In today’s episode a doctor writes in with a difficult question – his hygienist has a horrible case of stink breath! They confronted her and she claims that….well, you just have to hear what she claims! Can anything be done? Leave it to The Dental Practice Fixers (Dr. Richard Madow and Dr. David Madow) to sort this one out. Then we go to the “Call of The Week.” A practice gets called out on Yelp for frequent “upselling.” Let’s see how they address this when a potential new patient wants to know the scoop. If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to email@example.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!
On today’s episode we have a great question from a listener. They are in the middle of a large case and have given the patient a payment plan. The problem? They are not paying and there are major indications that they never will!! Do you think Dr. Richard Madow and Dr. David Madow (The Dental Practice Fixers) will “ream them a new one?” You need to listen to find out. Then we go to the “Call of The Week.” A patient is simply looking for a practice that runs on time. This should be an easy one to answer AND schedule. How do you think they did? You need to listen to find out! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get yours answered!
Today’s episode features a very interesting question. The practice has two hygienists. One has been there forever and is on the way out. She is not that up on soft tissue management and has little interest in learning. But the patients LOVE her! The other is new, has more time in the schedule, and is interested in perio therapy. But the patients don’t seem to be warming up to her. What can be done? Leave it to The Dental Practice Fixers (Dr. Richard Madow and Dr. David Madow) to sort this one out. Then we go to the “Call of The Week.” A practice is advertising on their website that they have a “Membership Plan.” But when the caller asks about it, do you think they can answer their questions? You need to listen to find out! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to email@example.com. We will do our best to get yours answered
Today’s episode features a very difficult listener question. A young dentist is in severe debt – between his practice loan and his “dentist’s lifestyle” it’s over a million dollars! To add insult to injury, his Dad is expecting some support from his rich dentist son. And oh yeah – he doesn’t really like dentistry either! Listen now to hear what Dr. Richard Madow and Dr. David Madow (The Dental Practice Fixers) have to say! Then we go to the “Call of The Week.” A patient knows they need five or six crowns and they have a very minor question. Do you think they got them scheduled? You need to listen to find out! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get yours answered!
“I’m In Debt, My Dad Wants My Support…..and I Don’t Like Dentistry!”
On today’s episode a listener writes in with a very interesting question. He is considering an office remodel and is thinking about purchasing a CBCT machine. The problem? He is worried that patients will resent this and make snide comments! But don’t worry – The Dental Practice Fixers (Dr. Richard Madow and Dr. David Madow) are here with some solutions. And, does he REALLY need that CBCT? Let’s find out. And then we ask a very interesting question in the “Call of The Week” – do you offer a warranty on your dental treatment. This tough question could have been handled beautifully, but that was not the case here!! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to email@example.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!
“Hey Doc – I Paid For You Office Remodel AND New X-Ray Machine!”
On today’s episode a listener writes in with a problem that seems to plague dental practices all across North America – team turnover. But don’t worry – The Dental Practice Fixers (Dr. Richard Madow and Dr. David Madow) come to the rescue! Many issues that can cause rampant turnover are discussed and great solutions are offered. Then on the “Call of The Week,” a dental practice is called with a simple question – should a missing tooth be replaced. Much misinformation ensues, and then not one, but TWO cardinal rules are broken. You gotta give it a listen! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get yours answered!
Can Staff Turnover Be Eliminated Once And For All?
On today’s episode a listener writes in with a great question. They are offering excellent payment options such as CareCredit, but patients are not saying “yes!” This problem is costing them tens of thousands of dollars in practice revenue each month. But don’t fret – The Dental Practice Fixers (Dr. Richard Madow and Dr. David Madow) show a foolproof way to get patients to give the go-ahead and get their treatment done! The theme continues on the “Call of The Week” as we ask an office about the payment options they offer. This was a softball of a question, but they just could not get it right! If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to email@example.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!
Why Aren’t My Patients Using Our Financing Options? They Will Now!
Today we have a listener write in with a very interesting question. He is 55 years old and is finally ready to take his practice to that “next level.” He asks The Dental Practice Fixers what the number one thing is that he should do? This is a great question! Do you have any guesses? What is the fastest and most predictable route to dental practice success? Tune in to find out what Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow have to say about this. Then of course we do the call of the week. We call an office asking this question – We have a family of four who want to get started so what day of the week is the best for us to all be seen? How do you think the office did? You need to listen to this one. If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get yours answered!
The Most Powerful And Quickest Way To Dental Practice Success
Voice Recording: 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. Richard Madow: All right, I am ready to make my practice rock. What should I do? Tough question. Dr. David Madow: Great question. Dr. Richard Madow: Maybe we’ll get more into that when we do our reader or not reader, listener. I’m so used to the email format. Our listener question this week. Welcome to the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. I’m Dr. Richard Madow. Dr. David Madow: Dr. David Madow. We have great show for you today. Thank you so much for being part of this whole thing. Let’s get right into it Rich. What do you think? Dr. Richard Madow: Get down to it. Dr. David Madow: We received this question just the other day. I promised this person we’d put it on the show so here we go. Hi Rich and Dave, I am 55 years old, been practicing for 27 years. I am finally ready to make my practice as good as it can be. Everyone has an opinion on what is the most important thing I can do to get back on the road to success. But I wanted to ask the guys that really know the answer to this question. So here it goes, guys, what is the number one thing I can do in my practice? Thanks in advance, Dr. – he didn’t say keep it private so I’ll give his name, Dr. Ron Sherman. Dr. Richard Madow: Dr. Ron Sherman, I have to admit, sometimes when dentists ask to keep it private, we do just put a fake name out there or do full disclosure rather than just say keep it anonymous. It’s just a little more fun. I’d say about 50:50, that’s the real name versus… Dr. David Madow: The odds are about 50:50. Dr. Ron Sherman… Dr. Richard Madow: Do we know where he’s from? I’m just curious. Dr. David Madow: We don’t really know. He didn’t say. Dr. Richard Madow: All right it’s fine. Not that it would matter. Dr. David Madow: We’ll give the same advice. Dr. Richard Madow: This question kind of reminds me of when someone says something like, I just have one question. Six parts… Dr. David Madow: How about when somebody says, I just have a real quick question for you. He’s going to be talking to that person for the next two hours. Dr. Richard Madow: Exactly. One thing, I’m wondering what he’s been doing for the last 27 years that he’s finally ready to ask that question. Dr. David Madow: And we don’t know about his practice, and there’s no other information other than he’s been practicing for 27 years and we just have to kind of guess… Dr. Richard Madow: Why the heck did you choose this question? Dr. David Madow: I think it’s a great question because probably a lot of people in this situation, getting closer to retirement, practice is kind of plodding along, you’re doing okay but they want to see more success because ultimately, they’re going to want to transition out somehow, sell the practice, bring an associate in and practice has to be really good. You can’t sell a crappy practice. You can… Dr. Richard Madow: You can if you got a crappy practice. Dr. David Madow: Here’s the thing, because a lot of docs – we’ve talked about a lot of these things, because they think, oh I don’t have a lot in my retirement account, but once I sell my practice, that’s my retirement. Dr. Richard Madow: I’m glad you brought that up. Dr. David Madow: It’s unfortunately not as lucrative as people think. Dr. Richard Madow: It’s just like everything else. Everybody that is ready to put their house in the market, thinks it is worth more than it really is. Everybody that wants to sell their car wants to get more than they’re going to get. They may just kind of like, well I looked on the internet and they said my car is worth 22.5 so, so… Dr. David Madow: Sell it to the internet. Dr. Richard Madow: Exactly. The internet is not buying cars. And the internet is not buying dental practices. And you know what else? The practice broker who is just trying to do a good job, whatever, who’s told you your practice is worth is 1.4 million is not writing you a check for 1.4 million. It winds up going on the market and the market determines what your practice is worth and it’s usually less than you or your practice broker thinks. Many times much less. So that’s a great point. Dr. David Madow: But on the other hand, Dr. Sherman is doing the right thing because he’s 55 and he’s saying to himself I finally want to get this practice going well. Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah I’m really glad you brought that up, because again, in our experience as coaches, it’s never too late to call a coach or consultant, but sometimes it’s pretty darn close. And when we hear from someone who says I’m 66 years old and I feel like my health is starting to teeter a little bit, I really can only see doing this for five more years. Oh, by the way, I have nothing in savings. Well you really should have started thinking about this 10 years ago. So Ron congratulations, you’re 55, let’s assume that you’re healthy and vigorous and still enjoy practicing. You made the right move starting. So that’s maybe one great lesson right there. Start thinking about improving your practice when you’re 40, when you’re 45, when you’re 50, when you’re 55. It’s always good to think about it but the sooner you think about it, it could be better. Dr. David Madow: You know what I think? I think a lot of these – and nothing – we’re both fathers and I’m a grandfather also so I love the younger generations… Dr. Richard Madow: I have a grand dog. Dr. David Madow: Oh you have a grand dog. Good, good. I think I have one too. Yeah I do have one. So we love kids, we love the younger generations, but I think a lot of young people have to experiment themselves where they think – they kind of think they know it all or they want to do it. They want to make all the mistakes themselves and then when they get to be maybe Ron’s age or a little bit closer to Ron’s age, god I’m doing okay but I know I can do a lot better. What do I do? Where do I start? I think it’s a lot. Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah sure. I think, and again, I don’t even know if I have an answer to this question. Maybe you do. But I think we’re learning a lot of lessons from this question. And one is the time to start is now. There’s an old Chinese proverb but I’m probably going to get it wrong. And that is something like, the best time to plant an Oak tree was 100 years ago. The second-best time is now. Right now. In other words, don’t say shoot, I made all these mistakes. Is it too late? No. if you want to do something, start now because five years from now – it’s going to be five years from now… Dr. David Madow: No matter how old you are… Dr. Richard Madow: Exactly. So do you want to be in the same place five years from now or do you want to be five years better? And the answer is always start now whether you’re a 35-year-old dentist or a 65-year-old dentist. Dr. David Madow: Totally agree. I mean if you haven’t done it, it’s never too late. Dr. Richard Madow: But what’s it? What then? Dr. David Madow: Okay so do you have – we can’t give 20 things. What’s the number one thing – what do you think is the number one thing is that you can do? Dr. Richard Madow: What do you think? I don’t know. Dr. David Madow: Mine? I’ve got an opinion. Dr. Richard Madow: Let’s hear it. Dr. David Madow: I don’t want this to sound like a sales speech because it’s not because you can use anybody but I think by far, in our experience, 30 plus years of helping dentists, by far the number one thing is to bring somebody in as a coach or a consultant that’s seen everything, that’s done this a million times. They better be good. And again, you don’t have to use us. Rich and I, we’ve been doing this a long time. This is not an advertisement for us. If you want to use us that’s great, but you don’t have to. But I think find somebody that’s really good and knows their stuff and can look at every single thing going on in your practice, and fine tune it and improve it. Make it better and hold you accountable. Because if you don’t have anybody that’s holding you accountable, it’s hit or miss. And I know in previous episodes we talked about people try to sell you the latest and greatest marketing plan or the latest piece of equipment or… Dr. Richard Madow: It’s going to solve everything. Dr. David Madow: We’ve talked about the pain machine… Dr. Richard Madow: Pain machine is our favorite, I think. Dr. David Madow: Well he thought that was going to solve his practice woes. It doesn’t. Dr. Richard Madow: It actually gave him pain. It’s a different kind of pain machine. I supposed let’s start calling our equipment the pain machine. I was having [inaudible - 0:07:37.5] I’m giving you pain. Dr. David Madow: Now look, there are a lot of things you can do as far as improve your marketing. Maybe change communication skills, treatment planning. All that stuff is super, super important. Make sure your team is the best but again, who is in charge? Who’s quarterbacking? Who is experienced in seeing and overlooking every single thing that’s going on your practice. It’s got to be a coach and a lot of people say, but that’s very expensive. I can’t afford that. But… Dr. Richard Madow: That’s very expensive. I can’t afford that. I was being that person. Dr. David Madow: Okay so you’ve got to look at it as you’re going to get a return on your investment, especially if the person is good. You’ll get a return. You’re not paying $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 a month and it’s going out the window and you’re wasting it. No, you’re paying that money just like your payroll in your dental practice is probably the highest expense overall in – your payroll. Dr. Richard Madow: Should be. Dr. David Madow: It should but you can’t say that I’m throwing that money out because your employees, your team should be more than paying for themselves when you’re paying them money. They should be bringing in more money than you’re paying them. If they’re not, then you got a problem. You’re paying somebody a certain amount per year and they’re not producing or they’re not bringing in something that’s much more than that value then it’s a problem. And the same thing with a coach, you’re paying money of course but you’re paying for experience. You’re paying for something that’s going to help you and improve your systems. Improve your marketing, improve everything that’s going on. It is so worth it to do that. I can’t even say how worth it. It’s just the number one thing in my mind. Dr. Richard Madow: I agree. I’m going to say something along the same lines. Maybe without talking about coaching directly, but again, this is from our experience as coaches, and Dr. Ron Sherman and everybody else. You need to see the big picture because again, as we know from our experience, when people contact us, they oftentimes have a whole list of things like I need more new patients, I want you to look at my website. I don’t think it’s really performing well. Is the sofa in the reception area…are the cushions soft enough? And then they got really more specific. I’ve got, my dental assistant wants to take too much time off. These are like putting out fire situations. These are little things, and sure, you can probably look at each line there and analyze it and come up with the answer. Yeah, I do need a new sofa. This one is all worn out. Yeah, I finally got the balls to fire my dental assistant because I’ve given her five chances to improve and she hasn’t. And those are all good things. My website, yeah it kind of sucks. I’m going to find the best website company I can and have it redone. Okay that’s great. But these are not big picture items. Big picture items are really some of the things that when you just take everything into account and you see the whole ball of wax. And then you figure out what changes can I make, not getting a new sofa or what changes can I make in a way that I’m approaching my patients and the way that we’re actually seeing new patients. The way that my front desk people are scheduling, greeting, do all these things to make the office better? And the way that we’re diagnosing and presenting treatment. How can we improve all these items to complete the big picture? And in my opinion, the big picture is pretty simple and I think every dentist, I would say every single dentist we’ve ever met wants to enjoy their practice more and make more money. Enjoying your practice more might mean getting rid of the patients you don’t like seeing. It might mean having more time off. It might mean hiring an associate so you can only do the treatment that you want and you can not work Fridays and Wednesdays. Earning more money, everybody wants to earn more money. Let’s face it, except maybe Bill Gates. And those are the kinds of things that really can fall into place when you do see the entire huge picture. And can a coach or consultant help you see that? Absolutely. A lot of times we get so mired down in getting that crown margin 0000.1 millimeter and that’s important. But it stops us from seeing the big picture. Dr. David Madow: I’ll just add this. I agree to every single thing you just said. Dr. Richard Madow: Every single thing? Dr. David Madow: Every single thing. I can’t talk today. Every single thing. Did I say it? Okay now, here’s my answer to that. All kidding aside. It’s got to be the right coach for your practice because having been doing this for a long time, we know there are – so if I can use this word, some really shitty ones. I hate to say it. We hear such horror stories about… Dr. Richard Madow: I thought when you start saying shhh – I thought you’re going to say some sheisters out there. Dr. David Madow: People get locked into these contracts. They can’t get out of it and they’re paying a lot every month and they’re screwed and we don’t want to see that happen. So it’s got to be – you can’t just get any coaching and then everything is going to be fine. It’s got to be the right person for you in your practice. Dr. Richard Madow: I got a coach with the biggest ad in the Dental Economics journal. And that’s usually a mistake. Dr. David Madow: Oh my god. And these days, anybody that has Facebook and starts a Facebook group, they call themselves a coach. It’s scary out there. But anyway, that would be my number one. You’ve got to get somebody that can quarterback and knows everything. Dr. Richard Madow: The coach or the quarterback? Let’s get these football analogies correct here. I was giving you a hard time. Dr. David Madow: I said it’s got to be the coach. Dr. Richard Madow: I agree. I think the dentist is the quarterback. Dr. David Madow: Maybe. Dr. Richard Madow: The dentist is the quarterback, the office people, the receptionist, they’re the front line or the offensive line. Dr. David Madow: Okay who’s the defensive coach? Who would that be? Dr. Richard Madow: The defensive coach? Do we have like, defensive coach? What’s the hygienist? Hygienist maybe is like the running back. Dr. David Madow: What is the dental supply company? Are they the defensive coach? Dr. Richard Madow: They’ve supplied the uniforms. Well you know, it’s a great question. I think we both didn’t want this to turn it into an ad for coaching. Certainly not for our coaching, even though we love to have you contact us. But that really is a way to see the big picture. To have somebody else that’s experienced, that has a good track record. As some people would say, to bring a fresh set of eyes into the practice. This guy has been doing it for 27 years and he’s not happy the way that things are going. I think that’s a sign but he probably can’t make the changes on his own. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to segue into this because Ron set this up perfectly for us. Ron, you’re invited to come to one of our Masterclasses. They’re held in Baltimore, Maryland generally, at The Madow Center for Dental Practice Success. It is a full day where we talk about this exact type of thing with you and your colleagues. We keep these classes very small, focused. And by the end of the day, we will help you with what needs to be done in your practice exactly to take it to that next level. It sounds like you want to go, so attend one of our Masterclasses Ron, or anybody else watching this, simply go to masterclass.madow.com. I know we’ve got one coming up by the time this is published, it’s going to be gone. Dr. Richard Madow: And it’s sold out also. Dr. David Madow: Probably full. Dr. Richard Madow: Is it okay to say sold out when it’s free? Dr. David Madow: I think you can. Sold out or this one is actually super sold out. Dr. Richard Madow: Super sold out. Dr. David Madow: You can’t get anybody else in but it’s masterclass.madow.com. Come and join us and find out how you can really – if you’re in that situation, how you can take your practice to the next level. Do it. Dr. Richard Madow: I totally agree. It’s funny, we’re talking about big picture items and little picture items. You never hear about little picture items. And this is a little picture item, but it’s a simple one and we recommend it to all of our coaching clients and that is save money on your credit card processing every month. Why use a company that’s charging a percentage overage when you can pay a small, flat fee? Use Fattmerchant. We do, so many people – we’ve recommended it to so many people and they’re happy, and you’ll be happy too. So just go to bitly, B I T.L Y/FATTMAD. It’s F A T T M A D. Get some information on – they’re just happy to give you some information, they contact you, they show you exactly how to integrate Fattmerchant into your practice. Give you the terminal for free. You’ll be saving money the first time somebody pulls out their Visa or Mastercard. So check it out, Fattmerchant. Bit.ly/Fattmad. Dr. David Madow: And somebody misunderstood that the other day. Somebody said, I’m trying to go to bitky but they couldn’t go to bitky. It’s bitly. It’s Bit.ly. Bit.ly not bitky. Shall we do the call of the week? Dr. Richard Madow: let’s do the call of the week. Dr. David Madow: I’m really getting into this now. Dr. Richard Madow: Let’s do it, okay. [phone ringing] Voice Recording: Thank you for calling. If you are a new patient who has not yet visited an office, please press 1 to schedule your first appointment. If you are calling about dentures including partials, replacing your existing dentures or denture repairs, press 2 now. Otherwise, please stay on the line and we’ll be right with you. Your call may be monitored or recorded for quality and training purposes. [phone ringing] Female Speaker: Thank you for calling. [inaudible - 0:16:31.6] speaking. May I have your name please? Dr. David Madow: Hi. This is Michael calling. Female Speaker: Thank you. May I call you Michael? Dr. David Madow: Sure. That’s fine. Female Speaker: Thank you. And how may I be able to be of assistance today, Michael? Dr. David Madow: I was just curious. I got a family of four and we’re trying to – my wife wanted me to ask what’s usually the best day of the week to have a new appointment for new patients for a family of four? Female Speaker: Okay. We would love to have you and your family come to our Columbia, South Carolina [inaudible - 0:17:04.6] office. And our later days are on Thursdays. We’re open until 7 PM. And we can do up to two people on the same day. We can’t do more than that. So we can do one like two on one, two on the other, vice versa and is anybody at all having pain, bleeding or swelling or everyone just looking to establish care? Dr. David Madow: Just establish care. Female Speaker: Okay. And may I have the ages just to make sure they made our minimum age requirements here. Dr. David Madow: Oh sure. Little Jimmy is – I always forget. He’s four years old. Justin is eight and I am 43, my wife is 41. Female Speaker: Okay. And… Dr. David Madow: Am I too old for the practice? Is there a maximum age? Female Speaker: No there’s no maximum at all. We can see everyone on – is Jimmy going to be turning five any time soon? Dr. David Madow: I’m hoping within the year. Within a year or so. Female Speaker: Okay. Our minimum age requirement is six years old. That’s why I was asking if he was going to be five any time soon. Because sometimes our offices may – and I can certainly look in the area to see if there’s any alternative to meeting that minimum age requirement for the 4-year old. Because I was going to look and see if there were any like five, if he was going to be turning five soon. Dr. David Madow: He’s like kind of a big four. He’ll be turning five. He’s a big four. So he’ll be turning five pretty soon. I think at the end of the year. Female Speaker: Okay. I mean I can schedule everyone else at this time, and for Jimmy for now, until he meets our minimum age requirements, there may be like a pediatric dentist in your area that would be able to accommodate the little one. Dr. David Madow: I see. I just needed the information. I’m going to have my wife call back and she has the calendar. I’m going to actually have her do all the scheduling if that’s alright with you. Female Speaker: Oh that’s fine. All of our appointments, just so you are aware, are free to hold, cancel and reschedule. I can always temporarily put something in place that way everyone’s accounts will be set up. And if it conflicts with the schedule, you can always just call back and reschedule it or cancel it. No cost as well. Dr. David Madow: Oh that’s really nice. I’ll probably have her call back this afternoon. I just know that with soccer and everything and all this stuff coming up with summer and everything. I have no idea. Female Speaker: Okay. Do you know like your schedule? If you like me to schedule or just yours temporarily for now? Dr. David Madow: Well I’m going to come in with my wife Judith. So I think it’s probably better if she calls to get us all in and no we don’t have to change anything around. Female Speaker: Okay. And if you like, I can always reach out to her at a certain time, if you provide her number I could always reach out to her to be able to set up those appointments. Dr. David Madow: Oh sure. I don’t think she’d mind that at all. I’ll give you her number. Female Speaker: Yeah. Dr. David Madow: Okay sure. [inaudible - 0:20:35.0] Female Speaker: Okay. And I will – is there a good time do you think for me to reach out to her? Dr. David Madow: Probably try any time after 11 AM I think. That would be fine. Female Speaker: After 11? Dr. David Madow: I think that would be fine. Yeah. Female Speaker: Okay. I will certainly do that. And thank you so much for calling. And you be sure to enjoy the rest of your day and your week as well. Dr. David Madow: Thank you so much for your help. You’ve been very helpful and very kind. I do appreciate that too. Thank you so much. Female Speaker: Oh you’re very welcome. Thank you so much. Have a good day. Dr. David Madow: Same to you. Thanks, bye. Female Speaker: Thank you. Bye, bye. Dr. Richard Madow: Wow that was a long call. Dr. David Madow: That was a little long. Sorry about that. By the way, before we even get into the call. I know you realize this, but I try to match my accent. That was in South Carolina so I try – do you think she knows that that’s not like a really good South Carolina accent or maybe I was coming from somewhere else? Dr. Richard Madow: I was wondering if she noticed that the accent kind of faded from time to time. Dr. David Madow: I got to work on that because… Dr. Richard Madow: So you’re in South Carolina so you gave a Utah area code. Dr. David Madow: Utah area code because I’m from the south but we’ve lived in Utah just for a little bit and now I’m coming back South Carolina. Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t think she noticed. Dr. David Madow: Maybe not, she didn’t care. Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t think she noticed anything. Dr. David Madow: You don’t think so? Dr. Richard Madow: Here’s my comment. My general comment. Dr. David Madow: Go ahead. Dr. Richard Madow: I made a few notes as well. To me she sounded like a trained robot. I mean it was so obvious that she was following – and a lot of the things – and look, let’s face it, my guess is some so-called expert in practice management phone techniques or whatever, developed this script and she’s like sitting there reading a flowchart. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. But I think this is where these kinds of things fall short. She sounded like a robot. Like somebody who was overly trained and stiff. I couldn’t stand the way the first thing she said was like, thank you for calling the dental office. May I have your name please? Dr. David Madow: That was a little weird. Dr. Richard Madow: That’s asking for trouble. It’s kind of like when you call AT&T or Verizon or something. They always say – you can tell there’s a script like, oh I’m so sorry you’re having that problem. I can definitely help you with that. And it’s just – to me it sounds so scripted and mechanical. Dr. David Madow: Right. Okay I’m not going to disagree with that. However, go ahead. Dr. Richard Madow: Is there any pain, bleeding or swelling? Dr. David Madow: Well I don’t think she talked exactly like that. I know what you’re saying. It sounds like it was rote. It sounds like – but she didn’t really say it quite like that. Dr. Richard Madow: Of course, I’m exaggerating. Is there any pain, swelling? Dr. David Madow: She didn’t have a big sort of accent. She was from Nebraska, I think. I was from the south. Well I think she did better than 99% of the dental offices out there. Because let’s face it, we don’t really screen these and if we call a good one, we let it go. We don’t wait till somebody fails and does horribly. She did – I mean we can talk about more on the beginning of the call, but she did everything in her power to get me in that appointment book in some way. She tried with all her might. Dr. Richard Madow: She even said you can always call back and cancel which I’m not a big fan [cross talking - 0:23:36.6]. Dr. David Madow: Yeah that makes it sound like it’s so temporary. It’s unbelievable. But she was… Dr. Richard Madow: I think she was – but I agree. Better than 95% of the calls we make because most people just would have let you go a minute later and not have gotten your contact information. Never tried to make an appointment. So obviously, those things are head and shoulders above most of the calls we make. But to me she just sounds like overly scripted, no warmth. But the bottom line is she did at least make a huge attempt to make an appointment, get your wife’s contact information, all those things. And that’s a big plus. Dr. David Madow: You know, we can’t give away too much because our great producer Rory bleeped out every hint of what kind of practice this was. So we don’t want to get anybody in trouble in fairness. Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah but I think it’s obviously it wasn’t just some solo practice where it’s also a small practice. Dr. David Madow: It was like a DSO type practice. So my point is though, that yeah maybe we don’t really love the DSOs. We don’t really believe in that whole concept. But they definitely had some professional person train their front desk team to maximize the amount of people in the appointment book. Now it might not be exactly the way we would have done it, but it was pure training. It wasn’t just some doctor standing around in the morning huddle saying let’s try to get more people. It was a definite training that she went through and she did decently. Dr. Richard Madow: I agree. So again, to your point. To me she sounded over trained and over scripted which she lost all the warmth and friendliness and again, I think this is maybe one of the knocks on the DSOs. That they don’t have that vibe. Hey this is a local dentist who really cares about you, and I didn’t get that vibe at all from her. But she did a lot of things right. Dr. David Madow: She did chuckle a little bit at the right time like when she said Johnny was four years old. Is he going to be five any time soon? I said he’ll be five definitely within the next year and she hesitated, then she went… Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t know if she got the joke or she thought you’re a moron. It’s hard to tell. Maybe both. Dr. David Madow: She did chuckle a little bit. So it wasn’t like purely robotic. She laughed at the right time. Dr. Richard Madow: I think maybe if you’re not a DSO office and you’re listening to this, you can learn a lot. You can learn a lot of good things to do, but you also add the warmth and the – at least [inaudible - 0:26:00.7] that should have and really learn some good things from this call. Not try to duplicate it but at least learn some techniques from it. Dr. David Madow: But I think we both have to agree. She did everything in her power whether we agree on how she did it. Everything in her power to get me and part of my family or most of my family on that appointment book. She did everything she probably could. She really did. Dr. Richard Madow: Okay. I’m going to give her a B+. Dr. David Madow: Before I give my grade, actually I was going to say the exact same thing. I think she deserves every bit of a B+. What do you think about the age thing? About the smallest child. I can’t remember my smallest… Dr. Richard Madow: That it had to be five – she’s saying. Dr. David Madow: I think she said six but if he’s like almost five she might be able to fudge it a little bit. Dr. Richard Madow: Almost five. It didn’t sound like. I mean if it has to be six, what’s that five thing? Dr. David Madow: Got to be six, but I think if he’s five. I don’t know… Dr. Richard Madow: It has to be six. So if he’s five he gets in. Very confusing. Dr. David Madow: But what do you think about that age requirement? Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t know why they would do that. You’ve got a family of four coming in and there’s a 4-year old. Say come on in. Dr. David Madow: She said, well he might have to see a pediatric dentist. That could split the whole family up. That could be the one deciding factor. We want to go somewhere where they can see everybody. Dr. Richard Madow: Exactly. Again, we’re talking about a large chain with policies up the Ying Yang and that one. I don’t see – I mean if they had a one-year-old, bring the one-year-old in. Dr. David Madow: Bring him in. We’ll take a look at him. Dr. Richard Madow: Give him some sugary candy to suck on so it gets rotten [inaudible - 0:27:23.4]. Dr. David Madow: Bring him in. Bring the whole family. Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t care for that either, but I’m sure some lawyer in some corporate office had come up with that reason. Dr. David Madow: Yeah probably true. Okay so we both say B+. Cool. Dr. Richard Madow: Hey we will see you and hopefully we’ll give you an A on the next episode of the Dental Practice Fixers. I’m Dr. Richard Madow. Dr. David Madow: Dr. David Madow. See you next time. [music playing]
In today’s show, a doctor from the Midwest is struggling with his patients demanding that they only want what their insurance will cover. Is this common all over these days? How should this objection be handled? Tune in to find out what Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow have to say about this. Then of course we do the call of the week. We saw an ad in a local publication from a dental office who has quite the perio program! That sounds good but the way they describe it in the ad would take a combination MD, DDS, DMD and Mensa member to decode it. We call the office asking for an explanation. How do you think they did? Tune in to find out. If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to email@example.com. We will do our best to get yours answered!
Patients Only Want What Insurance Covers
Dr. David Madow: Doctor, I only want what my insurance covers. If my insurance doesn't cover it, don't do it. Dr. Richard Madow: Oh. No. Dr. David Madow: How many times have we heard something like this? I am Dr. David Madow along with... Dr. Richard Madow: Dr. Richard Madow. Welcome to the Dental Practice Fixers podcast. We are so happy to have you with us today. Let's just get right down to a question from a listener. Here's what the question says. Yes, I'm reading it off of the email. Dr. David Madow: Of course. Dr. Richard Madow: If you want to email your question and by the way you can do it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Probably the easiest way to remember it, email@example.com. Maybe next week, we'll be reading your questions. So this is from Dr. Jay Hawkman in Ohio. He didn't say what city. I guess it's just somewhere in Ohio. Okay and he says. 'Guys, I have what you might call a typical practice in the Midwest. Lots of good folks, middle-income, most have insurance, you get the picture.' You get the picture? Dr. David Madow: Kind of. Dr. Richard Madow: I totally get the picture. Sounds like a nice place to be. Dr. David Madow: Yeah, yeah. I like it already. 2 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Richard Madow: And so do I. 'Something that really frustrates me is when patients say, I only want what my insurance covers, or Sounds good doc, but if my insurance doesn't pay for it, I can't get it done. What can I do about this? Dr. Jay Hawkman somewhere in Ohio. It's another Madow trick. Those of you who are maybe contemplating going on the dental speaking circuit, if you ever speak in the state of Ohio, when you get up to the microphone, the first thing you say is... Dr. David Madow: O-H- Dr. Richard Madow: I-O. Well they respond I-O. I don't maybe there are cities where they don't like Ohio state. Maybe the University of Ohio, I can't remember where that is but I guess they don't maybe like Ohio State that much. I don't know. Dr. David Madow: But I think if you're in the Columbus area, it’s pretty safe. Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Maybe if you're in Ann Arbor Michigan, definitely do not do that. That's just a suggestion. Dr. David Madow: Just a suggestion. Dr. Richard Madow: So okay. So Dr. Hawkman, great question. What do you think? Dr. David Madow: Yeah. I see it on two levels actually. Let's face it. This is rampant in all dental practices across North America, at least the US. I see it on two levels. Number one, patient education. Patient needs to be educated on what's going on and why it's important to have done it and why you just can't like pick and choose and do things that only your insurance covers. So that's number one. And number two is, have ways available for the patient to pay that amount for the amount that the insurance doesn’t cover. I guarantee if that patient wanted a 60-inch big-screen TV, there's a way to finance that. Dr. Richard Madow: For the big game? Dr. David Madow: For the big game. Dr. Richard Madow: We're not allowed to say Super Bowl. Dr. David Madow: Don't say Super Bowl. 3 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 email@example.com Dr. Richard Madow: It's copyrighted. We always say the big game. Dr. David Madow: Or we get sued. We're getting sued [crosstalk]. Dr. Richard Madow: I think that's probably before the... Dr. David Madow: Stanley Cup is an old friend of mine. Dr. Richard Madow: Okay. You know Stanley Cup. Dr. David Madow: So like I said, if that person wanted a new car or a 60 inch TV, they're going to find a way to finance it. They're not going to say, I only want what my insurance covers. They're not going to do that because insurance isn't covering that. Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah, but on the other hand if they want a new car, they might like want a really expensive car, they might want a Mercedes but say, well, I can't afford that, so I'm going to get whatever, a nice Hyundai Elantra. So it's not like the sky's the limit here. Right? Dr. David Madow: Yeah. But if you look around and most people driving cars, most people are driving cars that can't afford the [crosstalk]. They are just making payments. Making payments. Dr. Richard Madow: Just make payments doc. Dr. David Madow: That's right. Exactly. We got to make sure. We have to check that out. So two things, Education and financing somehow. Working out payments; some type of payment. Dr. Richard Madow: Well, I would comment on both things you said. And then throw in something else. I agree with education to a certain extent, but I think and this is actually something we're going to touch upon in our call of the week this week. I think sometimes when doctors or assistants or hygienists or whoever, you know, treatment coordinators try to educate, they give too much information, they over talk, they over explain and they scare the patient away and then they're worse off than they were before if the patient has just gotten what insurance covered. So you got to be really careful when you're trying to so-called "educate" the patient. What you really trying to do is move them towards treatment and we can talk about that maybe, I don't know maybe now or another episode. 4 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 firstname.lastname@example.org Secondly, I totally agree, have financing available. We love CareCredit as you know and present it that way; say you know we can do this and the payments will be $120 a month or whatever it is. It just makes it much easier to understand and to take but I'm going to take maybe a slightly different tack. You know as some people say, present what you have to present, some will, some won't, who's next? And I think if you have a practice let's say a typical practice, I don't know. Dr. Hawkman, how many patients do you have? Active patients. 1200, 1500, 2000, something like that. A certain percentage, probably way more than half are just going to be insurance driven patients and you can explain, you can over explain, you can man explain, you can, as some people say, talk till the cows come home, and they're just not going to be interested. And a certain percentage would want the best you have to offer. And I think maybe in some ways, I hate to use the term profile; maybe we have to profile our patients and say, who's who and say, look, if you know 65% of my patients are just insurance patients, they go through the insurance treadmill, they want only what insurance covers but they still come in every six months and we love them. Well, maybe we should just accept those patients. I'm not saying not offer them the best, but don't drive yourself crazy, don't tear your hair out with these kinds of questions. And then the patients maybe who want a more advanced level of dentistry and are willing to pay for it, that's fantastic. Let's give them what they want, too. Dr. David Madow: Well yeah, I agree. You don't have to tear your hair out. You don't have to say let's either you get everything done or you go to another practice, but I still think it's worth a great effort to make sure they understand why they need this, why it's important to get it done and we have financing options. And explaining to them that insurance is not meant to cover all dental care, but it's meant to be an adjunct to help them out and you're really fortunate that you have it, but it's not going to cover everything and these are really important things you got to get done or your mouth is going to be infected and rotting away. Dr. Richard Madow: Totally agree. I completely agree with that. I think maybe the path that I'm worried about is and we saw this in a practice that we were working with several years ago where I can’t remember if it was a dentist or a team member was kind of almost getting into a little debate with the patient and all these things are true what they were saying like well the insurance company didn't examine your mouth, the insurance company doesn't care about you. All they care about is 5 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 email@example.com their bottom line. And I think when you start going down that road, you're getting combative and it really turns the patient off. Dr. David Madow: It doesn't mean anything. Dr. Richard Madow: But I think what you just said is a nicer way of saying that insurance isn't meant to cover everything; it’s an adjunct that helps you pay for this treatment that you do need. Dr. David Madow: And you're very fortunate that you have it. A lot of people don't even have it. They've got to pay everything out of pocket. You've got this great help here. Dr. Richard Madow: I remember when I was a young practitioner, I had a patient who had pretty crappy insurance and they were asking me questions like why doesn't my insurance cover this? Do I really need it? I made the mistake. I said to him, look, I got to be honest with you. You have really lousy insurance and the second I said it, I thought, shit. I should not have said that. And the patient kind of took it personally. It was a really, really bad thing to say. Dr. David Madow: Did he come back? Dr. Richard Madow: I don't remember if he came back as a regular patient, but I remember, he did not get the treatment done that I was trying to get him to do. That insurance wouldn't cover. So I think it's always important to stay positive. Don't get into a fight with a patient. Don't tell them they have crappy insurance even if they do, they'll probably know by the end of your conversation anyway. So yeah, I mean a lot of good points but I think one point is realize that... Dr. David Madow: How about if you just say your insurance is, it's not crappy but it's kind of low-end. Most insurances pay more than yours. It's kind of like a low-end insurance. Dr. Richard Madow: Your insurance is pretty good. It's pretty bad. It's mediocre. Lot of words for that. Dr. David Madow: So so. On a scale from like mild to hot. It's like probably around a 2. Dr. Richard Madow: Mild to hot...Like it’s a Thai restaurant? It's not Thai spicy, that's for sure. 6 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. David Madow: You know by the way, a quick aside, I was in a Thai restaurant like a month or so ago. Dr. Richard Madow: Months? I thought you go more like once a week. Dr. David Madow: Well, I was at one a few days ago too but this is the particular one I want to tell you about just real quickly about. So I think they said, well, how spicy do you want it? I said, well, what can we do? How spicy? She said, well, we can do, what'd she say. She said five is the hottest. So in other words she said, you want a five. I think she said, do you want a five? And meanwhile without like a scale there, [crosstalk]. Dr. Richard Madow: Could be 5 out of 100. Dr. David Madow: That's what it was. She was like, I would do a 5. But I don't know what 5 on the scale is. Dr. Richard Madow: Probably you would have asked. It never hurts to ask. Did you ask? Dr. David Madow: Well, it never hurts to ask. I just said give it to me as hot as you can. Dr. Richard Madow: Well, you know it's funny because I was in a Thai restaurant one time where they told me it was spicy on a scale of 1 to 10. And I said I want an 11. And not only did I not want an 11 but she totally didn't get the Spinal Tap reference joke which... Dr. David Madow: There's no way she'll get that. Dr. Richard Madow: I guess in retrospect I really shouldn't have expected... Dr. David Madow: And then if she did, you would have been screwed like the plate would have been on fire. Dr. Richard Madow: On fire. They were brought out in flames. So yeah, maybe not a good idea to rate your patient’s insurance. So maybe not. But I do think in general, also in dental practice, in life maybe, I'm not saying you shouldn't have high expectations but it's also good to understand that the best is not for everyone and then if you have a good patient that comes in every six months 7 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 email@example.com and maybe they've made some referrals and maybe they're more insurance driven than you would prefer, they can still be a good patient. So don't get all, as some people would say, all frustrated. Dr. David Madow: There are a lot of references in this episode. Dr. Richard Madow: I know. Don't get all frustrated. Why do some people leave the first “r” out of frustrated? I've heard that, it's like a Midatlantic or Baltimore thing. Dr. David Madow: I think it is. Dr. Richard Madow: I just get very frustrated. Dr. David Madow: We'd like to hear from some of our California people if anybody there says frustrated. Dr. Richard Madow: I doubt they do in California. They don't probably even use that word. Nobody is frustrated in California. [Crosstalk]. Dr. David Madow: They're probably all frustrated. Dr. Richard Madow: They all love it there. Dr. David Madow: Should we do the call? I mean I think we've said everything we have to say about this. Dr. Richard Madow: Not only do we have a really interesting call, we have a guest caller. Dr. David Madow: We have a guest caller today. Who's going to be doing the call today? Dr. Richard Madow: Well I recruited Hope from the Madow Center For Dental Practice Success to do this call and she was great and we'll explain that in a second. Before we do that, I just want to let you know really quickly. It seems like November is a long way away but TBSE is coming up fast; we fully expect to sell out this year. It's back in Las Vegas at the Tropicana resort hotel, incredible. I actually just had a little email exchange yesterday with one of our speakers Dr. Steve Rasner. You probably know or heard of Steve Rasner. He's the guy with the $4 million practice in one of the worst economically challenged cities in the country, Bridgeton, New Jersey, high poverty levels, high unemployment, just not a place where you'd want to practice, yet he amazingly 8 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 firstname.lastname@example.org not only has a $4 million practice, he loves going in everyday and he has patients, speaking of the opposite of these insurance driven patients, his patients are getting comprehensive care, saying yes to full treatment plans, putting down the deposit on the first day and saying, doc, I want to do the whole shebang or the whole nine yards. Dr. David Madow: I'm going to hear about that. Dr. Richard Madow: So he's going to explain. Dr. David Madow: He's going to be teaching the whole thing. Dr. Richard Madow: From A to Z, including something you need to say on the phone when a new patient calls before their first visit that nobody else is doing that makes a huge difference. He is going to be explaining this whole system from A to Z at TBSE and that's only one of the fantastic speakers. So check out the whole speaker lineup: TBSE.com, sign up soon before it sells out and before the tuition goes up; we're still doing a little “early birdish” stuff. So we'll see you in Vegas at TBSE in November. Dr. David Madow: I'll tell you something, I'm going to go. Sounds great. [Crosstalk]. While we're at it, you know Rich and I love what we do. We are doing this podcast for you. We don't charge for the podcast. You don't have to pay us any money. We would never turn it down but people charge for all kinds of information. On our show here we're actually not only giving you great information but showing you a way that every time you listen, you can have money in your pocket. All you have to do is go to our people, Fattmerchant, change your credit card processing company and you will save a lot of money every single month hardly doing anything, with hardly making any change at all. All you have to do is go to bit.ly/fattmad. Let them know that you know us. We use their company. Dr. Richard Madow: We love their company. Dr. David Madow: Because we save a ton of money every single month. You will do the same thing. Why would you want to turn down $100, $200, $1,000 extra every month? Whatever it might be depending on the volume of your practice, why would you ever want to turn it down? It's 9 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 email@example.com free money for you. Take advantage now. bit.ly/fattmad. And if they use that link, they get a free terminal. Well, it couldn’t be better. Dr. Richard Madow: Just like at the airport, there's a free terminal. Dr. David Madow: There's no outlay of any money in any way I believe. Dr. Ricahrd Madow: Got to do it. So okay so I came into the office this morning and Hope Miller who a lot of you probably know, she's one of our great team members here shows me this ad in a local magazine for a dental practice. And she said, what do you think of this ad? I'm looking at the ad and of course you and I tear apart all ads that we see, but it had this one paragraph that was so scientific and wanted to so much in detail. I said, like, what the heck? I didn't know... Dr. David Madow: Did you understand it? Dr. Richard Madow: Not really. I mean I got the gist of it. Dr. David Madow: And we're dentits. Dr. Richard Madow: But I didn't know the references they were making. I said, Hope, let's do a call. She said, are you going to call that office? Hope, you call. So she did. She pretty much just read the ad back to them. Dr. David Madow: Should we play it? Dr. Richard Madow: Let's hear. Let's do the call. Hope: Hi, good morning. I'm calling because I saw your ad in the Jewish times and I was reading your ad and I have a question. It says here that you all provide periodontal therapy with an emphasis on reducing systemic inflammation and infection to support optimal cognitive development and cardiovascular Bale-Doneen health. What the heck does that mean? I don't even understand that. Female: So what Bale-Doneen means is if you look that up it's very complicated but they are two cardiologists, one named Bale and the other one is Doneen. They have basically finally in 2019 are admitting and are recognizing that the pathogens in the bacteria in the mouth are leading to not 10 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 firstname.lastname@example.org only heart disease and diabetes, but also to Alzheimer’s. And so we are working with a cardiologist here in Maryland who is actually referring patients to us who have had heart disease of some form, maybe they had a heart attack or a stroke or they are having heart problems and they're referring them to us to do their dental treatment and to remove the bacteria to a sense that we do this test. We've always tested the bacteria but now we're actually going deeper with our cardiac patients and we're testing through an actual site that will send the test to and then they’ll test it to see what are the chances are the person is going to have a heart attack. Hope: Oh my gosh, thanks so much. I'm more confused than ever but I really appreciate your explaining everything. Female: But if you google Bale-Doneen method, you will be probably overwhelmed with information that's so interesting. We are so deep into it. Every month we have a two-hour meeting and we talk about all the new information that we're learning. It's new to us too. We've only been on the path for maybe the last six months. So, every month we learn new stuff. It's just it's so much to learn. We're actually all reading the book, but it's, we've known for years that the bacteria in the mouth are causing people to not only have heart attacks and heart disease but to die. And but we just couldn't seem to get cardiologists on the same, you know path and now they are. Now they're starting to be like, okay, maybe my patient needs to go to the dentist. So, we're like one of the only dentists that are on this journey. Hope: Wow, you are doing great work. I want to thank you so much. I really appreciate your explaining everything to me. Female: You're welcome. All right, take care. Hope: Bye-bye. Female: Bye-bye. Dr. David Madow: Whoo. Dr. Richard Madow: Wake up, wake up. Dr. David Madow: That was great. 11 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 email@example.com Dr. Richard Madow: Talk about over explaining. Yeah, I love how she said like it's very complicated and if you google this will be overwhelming. Okay, great. Wow. She was knowledgeable. Dr. David Madow: She was very knowledgeable. I mean I think it's great what they're doing. In general, it's great what they're doing but to have an ad like that in a local paper and with all those words, you could do it so much differently and have a better effect. Dr. Richard Madow: I totally agree. I think she was also going into dangerous territory there a little bit and this is just maybe splitting hairs but saying that it's been shown that the bacteria in the mouth can cause heart attacks. I think may be linked to heart attacks and stroke is one thing, but causing heart attacks, Wow. But again, I mean I know she was doing her best to explain. Dr. David Madow: I got a little bit scared. I started thinking, I'd better have the bacteria in my mouth checked out. Dr. Richard Madow: Started getting chest pains. Dr. David Madow: I started a little bit. Dr. Richard Madow: My jaw hurts a little bit on the left side. You know I think the double critique will be this and remember when Hope read the ad, no lay person is going to read this ad and say, oh my god, I know exactly what this means. I want to go in this office. And then I don't think she made things any better when Hope called. Dr. David Madow: Right, right. I mean look we could talk about this probably for twenty minutes but it was way too complex. Again, I think what they're doing is a great service. They're paying more attention to periodontal needs than most dentists are, it's great, but explain it in lay terms. Dr. Richard Madow: Okay. So for example, it’s been shown now that inflammation in your gums or even low-level forms of gum disease can be linked to heart attacks and strokes and we're paying extra careful attention to that and that's why Hopkins cardiologists are actually referring their patients to us. Boom. Dr. David Madow: That would actually get me in there. 12 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Richard Madow: Speaking of getting you in there. Dr. David Madow: Oh yeah, exactly. She went through this... I don't know how long the call was three to four minutes it seemed like and at the very end when Hope says, thank you so much, you were really helpful. She said, okay, bye. I mean she took all that time to explain it and she never even once said, can we set up an appointment? Does this resonate with you? Is there anybody in your family that has heart disease or are you concerned? Anything like that, nothing. Dr. Richard Madow: Now as we always say, not only does the doctor have no idea that happened but they're paying big bucks for this full-page ad. They're paying a lot of shekels for that ad in the Jewish times and then somebody calls amazingly, actually calls referencing the ad. Dr. David Madow: We would probably be the only one. Dr. Richard Madow: No question about it. And then she does this long explanation and the patient has vanished, never asked like a name. Dr. David Madow: Probably she went up to the doctor, doctor, we got a call from the ad. We got one. He says, and how did it go. Well, I didn't really ask for the appointment. What do you mean you didn't ask for the appointment? Dr. Richard Madow: You got their name and we'll call them back, right? Dr. David Madow: I didn't get any information. Let me look at caller ID to see if it showed up there. Dr. Richard Madow: Caller ID just shows Skype. It was Mr. Skype. Wow. Dr. David Madow: So if we have to grade, I mean I've got to give an F because she got no information. First of all she was talking way too complex and then she didn't get any information. It has to be an F, there's no other grade. Dr. Richard Madow: Could it be a double F? Dr. David Madow: It could be. 13 | P a g e 1-800-258-0060 email@example.com Dr. Richard Madow: Okay, I'm going to do a double F. Alright everyone, that is your latest episode of the Dental Practice Fixers. Thanks so much for listening, thanks so much for watching. I'm Dr. Richard Madow. Dr. David Madow: Dr. David Madow. Keep those cards and letters and questions coming. We'll see you next time. Thanks for being with us. [Music Playing]
A doctor writes in asking how The Dental Practice Fixers feel about hiring team members with large visible tattoos. He has been doing a lot of interviewing and says that this is extremely common these days. His concern is that they do not look good and he is worried that his patients, especially the elderly ones, will go elsewhere. Tune in to find out what Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow have to say about this. Then of course we do the call of the week. We call an office asking a fairly simple question – Are you accepting new patients? It’s the call that every dental office would LOVE. How do you think they did? You need to listen to this one. If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get yours answered!
Large Tattoos on Team Members – Do You Hire Them?
Dr. Richard Madow: Hiring new team members has always been a bit of a tricky proposition, but it seems like these days there’s a new complication that’s been thrown into the mix. We’re going to hear about that on our question in this week’s episode of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. Welcome, welcome, welcome everyone. I am Dr. Richard Madow, along here with my cohort and co-host. Dr. David Madow: Dr. David Madow. How are you all doing? Welcome back, we really appreciate you and let’s get right into the question today. Dr. Richard Madow: Let’s do it. Dr. David Madow: It’s a great one. I’m surprised we haven’t got this question earlier. Dr. Richard Madow: I know. I think we’ve got it in our live seminars before. Yeah, I think so. Dr. David Madow: Have we got it? Oh okay. Anyway, this is something that is probably going to affect if it hasn’t yet, every single dental practice out there. It starts out with Rich and Dave, hey guys, love the podcast. Thank you so much, we appreciate that. I’ve been a practicing dentist for over 35 years and still love every single day in the office. There are no plans to retire. Well I’m not sure that’s great because you should have some kind of exit strategy at some point. Dr. Richard Madow: Well it doesn’t mean he can’t afford to retire. It’s just means he has no plans to retire. That’s great. Dr. David Madow: Like most dentists, we have staff members who leave for various reasons. So, every now and then we need to hire someone new. The last few times I’ve interviewed people, they all had very large visible tattoos which I found to be unattractive. I know these things are commonplace these days, but many of my patients are older and I don’t think they would appreciate team members with tattoos, piercings, etc. What do I do? Dr. Abner Smith from Georgia. That explains the whole thing. But actually, it doesn’t because tattoos are ubiquitous. No matter what state… Dr. Richard Madow: State, city, urban, rural. I mean they’re just – they’re everywhere. Tattoos are extremely… Dr. David Madow: Hey have you ever seen mine? Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t want to. Hold on… Dr. David Madow: It says Marshall. Dr. Richard Madow: Is this Marshall? What? Dr. David Madow: This is Marshall. I had one that said Barb but I took – I covered it with Marshall. Dr. Richard Madow: As you remember many years ago, I think it was Marshall – Marshall’s our middle brother. It was he’s 50th birthday so he’s 61 now. Dr. David Madow: Wait a minute… Dr. Richard Madow: So it’s 11 years ago. Dr. David Madow: It was 11 years ago. Are you sure it’s that long ago? Dr. Richard Madow: The three cool brothers were in Atlantic City. Well it’s not the three cool brothers, it’s just us – for Marshall’s 50th birthday and I think we should all get like some kind of brothers tattoo. If everybody agrees on them and you said you’re in. Right? Dr. David Madow: I was in. Dr. Richard Madow: Then Marshall wouldn’t do it. You know what? Thank you, Marshall, I’m glad you didn’t say do it. Dr. David Madow: I think we should have done it. I think Marshall should have done it. Even a small – little small thing – who would care? Dr. Richard Madow: When we were kids, I think – and again, I don’t know, maybe we had a sheltered upbringing. Only men with like a tough upbringing like the merchant marines or whatever would have tattoos. Dr. David Madow: Do you remember our barber’s name when we were kids? Dr. Richard Madow: Rudy? Dr. David Madow: No, way before Rudy. Dr. Richard Madow: Rudy was in jail. Dr. David Madow: Yeah way before, but you might have been too young to remember. Dr. Richard Madow: I don’t remember. Dr. David Madow: We went to a place called Pete and Sam. Dr. Richard Madow: I remember Pete and Sam. Sure. Dr. David Madow: Do you remember that? You just said, I think they might have been in the merchant marines. Dr. Richard Madow: Merchant marines. Right. Dr. David Madow: They had tattoos. Dr. Richard Madow: So, when we were really little kids, early to mid-60s, those were typically the kind of people and then it became much more common for men to have tattoos. Any kind of job, education level or whatever. And now, obviously, it seems like more women, more young women have tattoos than men. So, they’re very typical, they’re very normal. They don’t mean anything other than the fact that you’ve got the tattoo. I mean that’s all it means. So, I think if you’re going to say, I don’t want to hire people with tattoos, well you’re going to be cutting yourself out of a huge percentage and probably some very talented and smart people or you’re going to be discriminating against it so to speak. Dr. David Madow: Many young people. Maybe even the majority. Dr. Richard Madow: But what do you think? Do you think that if this person truly is in an area where his patient population is maybe older and really conservative that he should be cautious about hiring people with visible tattoos? Dr. David Madow: So, you said visible tattoos. So, in other words, let’s say if somebody comes in to the interview, let’s say a woman comes in to the interview and let’s say she has tattoos but you can’t see them. They’re not visible. They’re on her back or wherever they may be. They’re not visible during the interview. Does anything need to be said at all like I just want to make sure if you have tattoos whenever you’d come in, they’re covered up or if you can’t see them during the interview, do you assume they will never be seen during work time? Dr. Richard Madow: That is a really good question. In other words, I guess the basic question here is do we have an office policy, no visible tattoos. Dr. David Madow: I think that’s a possibility. But suppose – where do you draw the line? Suppose a team member has a little tiny tattoo that he can’t hide but it’s not getting in anybody’s way and it’s not in bad taste or anything. Dr. Richard Madow: I was going to say I’ve seen young ladies with tattoos on kind of the inside of their wrist. Right here, a cute little design. Nobody I think would say it’s horrible. They look nice. That’s a visible tattoo. Dr. David Madow: Yes. So, what’s the rule? Where do you draw the line? So, what we’re talking about is if somebody comes in and they are no visible tattoos but you still have like an office policy in place that says – that it clearly states no visible tattoos during patient treatment time or something like that. Dr. Richard Madow: Oh I see what you’re saying. So like after hours, you don’t care what they do. They can walk around with very short sleeve shirts… Dr. David Madow: I think you can’t tell somebody what to do after hours… Dr. Richard Madow: Of course not. Dr. David Madow: I think you can’t tell them that. But is it out of line? I guess it’s legal or with HR – will the HR police get after you if you have it in your booklet that says no visible tattoos allowed during clinical patient time. Dr. Richard Madow: When I finished my residency and again, times were different. This was 1985. I’m sure you remember one of my very early associateships was in a suburb of Baltimore called Dundalk. Now Dundalk is the classic… Dr. David Madow: Tattoo palace. Dr. Richard Madow: Right. Stereotype blue color town, tattoos everywhere and we had this dental assistant and I don’t think she had tattoos. But she wore like this weird makeup. She had all these different colors on her eyes and she had one of those haircuts where it was shaved on one side and slicked over on the other… Dr. David Madow: In the 80s? Dr. Richard Madow: 80s. Dr. David Madow: That was a little weird. Dr. Richard Madow: She was really radical. And I’m thinking, what the F? This is a dental office. Who’s going to come in and let this woman treat them? So, the flipside of that is, of course, she was a great person, fantastic with patients, excellent clinical assistant. I forgot about it like working with her for a day or two. I didn’t even look at her and see this kind of freaky persona. I just saw this great person who was a fantastic dental assistant and I think people were much more closed minded in those days. I’ve got another story I want to share, but I think on this question, my answer is to loosen up, tattoos are normal. Obviously, you don’t want somebody with a teardrop tattoo come out of their eye which means they’re in a gang or murdered someone. Dr. David Madow: Is that what it means? Dr. Richard Madow: I think so. Dr. David Madow: I don’t even know that. Dr. Richard Madow: Or like profanity or something like that. But I think using the word tasteful is tough because that’s objective, subjective. Dr. David Madow: Subjective. Dr. Richard Madow: Thank you. That’s a subjective term. Dr. David Madow: Right. You can’t say that only tasteful tattoos are allowed. Well who decides? Dr. Richard Madow: I think it’s time, it’s 2019. If you’re listening to this, it’s current. I think it’s time to let it go and just hire people who are – present well, have great clinical skills, are good with patients and not worry about it. What do you think? Dr. David Madow: So you’re saying that – I think you need to have some type of guidelines in place because by what you’re saying, it will be totally fine especially on a warm day when your assistant is wearing something sleeveless… Dr. Richard Madow: Well they can after work clinical attire. They can’t wear… Dr. David Madow: They have like the whole arm – what do you call it? a sleeve. A whole arm tattooed up and maybe the neck. Is that okay? For professional practice. Dr. Richard Madow: I think it’s fine. It’s funny, I think that there are certain rules that we have to have with our team members. And one is they have to present well. It means they can’t come in poorly dressed. Clothes that don’t look right in a clinical – it doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. But it means your clothes have to be clean and they have to look great in a clinical setting. And your hair is to be pull back properly and you can’t have long dangling earrings. These things get in the way of proper treatment. But I think when it comes to somebody’s looks which includes tattoos, I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind if a woman has a sleeve tattoo working in my practice if she’s a great assistant and dresses normally. Dr. David Madow: I think it depends on the area. Like you said, Dundalk, Maryland it will totally… Dr. Richard Madow: I think you call it tattoo palace. Dr. David Madow: It’s not like a knock on Dundalk but like Upper West Side of Manhattan, a practice there. If somebody was totally tattooed up, I don’t know if that’s so cool. Dr. Richard Madow: Upper West Side Manhattan, I would say you’ve got a huge artistic community… Dr. David Madow: Upper East side. Let’s go Upper East Side. Dr. Richard Madow: Upper East Side, that’s a little snootier. Dr. David Madow: Going into a dental office and someone just – a person is just tattooed up, I mean I personally have nothing against tattoos or I have nothing against them. But again, I have nothing against a lot of things but a lot of things shouldn’t be necessarily ok in a dental office. Dr. Richard Madow: I guess I can only speak my personal opinion. I certainly wouldn’t mind being treated by a dental assistant or a dentist or whatever that had sleeve tattoos as long as they were great assistants or dentists. Will people leave your practice? I don’t think so. Dr. David Madow: Let me just give you an example. It’s been two or three years, I met a waitress in Ruby Tuesday. Dr. Richard Madow: Again? You know waitresses. Dr. David Madow: I met her. There was a waitress at Ruby Tuesday and she was super, super nice and she was – let’s just say for a lack of a better term, I’m going to use – she was all tattooed up. Dr. Richard Madow: All tattooed up. ATU. Dr. David Madow: She was ATU all the way and she told us a story that sometimes people would come in like an elderly couple would come in and she would say hi I’m your waitress today, and they would go to the manager and say, I do not want this woman waiting on us with all this tattoos. So again, not everybody thinks the way we think, and is it possible it’s hurting the practice having somebody that’s all tattooed up working on patients. I think it could hurt the practice. I mean it could. Dr. Richard Madow: I guess the other side of that coin is sometimes you have to make a decision like are you going to stand by your principles even if in some way it could be detrimental to your practice. And back to this woman in that Dundalk practice, sometimes she would come in with a big blue streak in her hair and some people would say she’s a freakazoid, but she wasn’t. Dr. David Madow: Right. I think we’re going to have to leave this as it’s up to each practice to decide but you should have something outlined in the office manual. Dr. Richard Madow: I want to get back to the Ruby Tuesday for a second. Dr. David Madow: Yeah sure. Dr. Richard Madow: And we’ve seen this many times. There are waitress, servers, waiters, waitresses, whatever you want to call them. As a matter of fact one worked in a restaurant near here. No tattoos, very clean appearance, but gingivitis. That’s I think gross. Dr. David Madow: Well you’ve got to say no gingivitis will… Dr. Richard Madow: But most restaurant owners don’t even know and now that is gross. Dr. David Madow: They’ve got to have a soft tissue management program in the restaurant. Dr. Richard Madow: So that’s disgusting. That person has got billions of disgusting infectious bacteria in her mouth. That to me is much more important than tattoos or piercings or something like that. Dr. David Madow: Yeah, I agree with you, but I’m thinking it goes without saying that you’re not going to have somebody with gross periodontal disease working in the dental practice. You’re just not going to allow that. Dr. Richard Madow: I see people with bad teeth working in dental practices. You have too. Sometimes it’s the dentist. Dr. David Madow: Absolutely. We have seen it. We definitely have seen it. Dr. Richard Madow: I guess what I’m saying is I think if you’re worried about this, you’re worried about the wrong thing. If there’s anything that could cause patients to leave, I’ll bet there are patients who for one reason or another said, I don’t want a male hygienist. Dr. David Madow: Oh 100%. Dr. Richard Madow: Well, you know, get with it. Dr. David Madow: So we’ll just leave it with that. It’s subjective and it’s up to the practice. Dr. Richard Madow: It’s a great question. Dr. David Madow: It is a really good question. So, Dr. Smith, thanks so much for sending that. Everybody, keep sending your great questions because we really appreciate you… Dr. Richard Madow: I would love to hear your opinion on this because I know that we have a really – I know we would want to handle this question but I don’t know if we ever really came to what we would say is a definitive answer for us. Dr. David Madow: No it’s subjective. It depends on the office. Dr. Richard Madow: Please, if you’re listening to us, we’d love to hear you weigh in on this topic. That will be great. Dr. David Madow: Yeah that would be fantastic. Dr. Richard Madow: How do they reach us? Now I can’t remember. email@example.com, you can’t go wrong with that. info@ M A D O W.com Dr. David Madow: Also, firstname.lastname@example.org will get to us. But pretty much anything @madow.com. You can send it to crazy@ -- no it won’t get to us. Dr. Richard Madow: No don’t do that. email@example.com – it’s still info. Hey before we do our call of the week. Who is coming to TBSE this year? Yes, November in Las Vegas at the fantastic Tropicana Resort Hotel. We’ve got an incredible lineup of speakers. It is the best bang for your buck in dental education. Nothing else is even close. So, go to the website, check out the speakers, sign up while the tuition is still really really low. It’s an incredible two days of not just dental education, but fun, motivation, team building and a great vacation. You certainly deserve a little vacation, especially when the practice can pay for it. So that’s up to your accountant of course but I hope you’re charging all your CE to the office. Go to tbse.com. The Best Seminar Ever. Tbse.com. Look at the speaker line up, it will absolutely appeal to you and bring the team. We’ll be there, we’ll be hanging out, we’ll be shooting the breeze, having a good all time with you in Vegas. So again, tbse.com and we’ll see you there. Dr. David Madow: 25th anniversary. We’ve been here for 25 years. Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah 25 years. Cheers. Dr. David Madow: How have we been doing this for 25 years? Dr. Richard Madow: Unbelievable. I’m not so sure. Dr. David Madow: It’s going to be special though. Dr. Richard Madow: It’s kind of like a disease. We can’t get rid of it. It comes back year after year after year. Dr. David Madow: It’s going to be very special. Dr. Richard Madow: Special. Dr. David Madow: Before we move on to the call Rich, let’s talk about something. I know we mention this every single episode for a reason. Dr. Richard Madow: Is there a reason? Dr. David Madow: Because if somebody just said to me, how would you like to have a check or how would you like to save a lot of money every single month. I’d be stupid enough not to listen especially if it were so simple that everybody could do it. Well that’s why we talk about Fattmerchant. The credit card processing company that we truly believe in. We use them here at the Madow Center, we switched to that – how long – about a year ago? Dr. Richard Madow: About a year ago. Maybe a year and a half ago. Dr. David Madow: Something like that, but we’ve never been happier. Transactions are smoother. Everything goes well, plus we’ve saved so much money and you can do the same thing in your dental practice. When you sign up with Fattmerchant, it’s simple to switch. They do everything for you including if you use our special link that we’re going to give you. They’ll give you the free terminal. Free terminal, you don’t have to do anything and you’ll start saving a lot of money every single month. If you’re not doing this, you’re kind of nuts not to do it. Why wouldn’t you want to do this, go to bit.ly/fattmad which is F A T T M A D, if you’re watching on video we’re putting a little thing down there so you can make sure you have the spelling right. But however you get there, if you’re not doing this, you'll be losing out on money every single month, why wouldn’t you do it. Dr. Richard Madow: All right, let’s do the call of the week. Voice Recording: For quality of service, this call may be recorded. [phone ringing] Female Speaker: Good morning, thank you for calling. How may I help you? Dr. David Madow: Hi, my wife asked me to make this call. She kind of put it on my to-do list today. She wanted me to ask you if you’re accepting new patients. Female Speaker: Yes, we are. Dr. David Madow: Okay great. I’ll let her know. Thank you very much. Female Speaker: No problem, bye, bye. Dr. David Madow: Okay, bye. Dr. Richard Madow: Do you ever just want to like raise your hand and scream. Is anybody listening? Dr. David Madow: I don’t get it. I really don’t get it Rich. Dr. Richard Madow: The simplest of all calls; two patients because I would assume the husband and wife are coming in. Right? Dr. David Madow: I was just going to say the same thing. Almost guaranteed two patients. She answers the question, yeah we’re accepting new patients but she didn’t take it any further. And you know something that I think might have been one of the problems. Okay so did you hear as soon as I started the question, another phone was ringing in the background. I think what was on her – on her mind was I’ve got to get to that other call. And it rang twice and I said okay thank you very much. It was much easier for her to say no problem and take the other call than to start explaining. And then the other call keeps coming in and that’s what I thought. I felt it. Dr. Richard Madow: It’s a really good point. I think when there’s another call coming in whether it’s even in your personal life, when you got that annoying call waiting thing or your whole focus shifts. Who’s this new caller? Is this more important than the call you’re on? Do I need to put Mom on hold? You’re right, you’re so right. So first of all, nobody should be in that position in the dental practice. You should have enough people to answer the phone and even if there’s a clinical team member who is not busy that second, they should be – they should have the mindset that they’re going to grab that phone if it’s ringing. So really good point. Dr. David Madow: So I wonder if they had proper staffing there and somebody else took that other call that was obviously ringing in the background, if she would have more time to devote with me, if she would have been better she would have… Dr. Richard Madow: My guess is no. Dr. David Madow: Maybe not but at least she would have a chance. But now all she’s thinking is I need to pick up that second call. Dr. Richard Madow: So in that scenario, she could have said excuse me for one second. I’ll just put you on a very brief hold. Dr. David Madow: Yes exactly. Dr. Richard Madow: Boom and then just handle that call even if it means getting some information and calling someone back or putting them on a brief hold. She’s got a live wire right here that wants to know if you’re accepting new patients. Dr. David Madow: My wife said – made it a point to send me to call… Dr. Richard Madow: And I’ll do whatever my wife said. Dr. David Madow: Exactly. Your wife asks you to call, there’s a reason you’re doing this. You’re trying to find a dentist who’s taking new patients. Are you the one or not? Dr. Richard Madow: Well we’re accepting new patients, we’re just not appointing them. Dr. David Madow: That’s exactly right. So here’s the thing Rich. I guess every single time, the doctor who’s obviously doing great clinical work is thinking… Dr. Richard Madow: Obviously, well not so obviously but… Dr. David Madow: Thinking that oh my front desk person, my scheduling assistant or… Dr. Richard Madow: June is fantastic. Dr. David Madow: She is great, she is so nice and she’s taking care of answering questions. Does he have any idea this is going on? Dr. Richard Madow: Clueless. Dr. David Madow: No idea. Dr. Richard Madow: No idea. Dr. David Madow: And we say this every time for a reason because I know there are probably doctors who are listening or watching right now and saying, well this would never happen in my practice. Well guess what, it probably is. Dr. Richard Madow: Send us your number. We’ll find out. Send us your number. Dr. David Madow: Grade? Dr. Richard Madow: I hate to keep failing people but I think it’s going to have to be an F. Dr. David Madow: We got to fail her. F Dr. Richard Madow: Yeah she’s a failure. Dr. David Madow: Because she didn’t ask for anything. Dr. Richard Madow: She did nothing. Thanks for nothing. Dr. David Madow: Thanks for nothing. Dr. Richard Madow: She did nothing. Alright. Dr. David Madow: I think that wraps it up. Dr. Richard Madow: Next I’m telling you, next episode it’s not going to be an F. They got to be at least a B plus. Dr. David Madow: I really hope – I want that. We really want that. We want to prove that some people are fantastic. Dr. Richard Madow: We want everyone to pass. Dr. David Madow: Until next time, Dr. David Madow. Dr. Richard Madow: Dr. Richard Madow. Thanks for listening and watching. We’ll see you soon. [music playing]