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Teledentistry: How and Why to Do It Now

The conventional wisdom in dentistry has been that we have to physically see the patient. But during this crisis, virtually all practices are only seeing emergencies. And what we’re finding is that a significant percentage of dental emergency patients can be treated with teledentistry. (For a video on this topic, go to: https://youtu.be/_amZ7qjfUxc )

Treating Dental Emergencies with Teledentistry

Let me stress this first. It is your civic duty as well as your professional one to see emergency patients during this crisis. I’ll give you three key reasons why:

  1. Your patient won’t get their dental problem solved in the ER;
  2. The ER’s are already overwhelmed, and don’t need dental emergencies on top of it;
  3. Your patient could possibly leave the ER with the coronavirus, with an immune system that is already compromised because of their dental problem.

The ER is not where you want your own patients to be going. You have sterilization procedures to protect yourself, but now you have the ability to do teledentistry, triage those patients and be compensated for it.

There are a number of options out there for teledentistry, and the one I’ve found with the most comprehensive solution is offered by PatientPop. It is a cloud-based system that works directly with your PMS, streamlining the process.

Here’s how PatientPop Telehealth works:

  1. The patient contacts the office or uses the practice website to make an online tele-appointment;
  2. The dentist or team member can update the patient history or, if it is a new patient, get that history input right then, as well as their insurance information;
  3. The dentist uses HD video to see and diagnose the patient, with a side chat to share images and interact;
  4. If the patient needs a prescription, it can be done right there in the app;
  5. You can collect the payment right there within the app;
  6. You can do electronic charting of all the information, sending it straight in to your PMS.

We now have teledentistry codes, D9995 and D9996. You can charge between $75 and $150 for a consultation that may only take five or ten minutes. And then only bring in the patients into the office that need immediate treatment. You can also determine during the telehealth call if the patient is a COVID-19 risk to the practice, and take extra precautions.

You can use your patient communication software such as RevenueWell or PatientPop’s own system to notify all your patients that you are available for emergencies and can do teledentistry. This is powerful. Your patients will feel cared for, and you can keep them out of the emergency room, which is not where they would want to go now anyway.

Treating emergencies during this crisis is also a chance to attract new patients. At this time, 1-800-DENTIST is fielding tens of thousands of emergency calls a day, and have created a temporary membership that is emergencies only. These are people who don’t have a dentist. Take care of them, and turn them into long term patients. For more information about 1-800-DENTIST’s emergency program, go to www.Futuredontics.com.

PatientPop’s program is extremely affordable, and can pay for itself with just a few patient calls. It is also very easy to learn and install. You can be up and running in half an hour. I encourage you to take a demo of PatientPop Telehealth, for the sake of your revenue, your patients, and the medical industry that is so overwhelmed right now.

Full disclosure, I am an advisor to PatientPop. But I only advise companies with services or products that I think bring real value to my friends in the dental industry. I also am an advisor for PatientPrism for the same reason. And I no longer have any financial interest in 1-800-DENTIST.

Thank you for all you do in health care. You can make a huge difference on the impact of this crisis.

Resources

To learn more about PatientPop Telehealth, visit https://fredjoyal.com/patientpop/

Coaching: Fortune Management: https://www.fortunemgmt.com

How Good Is Your Packaging?

In the retail business, everyone pretty much agrees that Apple is king. And one of the first things you notice when you buy an Apple product is the beautiful, brilliantly designed packaging for every single product. In fact, I know some people who collect the boxes just because they are so impressive they can’t bring themselves to throw them out.

There are plenty of businesses owners and product manufacturers who would say, “That’s nice for Apple, but I can’t afford that.” And that makes perfect sense if you don’t want to be considered the best, and just want to be the cheapest or an average product.

What’s this got to do with dentistry? Everything. Your “packaging” is your entire office: your reception area, your scrubs, your operatories, your bathroom, your signage, your parking lot, your website and your social media pages. All of it tells patients how they should rank your value against other things they spend money on.

The fact is that Apple products, from a technical standpoint, are seldom the absolute best in the market. There are better phones, bluetooth headphones, tablets, laptops and computers out there. But there aren’t any that look better or come in a more appealing box. On top of that, Apple gets more money for their products, even though they are not the best. And they also never discount their products, when everyone else in the marketplace does, often on the first day of release. (And they’re also the second most valuable company in the world.)

Don’t go to the trouble to create a great clinical practice and then do an average job of packaging it.

Please don’t misconstrue this as telling you that you don’t have to be a good dentist clinically if you have a great-looking office. That’s hardly the point. What I’m saying is, don’t go to all the trouble to create a superior product, i.e., your clinical dentistry, and then do an average job of packaging it.

By all means, be a great practitioner, get loads of CE, and use all the latest technology that gives your patients the highest quality treatment possible. But don’t ignore the box it all comes in. Renovate your reception, get nice designer scrubs with your logo on them, and make the entire office pristine and well designed, from lighting to the wall colors. And make every aspect of your digital presence the highest quality.

And remember also that your team is your packaging: their smiles, their attitude, their helpfulness, caring and integrity, that’s all your packaging too. It all matters. It matters in case acceptance, loyalty, and getting your patients to refer you. And just like Apple, you won’t have to offer discounts to attract patients.

So pay attention to all of it, and maybe someday you’ll even have people lined up outside your office, just like an Apple store!

I’m absolutely crazy about Dr. Wayne Kerr

I was lucky enough to see a presentation by Dr. Wayne Kerr earlier this year and frankly I was blown away. Wayne’s tales of success and failure from his 35+ year career in dentistry had me laughing hard and seriously rethinking a lot of what I thought I knew about how to succeed as a solo practitioner. I’m thrilled to tell you that Wayne is my special guest for an all-new webinar tomorrow.

“Winning the Long-Game in Dentistry” is filled with humor, great insights and proven business principles that improve lives, practices and financial health. I hope you can join us. A good time is guaranteed, especially during the live Q&A session. It’s going to be a wild one. Click here to register.

 

 

Cracking the Insurance Code

I’m not talking about treatment codes here. I’m talking about how to stem the revenue erosion that many practices are facing by accepting dental plans, and I’m doing it in a webinar with my good friend Bernie Stoltz, the CEO of Fortune Management. His company has helped more than two thousand practices solve this challenge and build strong practices with happy patients.

We will go into alternative methods of satisfying your patients needs without compromising your profitability, and how to make choices about accepting plans as part of an overall strategy.  If you’re hoping to thrive in the next decade, this webinar is a must!

It happens on Tuesday, July 11th at11 am PT / 2 pm ET.  Click here to register.

Here’s what we know already: “Insurance” is now the #1 reason people pick a new dentist. This game-changing consumer behavior is hurting profits at practices nationwide. Join me and Bernie and learn new, better ways to leverage your insurance and dental plan offerings to maximize production and patient satisfaction. Here are some highlights:

  • Why insurance is your #1 hidden marketing expense
  • Best insurance strategies for 2017 & beyond
  • Tips on choosing the right plans for your practice
  • Smart new alternatives to traditional dental insurance

Don’t miss this informative, fast-paced presentation followed by a live Q&A session.  And as always, if you register but can’t attend, you’ll be sent a link to the recording of the session. See you online!

Why Do Patients Choose You?

We recently did a survey here to determine what’s important to patients these days when it comes to selecting a new dentist.  Because we are such clever marketing people we put it all into a nifty infographic.

I think you’ll be surprised at how some of the patient thinking has changed from five or ten years ago, like their attitude toward insurance and their interest in technology.  It’s good insight for all practices as you plan your marketing and make other practice decisions.

To get the infographic just click on the image below and it will send you to our site.

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