. Richard Madow: I wouldn’t be a member of any group that will accept me as a member.
 Dr. David Madow: Exactly. Right, exactly. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: But I don't know with Reisterstown.
 Dr. David Madow: But all kidding aside, there are a lot of people that are online reading, you know, members of these community, Facebook groups and it would take one post in one of these Facebook groups, Hey, I've got a dental lab, and not only that, it kind of gives a subtle endorsement or advertisement that your dental office people, more people know about it, but hey, I've got, I'm looking for, I'm looking for some assistance, I'm looking for a dental assistant, looking for somebody who could help me in my front desk, is anybody in the community or does anybody in the community know somebody that's looking for a great long term position? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: And it brings up another question. Is there anybody in the Reisterstown Facebook page who is- 
 Dr. David Madow: No, I'm gonna say no
 Dr. Richard Madow: A registered dental team member that gives dental tips. And is there kind of as the go-to dental answering question person? 
 Dr. David Madow: Well, it's a great question and admittedly I'm not in that group. I'm not really looking at that group. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I know there's a chiropractic assistant in that group.
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah there is. There definitely is. But, I'm not really in that group or monitoring that group very often, but from what I've seen though, so here's what will happen. Typically, somebody will just come on and say, I'm looking for a dentist can anybody give their recommendations? Like a million people come on and say like why their dentist is the best. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: So that's good. 
 Dr. David Madow: It's good. But, I will tell you and our friend Dr. Joanne Rief, even though she's like one county, one town away from Reisterstown, she's kind of right on the border, she's oftentimes in there saying I am, she tells a little bit about her practice, but I think your idea is really good about not just doing it when people ask the question, but being proactive and kind of going in and giving like little dental tips and things like, you know, when school starts, things you can do for dental exams and such things like that. Being more proactive. That'd be, that's a really good idea. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I remember we were lecturing, I think it was in Colorado maybe last year and we were talking about marketing and referrals and the like. And a woman raised her hand and said, I'm a member of this group. It's called, it was one of those, hoity toity ski resort towns. It might've been Aspen. So, she said, I'm in a Facebook group called Aspen Moms and a bunch of moms in the area, we all share advice, we ask questions and constantly people are asking dental questions and she always answers the questions and she doesn't come out too strong, but she just says, “Hey, I happen to be a dental assistant in a fantastic practice. If you want to come by, we'd be glad to take a look.” But she also was very free giving advice and doesn't act like she expects anything in return. But she's kind of become the dental authority on that mom's group, which a mom's group, boy, you couldn't do better than that. 
 Dr. David Madow: It's great. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: And since they've gotten tons of patients that way. 
 Dr. David Madow: and quite sure that is. If there was, I'll say something, it's funny, if there was somebody in this Reisterstown group here who was like, kind of like the dentist of the group, who always came on and answered questions, that person I think would have like a huge advantage.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Is there any good dentist in Reisterstown?
 Dr. David Madow: There are no good dentists in Reisterstown. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I know there's several in Owings Mills, most of you aren't local, that's the next town up the road. 
 Dr. David Madow: I think there's got to be a very good dentist in Reisterstown, there has to be. But it's funny that it seems like nobody's really come to the forefront of like taking that stance or position to be like the Reisterstown Facebook group dentist. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Do you have any idea how many people are in that group? 
 Dr. David Madow: I think it's about 7,000, around 7,000. 
 
 Dr. Richard Madow: No kidding. 7,000 people. No one has stepped up to be the dental expert. 
 Dr. David Madow: Now again, admittedly, I'm not on there a lot. I think the closest I've seen has been Dr. Joanne Rief and she, again, she's in Owings Mills, which is not far. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: So, if you're listening, which obviously if you hear my voice, you're listening because you couldn't, 
 Dr. David Madow: Are you live right now or is this recorded? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I'm not sure. Dr. David says, recorded. Go on a Facebook group in your community. Obviously if you go on a national group, like you know, people who love birdwatching, but it's a national group that's not going to help you. So, make sure it's a local group. 
 Dr. David Madow: Every community has one. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: For so many things, they probably got a mom's group, they probably have a whatever, just focused on the community itself, all kinds of things depending on the size of the town and become the local dental expert. And don't go for the sale. Just give advice. But let it be known that you know this because you’re a dental assistant in Dr. Jones' practice, or even the dentist can do it. What the heck? It'll be great. 
 Dr. David Madow: There's totally nothing wrong with the dentist doing it, it is great, I think. But again, like you said, don't be salesy. If you're on there every time and that you know, and we're offering, we're offering 50% off first visit cleaning, I mean it just comes across as really salesy. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I know Admin will probably boot your ass right out of there anyway. 
 Dr. David Madow: It's the old story that people love to do business with people that teach them, help them or like really care. That's how you get the patients, something like that. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: And also participate in the group, and other things would not just dental things, but when someone asks, you know, what's a good movie, you recommend or is that new deli down the street any good, or anything that our local community group would ask. Be a well-known member of the group and then your dental advice will be 10 times more powerful because you're not just poaching whenever there's a dental question. 
 Dr. David Madow: That's a really good point. Good stuff, I think we answered the question. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: We answered the question and hopefully valuable to you also, that is fantastic. Ready to do the call today? 
 Dr. David Madow: Let's do the call, but I think you got a little announcement. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I was gonna say before the call. Quick story for you too. I remember many years ago, I mean this was like 1995, I think. I was sitting in a lecture from the great doctor, Gordon Christensen, who amazingly still out there doing, it's still up on technology, it's still relevant. He's, he's just a not even human, He's so great. He's like the all-powerful Dr. Gordon Christensen. He's amazing. And he was talking about have your general dentist and you're not doing implants, you're missing the boat. Now, this was 1995 and so many dentists weren't placing, now these days when you say everybody's, oh I restore implants. Well, that's great. Of course, you do. But he got to be placing the implants as well. So, whether or not you're placing implants, there's something that we really would love for you to check out. There's a brand-new implant is called the ultra-tooth, by company named Biodent and the ultra-tooth actually has an expansion. When you put it in, you turn this little, and I'm just going to explain it in really simple terms, but you can go to the website and check it out a little further, but you'd like turn this little dial and the root structure of the implant expands and compacts the bone and makes the implants so strong that it immediately loads and the patient can leave the office and go bite an apple on their implant at the very first day. There's nothing else out there like it. It's really incredible. So, whether you're placing implants already or you want to get more into implants, definitely check out the ultra-tooth implant. The company's name is Biodent and their website is www.biodentinc which is, you know, incorporated, .com. So, it's biodentinc.com. Check them out. Tell them Madow Brothers sent you. Not sure if they'll care or not, but you never know. Maybe they'll give you a better deal. But anyway, really, really cool. Up-to-date implant technology, definitely give it a look. 
 Dr. David Madow: We'll do a call?
 Dr. Richard Madow: Let's do one.
 Caller #1: Hi. Thank you for calling *bleep*. At this moment, we cannot answer the phone. Please leave your name, number and message and we'll try to call as soon as possible. If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911, or go to nearest hospital. Our hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 - 5:00, Tuesday, 1:30-7:00 and Friday, 9:00 - 1:00. [speaking foreign 00:19:29] 
 Dr. David Madow: What's the story there? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I was going to say, we'll do another call today, but I just want to say, I have the website of this office open and when you look at this website, it is the greatest, most high tech, unbelievable office. They do all kinds of procedures. The dentist hosts a radio show every month, and they've got a brand-new beautiful office. They paid a fortune for this website and for SEO because it came up first when I did this, they have the hours on here. All these [crosstalk 00:20:04] 
 Dr. David Madow: Said they're open 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah, they've spent thousands, hundreds of thousands maybe on doing the right thing to get people to come to their office and then you call. 
 Dr. David Madow: And that recording is bullshit. I mean, if this is an emergency call 911, yeah, right, that's great. Oh my god. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Unbelievable. So again, we will make that the call today, but just listen, no matter how much you do or spend on marketing and radio shows and equipment and procedures, if no one answers the phone, you're done. F minus. 
 Dr. David Madow: Let's do a call. Another one because that sucked. 
 Caller #2: This is Connie. How can I help you? 
 Dr. David Madow: Hi Connie. Are you accepting new patients at all?
 Caller #2: Absolutely. And how did you hear about our office?
  
 Dr. David Madow: Well, see the funny thing is I just Googled you, Googled you. I'm sorry. I'm in a really weird situation here. I'm actually in an Uber. I'm here, I'm taking a ride in Uber right now in my, it's not for me, but my driver is like telling me he needs a dentist. He's got some pain and, I'm just wondering whether you- wait one second what? I think that we might be on speaker phone and so he, he's afraid of the dentist as well. So, I'm trying to give him some words of encouragement to get him into the office and what could I say to him? He’s got a pain on the lower right molar, he says, what should I tell him to do? Oh, of course, all molars are back molars. And the weird thing is it's a shared lift. I got some, another, there's another passenger in here too. What's, what is your name again? Sherry? So, it's, yeah, it's a whole weird situation, but he needs a dentist and I'm just, he's like afraid to go.
 Caller #2: Yes, absolutely. I can understand that. Would he be available tomorrow or Friday?
 Dr. David Madow: Mo? What's your availability tomorrow or Friday? You're not going to hurt him, are you? He's really worried about like pain and hurting. I think he's had some bad experiences at the dentist in the past.
 Caller #2: Yeah, no, we definitely would not try to hurt him by all means. But we would definitely like to see him if he would be available tomorrow morning, if that would be good for him.
 Dr. David Madow: Mo, are you driving tomorrow morning? Are you available? Okay. Do you want to call the office then when you get a chance? Sherry, Sherry. Wait, did you Miss Sherry's, Mo, you Missed Sherry's stop I think she's looking a little bit impatient. Sherry. Sherry, Sherry, we'll get back to your stop, it is more important. Sherry's, she's your passenger, the shared, you didn't ask her name? Her name is Sherry. She's the shared. Yeah, it's a yes. So, I'm sorry, what were you going to ask him?
 Caller #2: Yes. Would he be available early or late tomorrow?
 Dr. David Madow: Is Early or late tomorrow better? Early is better. They're not open. They're not open at 5:00 AM, I'm sure, Come on. When do you start driving tomorrow?
 Caller #2: Would he prefer a 9 or a 10?
 Dr. David Madow: Do you want 9 or 10 tomorrow? He said he's impressed with your two good choices.
 Caller #2: Would 9 work better for him?
 Dr. David Madow: Would 9 be better, Mo, do you want to just call, when you finish the ride, Drop Sherry, you missed, you missed her stop totally. Drop her off. Drop me off. Then you'll call the office. Do you want to do that? 
 Caller #2: I got his name is Mo. 
 Dr. David Madow: I don't know his last name at all. 
 Caller #2: Yes. So, what he could do is he could come in tomorrow morning at 9 and we would love to see him and that way we can see what we can do to get him out of pain.
 Dr. David Madow: That's cool. Thank you. We really appreciate it. Sherry. Sherry's, stay calm for one second. Okay. Hope I'm not being charged for [crosstalk 00:24:08].
 Caller #2: And the best contact number, what's Mo's last name? 
 Dr. David Madow: Mo what's your last name? Howard.
 Caller #2: And let me have the best contact number for Mo.
 Dr. David Madow: Mo, What's your best contact information? She, no, she can't just go on Uber and find you there. How, what's your best contact? What's your best phone number? 
 Caller #2: And he's aware of our location? 301 East Buenavista, right across the street from the library. 
 Dr. David Madow: Near the high school. He keeps saying near the high school. 
 Caller #2: Near the high school, right. And we're just right across the street from the library. So, I look forward to meeting Mo tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock. 
 Dr. David Madow: Thank you. I've got to tell you, this has been the craziest Uber Ride I've ever had in my life. Thank you so much. Thank you. 
 Caller #2: Thank you. And I look forward to seeing Mo. Okay, we'll see you then tomorrow. 
 Dr. David Madow: Bye. Thank you. 
 Caller #2 Okay. Bye. Bye.
 Dr. David Madow: I feel kind of bad. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: We'll have someone in their office call her again. 
 Dr. David Madow: So, somebody, this is Sam calling for Mo to cancel my appointment.
 Dr. Richard Madow: But let's get back to her for a second. 
 Dr. David Madow: She was a doll. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Excellent. I want to, 
 Dr. David Madow: I tell you something. I want her work into my office. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: She was, you could tell from the second she answered the phone, she just exuded confidence and friendliness. I mean those are two of the best traits ever, right? 
 Dr. David Madow: Yeah. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: And then two good choices. 
 Dr. David Madow: Two good choices and she kind of rolled with the whole thing. She thought on one hand she thought maybe this is a joke. I'm not sure, but she went, she was totally professional. She chuckled a few times, but she totally got him in for the appointment. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: I'm giving her an A. 
 Dr. David Madow: Let me tell you something. This is the first call in the Dental Practice Fixers that is actually an appointment was made, she gets an A. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Unbelievable, she was fantastic. I think we should maybe call back and reward her. Tell her it was a secret shopper call for a podcast and she got an A. 
 Dr. David Madow: Should we do that? 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Maybe. Maybe we should do it live. I think that is a great way to end episode three, season two of the Dental Practice Fixers podcast. Maybe next time we'll call from a Lyft. What do you think? 
 Dr. David Madow: Sounds like a good idea, but if I'll tell you something, do you have an idea, an idea for a call that we can do on the Dental Practice Fixers, shoot us a message. We're up for anything this season. Anything goes, well Almost anything. 
 Dr. Richard Madow: Anything goes and well. 
 Dr. David Madow: See you next time.
 Dr. Richard Madow: Bye 

You Sold Your Dental Practice – The Best Way to Announce the Change to Your Patients and Your Team

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Welcome back to The Dental Practice Fixers podcast, dentistry’s most unique show! Today we have a question from a long time follower asking us the best way to tell his patients and his team that he has sold his dental practice and is out of there! This is actually a fairly common question we are asked and when we hear how most docs are doing it, we cringe. In this episode we share with you the very best way to communicate to the world that you are leaving, and do it in such a way that your team and patients will mostly stay with the practice!  Then of course we do the call of the week.  Witness what happens when a simple question is asked such as “Are you really doing dentures and repairs in your oral surgery office?” If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to podcast@madow.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!

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You Sold Your Dental Practice – The Best Way to Announce the Change to Your Patients and Your Team

The Dental Practice Fixers podcast is brought to you by the Madow Center for Dental Practice Success. To find out how we can help increase the success of your practice, check out madow.com or call us at 1-800-258–0060.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Hello everybody out there in podcast land and welcome to season 2 episode 2 of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. I am Dr. Richard Madow, I am here in the studio in beautiful Reisterstown, Maryland with my esteemed co - host, and business partner and brother Dr. David Madow. How is it going today Dave?
 Dr. Dave Madow: Don’t forget the brother part.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  How could I forget that.
 Dr. Dave Madow: I have been your brother almost all your life. 
 Dr. Rich Madow:  All my life, almost all your life. Isn’t that how it would go.
 Dr. Dave Madow: I think so.  So, what’s going on? It is good to be back in the studio with you man, really good.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  It is fantastic; season 2 is rolling on.
 Dr. Dave Madow: I am excited; season 2 is turning out to be great so far.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Thank you much for your comments not just about the special episode, but season 2 episode 1.
 Dr. Dave Madow: Wow, that very first phone call we did on episode 1, crazy.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  It was nuts people seemed to enjoy it except for one person who found it offensive for some reason. I am not sure why but hey, 
 Dr. Dave Madow: You know what they say, when you are not offending somebody you are not doing your job right. But this there is something like that right?
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Is that your motto?
 Dr. Dave Madow: Kind of like, I am trying to offend 50%.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  You have already offended me today; I don’t know if you are doing your job perfectly.
 Dr. Dave Madow: Perfect, perfect. 
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Fantastic, well let’s get down to a really, really fantastic listener question for season 2 episode 2, what do you say Dave, you wanna take it away? 
 Dr. Dave Madow: I will take it away and by the way, thank you so much for your question. We are gonnawithhold your name as per your request so, just to let you know, if youever have a question and let’s say it is of a very personal nature,just send it in to us, if you wanna do it privately that's fine by email. And the email for our podcast is again it's  podcast@madow.com  I believe right, we haven't used it for a little while.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Well yeah that's right you can always do info@madow.com  I-N-F-O @madow.com and Hope, who handles the info emails will be sure it gets to the right place.
 Dr. Dave Madow: Yeah, but if they just checked also, I’m pretty short its podcast singular because then I think on our website it’s podcasts 
 Dr. Rich Madow:  You know why can’t we get this uniform, you know we got a podcast.
 Dr. Dave Madow: I tell you something, we got to talk to our web guy, it’s just unacceptable, I think.
 Dr. Rich Madow:   I agree, but the point why can't we make it so if somebody sends an email to podcast or podcasts@madow.com it goes to the right place? How tough would that be? Is that asking too much?
 Dr. Dave Madow:  I think it's a high level very, very high level.
 Dr. Rich Madow:   That's higher than my level but I think somebody could do it.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   I think the point is if you want to send us a private question just tell us to please withhold your name, keep it confidential because they're so, there could be some questions that are very confidential so you don't want your team knowing that it's actually you.
 Dr. Rich Madow:   Or if you are a team member, you don't when your doctor knowing it's actually you, we would take those as well.
 Dr. Dave Madow:  That's very true but let’s get into today's so we're gonna read this and we will withhold the name, “Hey guys, let me start by thanking you guys for the past 15 years, maybe more, since I started getting the original Richards Reports, most of which I still have on my office shelf in the attractive gray three-ring binders. I appreciate the fact that you were wet finger dentists and had very practical tried-and-true advice. Plus, you were funny; reading back through a few of your old newsletters and didn't think you were God’s gift to dentistry.” You know that’s, I like that first of all Rich because I think we always try even back in those days, we try to come across as and we really are just regular guys, we're not like these you know superstar wanna-be type people or just history.
 Dr. Rich Madow:   Especially when it comes to clinical dentistry. I mean we were both good dentists but we certainly weren't you know the Dawson and Rose and Falls and Hornbooks of the world.
 Dr. Dave Madow:  Right exactly so, hey I appreciate that compliment. Keeping your anonymous doctor, “I’m ready to say that I'm planning on changing careers also known as retirement sometime early next year. I will stay on as an employee for about six months to ease the transition; this has not been made public yet for fear of patients scrambling to find someone else and depleting my patient base. Although I’m hoping my base is loyal enough to at least try the new owner before leaving. Anyway, how do other offices handle this transition? When do they announce to their employees who don't know yet either and to their patients? The most people send out letters to patients, a record and when do they, if they send letters?  I'm not sure how to proceed here but with your vast network of doc's, I would assume you’ve run into this before, thanks so much.” doctor beep, we can't give his name or her name, we can't even say it to he or her; we're not allowed to do that.
 Dr. Rich Madow:    I think you pretty much spilled the beans one of being a he though, let's face it.
 Dr. Dave Madow:  How did I do that again? 
 Dr. Rich Madow:    When you said we can't give his name
 Dr. Dave Madow:  Or her.
 Dr. Rich Madow:    That’s okay, it doesn't narrow it down all that much.
 Dr. Dave Madow:  We are not sure of the gender, let’s just say that.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     I okay it might be one of those names where you can't tell the gender either like you know Pat.
 Dr. Dave Madow:  Dr. Pat.  
 Dr. Rich Madow:     Terry were some other. 
 Dr. Dave Madow:  Pat Terry.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     Dr. Pat Terry, Marian used to be a man's name way back in the day, right? I think these days I don't think even women are named Marian anymore. But remember one Marian was
 Dr. Dave Madow:  That’s you dear.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     A grandma, was there of a faculty member at University of Maryland Dental School…
 Dr. Dave Madow:   Marion, Marion Barry. There's Marion Ratliff, he was the he was in Period Department at the Omarion, well anyway let's get back to the question from him or her, you know do we send, how do we how do we let our patients know, do we send a letter and?
 Dr. Rich Madow:     First of all, there was something that he or she first I think is really important and that is when do you tell the team? And I know I certainly went through this when I sold my practice Dave, I'm not sure if you went through because you sold your practice to your partner so it's a little bit of a different situation.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   Yeah, I never told my team I was just out of there.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     They didn’t even, they didn’t even notice.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   They didn't know I was gone; just darted out of there one day.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     This is something I really struggle with because my team and I were tight Dave, as you know we were great. I really loved and respected every one of them. Some of them loved and respected me maybe not all, but in any case, I didn't want to just surprise them or you know come in one day and say hey guess what the practice is sold here's your new boss. But the thing is I had to do it that way and this is something that the practice broker that I worked with advised me on, and once you understand the logic it makes sense because, let's just say you tell your team hey in two months I'm, the practice is gonna be sold. I won't be here anymore; you're gonna have a new boss. They might start scrambling looking for new jobs you know, no matter how much you ask people to keep things quiet, you know they tell a spouse then the spouse tells a friend and a friend tells, so the word gets out. And it's just not something you can risk because that’s not fair to the buyer; it can decrease the value of the practice; all kinds of bad things can happen. So as tough as it was for me and it’s difficult Dr. Anonymous as I'm sure it will be for you, I would recommend, I'm not happy with this recommendation but I think you cannot tell anybody until the ink is on the contract, do you agree Dave?
 Dr. Dave Madow:   There's no other way around it; you have too many, too many problems are gonna arise if people know early so yeah totally agree.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     You know you may remember we had already started doing TBSE when I sold my practice. And at that time a lot of my practice team members came out to help us with TBSE.
 Dr. Dave Madow:    I remember that.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     And I sold the practice right before one of the TBSE’s and then had to go in and announce it to them and one of them got so pissed that she didn't even show up at TBSE, she just kept on yelling, “Screw you!”
 Dr. Dave Madow:   Who is that?
 Dr. Rich Madow:      I'm not gonna mention any names.
  Dr. Dave Madow:   She's not listening to this podcast.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     You never know, you never, she was really sweet, and I felt really guilty because it just was the wrong side of her and it was, it was not a cool thing, well cool or no cool, but something that had to be done.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   You had no choice, there's really no other way to do it?
 Dr. Rich Madow:     And I agree I totally agree. So, how about contacting the patients?
 Dr. Dave Madow:   Yeah, I think a letter should just be sent down said I've sold my practice I found somebody to buy it and he's really good; hopefully try them, see you later.
 Dr. Rich Madow:       I was thinking god I hope he's kidding.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   See you later I'm out of here bye, it’s been a great twenty years. 
 Dr. Rich Madow:        But yeah letter, letters are always great. I think in the lot you know it’s funny I think people like patients, whatever don't really think of a dental practice as an entity that could be sold necessarily. I think what they like to hear is that you've, after careful thought about your retirement and the direction you want to take, you’ve carefully selected Dr. Big Check to come in and be entrusted with the patients’ care.
 So, let me ask you doctor, how did you, how did you select this person, this doctor is it, was he, did he have like the best clinical skills; did he, was he like number one in his dental class, is he just an incredible personable person?
 Dr. Dave Madow:   He's not called Dr. Big Check for nothing, though he's the one that gave me the most money, you never say that though. No but hopefully, but all kidding aside, hopefully this doctor that you’re selling your practice to, is gonna be a good guy or good woman and 
 Dr. Rich Madow:       You've got to feel good about.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   You got to feel great about good clinical skills, personable you got, you got it, yet hopefully or else you know it's not really fair to them either because it practices, let's face it, it’s a kind of a loser; the practice is gonna go downhill it’s not a good thing for anybody. And you and you like your patients, you love your patients; you really do want the best for them after your retirement.
 Dr. Rich Madow:       Absolutely, and in some cases the selling doctor will come in and putz around, as we say, a few days a week and it would really be heartbreaking to see the owner taking the practice in a direction that you don't care for. So, there should be a philosophical simpatico between the seller and the buyer.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   But here's a philosophical question, suppose you get clearly a great, great offer from somebody who in your heart you just feel yeah, I just I just don't feel great about this guy, but then the next person who maybe feel great about it offering you a hundred thousand dollars making that number up a hundred thousand dollars less for the practice,
 Dr. Rich Madow:       What serious cash over.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   It is, it is I mean who is not gonna sell to the highest bidder, the highest buyer, who's not going to?
 Dr. Rich Madow:        Well I think so many of us count on the practice sales part of our retirement. And it becomes a business decision, right?
 Dr. Dave Madow:   Yeah and is it really, I may hate to say like this, it sounds kind of cold, is it really your responsibility to like vet the person for all, you know clinical personality, business skill, is it, is it fair just look you're selling your practice and somebody comes in with a green offer. Are you gonna turn it down as you say, I just don't think you’re right for my patients? Well I don't know; I think you know personality and business skills are one thing. If you have reason to suspect they're an incompetent dentist, I'm just not so sure I’d feel good about taking that check. I mean really incompetent.
 Dr. Rich Madow:       Yeah but it’s a tough one because again making numbers up the person comes in and offers you two million dollars in cash.
 Dr. Dave Madow:   And the next best person is offering 1.1 
 Dr. Rich Madow:       Examine, what do you do?  
 Dr. Dave Madow:   You sell.
 Dr. Rich Madow:       You know but I hope that's not gonna come up with any I'm yeah, I’m assuming with this doctor that wrote to us, it's you know selling to it to a good buyer, somebody that's gonna be, he's very comfortable with, I'm at worst scene is not the case here.
 Dr. Dave Madow: I hope so.   Let's go back to the letter for a second because we've seen good, we’ve seen bad, we've seen practices where the buyer, the new dentist is responsible for sending out a letter to the patients introducing themselves, big, big, big mistake yeah. It's really great if the selling dentist who the patients know and love sends out a really sincere letter saying you know after 23 years of servicing the community, meeting so many fantastic patients, I've decided it’s time for me to move on and I've selected the best dentist. Now here's the thing, what did you say that and you know the dentist is a shit dentist, what do you do?
 Dr. Rich Madow:       I still think you know, is it up to you to really evaluate?  I don’t know but I think you have to say, yeah you have to say that you’ve selected a great dentist, I think you have to. And not only that, does the dentist that's buying the practice get editing rights, does he get to look at the letter and say I think you need to change this a little bit or I guess it has to all come up in the deal, but should they get editing rights?
 Dr. Dave Madow:  I'm not sure that would actually be included in the contract of the sale that the buying dentist gets editing rights to the intro letter.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Because we looked, you and I know how to  write letters but let's say you, let's  say you were buying a dental practice  right now from a dentist and that  dentist was about to  send a letter to his or her patient base,  and you looked at the letter, just sucked, it was horrible, it  was gonna hurt your practice, wouldn't you feel like you have the right to say,  look this letter just isn't right,  don't you feel that's a courtesy that  should be extended to anyone?
 Dr. Dave Madow:        I would think so too.
 Dr. Rich Madow: It kind of has to be negotiated because suppose that selling dentist, just know this is a letter I'm sending out, it is from, it's from me is what I'm saying but that could, that could like hurt the practice by you know 20 percent, 30 percent way…
 Dr. Dave Madow:        It could be horrible and we’ve seen some really bad ones pretty much saying you know I'm retiring I’ve sold to this dentist, it's all the wrong words. So, if you are a dentist who’s in the position that you'll be buying a practice soon, keep that in mind.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Got it because you know they see that letter they talk about like you know I just I just wrote a letter that um I made I made fifty thousand dollars from writing one letter. I mean well this could be that letter I mean it's it could be serious money because if you’re turning off your patient base and they all go elsewhere, guess what the doctor that just bought the practice got ripped off or got you know it's short ended or something, it’s just, it's not cool. Yeah, we've seen that happen before to where a dentist purchases a good healthy practice and within the next six months to a year so many patients have left, so many bad things have happened and you just feel sorry for that dentist that spent top dollar and then didn't really know the proper way to do the transition. And you're right it could be the fault of these selling dentists as well maybe they didn't… 
 Dr. Dave Madow:        Nobody ever thinks of that but yeah think about this dentist is possibly  buying this practice with his or her life savings or taken out a tremendous loan or whatever it might be and this is everything. That letter means a lot, you know it's sad to say we’ve seen situations where we’ve been working with her, talking to the selling dentist and they have a purchaser for the practice and we meet the purchaser, and we just know that they are not going to succeed in that practice. We just know it then what do you do? You still have to take the, you have to let them purchase it right?
 Dr. Rich Madow: You have to let them purchase it and not only that, I think you have to write the letter that you think is gonna be the absolute best and do everything you can in the transition to help this person who's paying you a lot of money.
 Dr. Dave Madow:        Like for example I’m thinking of a dentist that we were friends with, working with, he just had one of those big lovable personalities, and he was selling his practice and the buyer just had no personality well how are these patients gonna feel after all those years, it’s not easy.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Yeah, I think the selling dentist has to do the best that he or she can but after if that from that point on it’s, I hate to say, it's not really their responsibility
 Dr. Dave Madow:        Not my problem.
 Dr. Rich Madow: It's really not of me; you sold, it’s not my problem the incoming dentist is devoid of personality or void or devoid, I don't know. 
 Dr. Dave Madow:        I think void and devoid mean kind of the same thing, kind of flammable and inflammable, why do they mean the same thing was always very confusing. I don’t know. 
 Dr. Rich Madow:   You don’t see the word flammable too much anyway.
 Dr. Dave Madow:        Oh, I see it a lot, all over the place, oh it's coming back, it's making a big comeback that word.
 Dr. Rich Madow:   Flammable and inflammable same thing.
 Dr. Dave Madow:        Gruntled disgruntled.
 Dr. Rich Madow:   Those are total opposites.
 Dr. Dave Madow:        Are you ever gruntled?
 Dr. Rich Madow:    I am gruntled right now, I am entirely gruntled.
 Dr. Dave Madow:         I feel good then.
 Dr. Rich Madow:    Good, you and James Brown. Hold on, now we're talking about something before we got off topic here.
 Dr. Dave Madow:         I will tell you where we are, I think we want to get into the call because whether we've we think we said everything has to be said about this dead horse, I think we have, but I mean do you have anything else to say about, I mean I think we've given this doctor great information.
 Dr. Rich Madow:     I was just gonna bring up   not memory as a closing point but  in case you are the seller we talked  about you know how do you feel about the  buyer blah blah blah blah blah, like how  much due diligence do you have to do if  they're licensed, if they you know, they  graduated an accredited dental school , they're a licensed dentist in your state, they are by law proficient and  technically allowed the practice of dentistry by law.
 Dr. Dave Madow: Right, yeah what would you do like you check their lab cases; what do you think, you’re not responsible for that?
 Dr. Rich Madow:      I think you’re not.
 Dr. Rich Madow: Now if they were like an associate in your practice, and you knew they sucked 
 Dr. Dave Madow: Well that never happens.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Every associate sucks once they leave right, that's not the truth everything goes bad is blamed on the associate after they leave.
 Dr. Dave Madow: That's right.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Yeah so, it’s a tough question but yeah make sure that you can't tell the team members until the contract is signed, the really nice well-written letter goes out on behalf of the selling dentist, explaining what happened, intro on the purchasing dentist.
 Dr. Dave Madow: Yeah do it the right way, great question Dr.  Anonymous. 
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Let's do a call. 
 Dr. Dave Madow: Excellent. Hey just a quick second before Rich and  I do the call,  real quick little  announcement here about some friends of  ours and group that we're very close  with them, they can really help you out  quite a bit,  dentistadvisors.com,  you know for  many years, probably several decades now,  Rich and I have been very serious about  our future and we've worked with  financial planners for quite some time. We wouldn't really do this ourselves because we're dentists and we don’t really know the ins and outs of financial planning. So, when we recommend financial planners, we generally recommend a group that, number 1, works exclusively with dentists here, they know the ins and the outs of your dental practice and what dentists are going through in their lives, they only work with dentists, they only do financial planning; they're not there to sell you all kinds of different products and talk about other weird things. They are financial planners and not only that they are fiduciaries which means legally they always have to do what's in your best interest.
 So, if you're looking to make sure your future is what it should be, where you want to go with your goals then you need a really good financial planner and we highly, highly recommend checking out Dentists Advisors, is really easy go to dentistadvisors.com, all one-word dentistadvisors.com check them out. By the way when you speak to them let them know that you listen to the Dental Practice Fixers podcast and that you are friends of the Madow brothers, I don't know what that'll get you exactly but give it a try and see.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Good stuff. 
 Dr. Dave Madow:  Actually happen if we do the phone call.
 Dr. Rich Madow:  Let’s do a phone call today. Okay I'm not sure what to expect here, this is an oral surgeon’s office in Indiana that's placed some ads on Facebook and I think some other places as well saying that they do dentures, denture repairs and denture realigns. Which to me sounds a little odd for an oral surgeon in the office so let's give them a call and see what this is all about.
 Nikki: Oral Surgery this is Nikki how may I help you?
 Dr. Dave Madow:   I have a quick question for you.
 Nikki: Okay.  
 Dr. Dave Madow:    I saw on, I think it was on Facebook or somewhere that you are doing dentures and denture repairs.
 Nikki: We are in our Seymour office yes.
 Dr. Dave Madow:    Yeah, I told it to my dad because he might need a new denture and he told me that he didn’t think oral surgeons did dentures so I didn’t know so I thought I'd call and find out what is that what's going on.
 Nikki: Yeah, well we have we actually have someone that comes in specifically on Mondays and he fits our patients for dentures. So, are - they still have to see our doctor because our doctor has to do the initial exam because Mark is the one that does our dentures but he's not a doctor so he just works out of our office. But he is the one that fits our patients for dentures and you know that sends everything to the lab and then they do come to our office.
 Dr. Dave Madow:    Right so I don’t understand he's not a doctor what is he? 
 Nikki:  Mark is just the gentleman that, I mean he is just the one that fits us for dentures and he just fits our patients for the dentures.
 Dr. Dave Madow:     So again, I’m not trying to be flip here he's not a dentist but he comes into your office and he fits your patients for dentures.
 Nikki: Correct.
 Dr. Dave Madow:     And then what if the denture needs like to be adjusted or it's not right, he also
 Nikki:  That’s what he does, he does that as well yes. 
 Dr. Dave Madow:     So, what is it but what kind of training does he have?
 Nikki:  I mean I have no idea. I mean you could ask you could I mean I don't even know what’s Mark’s last name?  Okay I mean if you want to look him up his name is Mark [ / ] 
 Dr. Dave Madow:     So, okay so you're suggesting I just like google Mark  [ / ] ?
 Nikki:  Yeah, I mean I unfortunately I don’t know what Mark's training is before he came to our office, I had no what do you know how much you know how much training Mark had before he came to our office?  I told him to Google because I had no idea to be honest.
 I don’t know. He works in a couple different offices.
 Dr. Dave Madow:     So, just kind of like travels around with a little suitcase and dentures in different offices?
 Nikki:  I mean I don’t I mean I guess you could put it like that. I mean I don't really know I couldn’t give you any background information on Mark's training or where he went to school or anything like that, I have no idea.
 Dr. Dave Madow:     Okay but then one of the oral surgeons also looks at the denture?
 Nikki: Yes.
 Dr. Dave Madow:     Are there oral surgeon?
 Nikki: There are oral surgeons in our office right.
 Dr. Dave Madow:     And they know about dentures the oral surgeons?
 Nikki: Yeah, I mean they wouldn't have - Mark wouldn't work in our office if our doctors didn't feel confident that they knew what was going on.
 Dr. Dave Madow:     Okay I think I get the picture thanks so much for your information.
 Nikki: You're welcome, bye. 
 Dr. Rich Madow:     Wow that's a little scary isn't it ,  they've got this guy Mark coming into  the oral surgeons office, he's doing the  dentures from start to finish it sounds  like and they have no idea who he is,   what his training is, what kind of degree  he has if any, and it sounds like maybe  he's a lab tech I don't know if they  have denturist in that state not sure  exactly what's going on there. But that was pretty creepy wasn’t it?  I'm not so sure how much confidence I would have in that and if I were a general dentist in that area would I be too happy about that having some kind of non-dentist coming in to an oral surgeon’s office and doing dentures?  I'm not sure, but you know what, anything goes on the Dental Practice Fixers so you decide what you think is going on in this practice and get back to us with your comments podcast@madow.com 
 And that concludes another episode of the Dental Practice Fixers, I’m Dr. Richard Madow, I'm here with my co-host Dr.  David Madow and we will see you soon.