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Episode 216 – Elevating Case Acceptance

“It feels great that we know we are taking good care of the patient, but also that they allow us to take care of them.” ~Dr. Edmund Liu, Clarksburg Dental Center

Case acceptance is a sensitive topic. It can be exciting when things are going your way, and you can also feel defeated when it isn’t. In this episode of Everyday Practices podcast, we introduce a new tool that can make you feel more in control of your case acceptance percentages. 

Your host Regan Roberson is joined by Dr. Edmund Liu of Clarksburg Dental Center in Germantown, Maryland, his dental wellness coordinator Cierra Johnson, and AcceptCare CMO Oliver Gelles, and together they dive into the transformative power of AcceptCare, a new case acceptance assistance software that has revolutionized treatment plan acceptance rates at Clarksburg Dental Center. Dr. Liu, Cierra, and Oliver share firsthand experiences, success stories, and valuable perspectives on how AcceptCare has not only improved financial outcomes but also enhanced the overall patient experience. Enjoy this insightful conversation to discover practical strategies, unique approaches, and the profound impact technology can have on reshaping the case acceptance percentages in the dental practice.

As you immerse yourself in this episode, consider these key reflections:

  • Could your practice be ready for a tool like AcceptCare?
  • How implementing a software like AcceptCare could impact your overall case acceptance percentage
  • What impact could this software have on you, your patients, and your team?

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Regan 0:01
Hi, Doctor. Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else. That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive. Your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help visit productivedentist.com/workshop that’s productive dentist.com/workshop to secure your seats now.

Oliver Gelles 0:47
Most practices get less than 50% of their cases accepted and get less than 35% of the dentistry that they recommend except it which was not acceptable to us.

Regan 1:02
Welcome to the Everyday Practices Podcast. I’m Regan Robertson and my co-host Dr. Chad Johnson and I are on a mission to share the stories of everyday dentists who generate extraordinary results using practical proven methods you can take right into your own dental practice. If you’re ready to elevate patient care and produce results that are anything but ordinary. Buckle up and listen in.

Regan 1:34
Welcome to Everyday Practices Dental podcast. I am your host Regan Robertson. Dr. Chad Johnson today is enroute traveling to Miami for some very special CEE work and congratulations on that check. We appreciate you continuing your education as always, back at the home office, I get to have a lot of fun today. We’re talking case acceptance that can be a bit of a sensitive topic we can be really excited about it when it’s going the right way or we can feel a little defeated if it’s going the wrong way. So part about Productive Dentist Academy as we all know is we provide ways to work smarter, not harder and it is my absolute honor and excitement to share that we have a full house today for you talking specifically about case acceptance. In the chairs today we have Dr. Edmund Liu, the owner doctor of Clarksburg Dental Center, we have  Ciara Johnson, the wellness coordinator and front office lead at clarksburg and Oliver Gillis, the CMO of Accept Care. If you’ve never heard about Accept Care, get ready you are in for a treat. So welcome everybody to the show.

Dr. Edmund Liu 2:42
Hello.

Regan 2:45
Absolutely. So Dr. Liu, I have been poring over your five star Google reviews, which you have a cornucopia of, and your patients really, really highlight you for being an attentive doctor, for your staff, being amazing for the TVs that you have up in your ceiling, which you told me before we started recording that they’re just 150 bucks, but they bring a wow factor. So I’m wondering Dr. Luke, can you tell us like be our eyes and ears tell us about your practice, your location, your service mix, your history, all the good stuff?

Dr. Edmund Liu 3:20
Yeah, sure. So um, admin new offices, Clarksburg dental center, then we are in Germantown, Maryland, which is about 45 minutes from Baltimore, Maryland, about 45 minutes from DC. Yeah, and you know, there are two toxins in our office. Me and my cousin, Ken then. So we started our office from scratch about 17 years ago in 2006. Time flies.

Regan 3:54
Sure does.

Dr. Edmund Liu 3:55
So we started with a team of four people, you know, two of us the two doctors and then one from office, then one system and now we have a team of 12. So we have grown quite a bit in the seven past 17 years and as far as the surface makes, I would say we pretty typical general dentist office. No, we do a lot of bread and butter dentistry like crown and bridge fillings, you know, composite scaling and root planing. We do some single-tooth implant. We do Invisalign, and we also do you know, for those people who don’t know what it is, is a is a an amazing service we provide for patient is what you call laser gum therapy, please.

Regan 4:54
Yep. Lasers lasers aren’t that’s a whole other podcast in and of itself. Doctor Louis it. They’re just what they can do today blows my mind. Yes, yes. And I think Linux, Linux has been around for how long? Over a decade, right? Yeah,

Dr. Edmund Liu 5:11
actually, almost 20 years.

Regan 5:15
Yeah, that’s what I thought. Yeah, I’ve been with PDA for 12 years. So that’s the extent of my dental history. And I remember when I, when I joined the industry, I was lasers where I thought, wow, this is like sci fi nerdy goodness that I didn’t even know existed.

Dr. Edmund Liu 5:30
I always share with with people that I think that the three most amazing things that have happened in dentistry in the past, you know, 2030 years. The first is dental implant, right? Yes. Second is Invisalign. Yes.

Regan 5:51
Yeah. So you brought them all into practice?

Dr. Edmund Liu 5:54
Yes, I had to.

Regan 5:58
That’s smart. We call that being authentic to yourself and following your passion. So with all of these services that you are really passionate about providing and bringing in, at what point did you turn kind of that keen eye towards case acceptance, because having the ability to do the dentistry is one piece of the puzzle. Diagnosing is another part, and then case, acceptance is a whole other ball of wax. So when did you start to pay attention to that as a metric in your office?

Dr. Edmund Liu 6:26
Yeah, that’s a good question. I would say about, you know, about eight to 10 years ago, we started paying more attention. case acceptance, you know, when we first started our office, we sign up with every single PPO plan in the world, right? Yeah and, you know, in about three, four years, after the startup, we got so busy, so busy, to a point that we were putting a lot of focus on just fixing broken teeth, you know, patients coming in with a broken tooth. You know, we, we treatment, plan it for crown, and then we fix it, and that treatment came to our case, acceptance was very easy back then because, you know, patient already knew that he needs the treatment, or he or she needs the treatment and, and with the PPO fee, you know, is so much lower than the standard fee, right? So the out-of-pocket numbers a lot smaller, and the patient would feel like, “Oh, you know, can afford it.” Yeah, but, you know, about eight years ago, we we put more focus on comprehensive treatment planning and also, we started dropping PPO plans, right, so those two major changes, you know, definitely, you know, make an impact on taste acceptance, because, you know, the same patient can come in with a broken tooth and then, you know, and then we do a comprehensive treatment planning, you know, it takes a lot more to, to educate a patient, so that they will understand, you know, they, they need more than just a crown, you know, they might need two crowns and two fillings, and, you know, scaling and root planing. You know, and, and it just takes a lot more to to, to let them understand that they, they will benefit from the treatment that we recommend and then also, you know, the out of out of pocket expense will be a lot higher, right? I mean, we can go from $400 for single crown to $4,000, you know, for a comprehensive treatment planning. Right. Yeah and when, when, when we have that the case, that sentence just became a lot more challenging.

Regan 9:03
You mentioned the word challenge and I there’s two ways to kind of approach a challenge like that. It’s either with optimism, I’m going to try all these things or it’s frustration, and I just don’t know what to do. What, like, what was your process and what did you try before you sort of figured out what worked best for you?

Dr. Edmund Liu 9:21
Yeah, so, you know, I think there are so many determining factors on case acceptance, right, but personally, I think there are the two main determining factors on case acceptance. The first is, you know, whether the patient thinks that they would benefit from the treatment we recommend and the second thing is, whether the patient thinks that they can afford it, afford the treatment, you know, the payment, right. Um, so you know, with the, the first part, you know, we, we step up, and we took a lot of seminars, so we can be much better at our communication with the patient. Right and the second part, you know, the way that the patient thinks that they are, they will be able to afford the treatment, we have tried different things. First thing is, you know, first thing we try was CareCredit. That was still popular and the concern we have with with CareCredit was that, you know, those patients who don’t have good credit score, they don’t get qualified. That’s right. Yeah, so and we were like, you know, the patients who were interested in payment options, those are usually the patient who don’t have good credit. So that didn’t seem to be working too well and then we’d known about come compassionate finance, right? Compassionate finance, almost everybody will get qualified, right? As long as they have a bank account accounts but the concern with that was that the interest was very high, right, we’re talking about like, 15%, 16% interest, for those patients who have pretty good credit, they don’t want to pay that interest. Right, but then some of them, they still want to do like a monthly payment plan. So, and then at that point, we’re like, you know, should we offer both options to patients? I mean, and, you know, make it work? Then we were thinking, you know, this is pretty complicated, you know, patients will have to do like two applications, you know, and, and I know, we there’s a lot more explaining for us to do. Right?

Regan 12:09
That is that is time consuming. Yes, I’ve done a payment plan for other services in my life. And yeah, it was made easy for me with one option, I didn’t even think about if you’re doing care, credit or compassionate, that you have to go through the process for each of them is

Dr. Edmund Liu 12:25
That’s correct and then we knew that, you know, the more complicated we made it for the patient, the more likely they will say no. So I was like, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we have like one platform?” And then you know, a patient would just need to do one application and make it as easy for the patient as possible. You know, that will be ideal. Yeah.

Regan 12:55
So how did you how did you discover? Or did you solve the problem for one platform where somebody could come in and make it easy as close to a one click to accept care as possible?

Dr. Edmund Liu 13:08
Yeah, so we were at the PTA meeting last year, I think. So last September and, you know, during the break time, Sierra came to me and she says, “Hey, you know, there’s this thing called Accept Care and I think we should find out more about it,” and that’s how we find out that Accept Care seems to be a good surface for us to use. Sounds like a great surface, great solution for us, in terms of providing, providing the more affordable financing options for patients.

Regan 13:47
Yeah, so was this September of 2023. So this is fairly new, or was it the September previous? Oh, Sara is nodding her head for listeners. So this has been fairly new discovery for bringing in except care. This is like real time case study happening.

Dr. Edmund Liu 14:03
Yes, actually, we I was wrong. I think we known about a sec care in March two. Okay. Yes.

Cierra Johnson 14:13
So it’s still fairly new. It’s only been hasn’t even been a year yet and been just blown away by the process. Everything has just been great.

Regan 14:24
Wow. So that’s amazing. Okay, so you’ve discovered it in March, and decided to bring it in. I’m going to slide a little bit over here, Dr. Liu to Oliver, the CMO of except care and, Oliver, welcome to our podcast. What kind of I mean, I think Edmund just told us an excellent story of some of the the issues that he was seeing from his patients perspective, from your POV, what problems did you see in dentistry that kind of built up to, to this, this amazing product?

Oliver Gelles 14:58
I love that story and it’s a picture perfect reason why we develop the product. I mean, the truth is the story behind Accept Care, which is, which is granted, many have probably not heard of it. It’s a new and disruptive solution but except your story actually starts about 10 years ago when we developed and started a product in a company called ortho five, which was built for the orthodontic specialty and it was the same mission it was about increasing access to and acceptance of orthodontic treatment via good technology, great processes, and leveraging proven concepts around patient consumer behavior and you know, what’s great is we were able to prove over 10 years of doing that, that we could materially move case acceptance, we, you know, that solution has started well over a million patients and we’ve been able to generate over $5 billion of orthodontic production, leveraging those principles. So a few years back, we started looking at could we do some great things in the general dentistry industry and in our research, we found a lot of the things that Dr. Liu was talking about, where case acceptance is a little bit broken. In, in general dentistry, not in every practice, of course, are some a lot of practices that partner with great partners like PDA that are students of the game, but, but in a lot of practices, unfortunately, it’s a little bit broken and disjointed and so what we found is with the data is we saw that most practices get less than 50% of their cases accepted and get less than 35% of the dentistry that they recommend except it which was not acceptable to us and, and so we knew that we had some some great insights, a lot of data to bring, and some great tools that we could bring to the table to help solve this and probably the biggest thing that we knew right off the bat that we could bring to dentistry is change this disjointed gauntlet of no process that exists today, where the average practice is typically presenting their fee options and their payment options in a you know, trial and error, binary yes, and no sequence that gets a patient into a tidal wave of know that you then have to go and swim against the tide to get back and we wanted to introduce our concept of open choice, which essentially, you know, it dis disrupts all of that. The other, the other thing we knew we needed to solve is, the thing Dr. Liu was talking about, which is, unfortunately, in the dental field because of the need for cash flow. Many practices have oriented their fee presentation concept around a lender and I have no problem with lenders, we work with them. We’ll talk a little bit about hopefully a little bit about that concept of a network of lenders versus time when self to one lender, so we need lenders to get to get patients into financing, but it, but it’s not necessarily the best idea to build your fee presentation around the whims of a lender and so unfortunately, that also created that disjointed aspect where practices were pitching a painful option first, then putting a patient through an application process. Once they had said no, then they get declined, then having to then possibly default to another lender or an option like compassionate finance. So it’s a gauntlet of nos. So a few years ago, we partnered with Bruce Baird and his his company CFI, that was already doing a lot of the same things from mission that we were in orthodontics with compassionate finance and we believe that we could pool our resources and create the ultimate case acceptance engine, which we call accept Care. Today, that’s what it’s all about. Isn’t it interesting?

Regan 19:02
It’s um, it takes a decade to become an overnight success. That is like the biggest cliche that I’ve heard. But time and time again, it’s really proven true. It takes 10 years to know what you know, and be able to shift it over. Also, I hope on all of your marketing collateral, you have overcome the tidal wave of No, because that’s a great visual, I get why you’re the CMO. Very clever. I, so I love to put feelings out first and then have the data to back it up. So Oliver and Sierra, I’m gonna go back to you in a second here. Edmund, if you could share with us since implementing accept care in the practice, how do you feel the results have been so far? Have you noticed it from a clinical perspective?

Dr. Edmund Liu 19:49
Oh, yes, for sure. We did notice a major difference in terms of cases septons a lot of the treatment planning that we do more like the vaguer treatment plan, we felt like, you know, patients back, you know, and before, you know, 111 thing that we noticed was, you know, we, we try so hard to educate a patient, you know, and share with the patient that, you know, like how they would benefit from the treatment we recommend and, and then, you know, and then I check with Sierra, “Hey, the patient schedule and opinions, you need to think about, you know, to talk to my wife or, you know, talk to my spouse, you know,” and, you know, it wasn’t a good feeling, you know, we felt defeated, actually but, you know, after we started using  Accept Care we definitely see a big change on that.

Regan 20:59
Yeah that’s wonderful. My old mentor, skip Miller, he, he has done sales training for Google, like HP, Apple all like the big tech companies and one of the things he always told me was yeses are good. Nodes are good, the maybes will kill you and I think I think everybody listening, including myself can remember a time when you have an option in front of you. It’s maybe a bigger financial commitment than you were prepared for and you sit in swirl in that kind of indecision area and, and I love this so much, just because of my own personal story is I remember the day when I was presented with a plan, and I didn’t even pay attention to how much it costs, the answer was yes and they gave me an option. That was a one click option and it was I could do it all at once and I didn’t even ask, didn’t have to go ask my spouse, like it was just an immediate yes and that takes I love admin, you said, you know, it’s more than the financial component. It’s how it all works together. It’s, it’s from all the way external marketing through to how you communicate with the patient, and over. So let’s look at the data a little bit. So what did the numbers tell us about since implementing this and then Sierra, I definitely am going to be curious about how easy it was to bring it in. Oliver, do you have numbers perhaps to share about Dr. Lee’s practice and what’s occurred from the data perspective?

Oliver Gelles 22:20
Yeah, I absolutely do and by the way, I appreciate Sierra and Dr. Liu providing us and being vulnerable and providing us with the data prior to except here so that we can make some good, you know, pre and post comparisons. Probably obviously, you know, the product is called except care. So we’ll start with a case acceptance. At the end of the day, what we were able to see is, you know, from Dr. Lou’s office, they had cited that they were getting roughly 22 to 23% of their treatment dollars accepted prior to Accept Care and today, that number is is sitting close to 60%. We, in so what I love what I love about that, you know, just obviously, on the whole, like, that changes the whole dynamic of feeling defeated. What I want to do, though, is I want to break that up into a couple of components. And, and so the important part about case acceptance is like, and you mentioned, the whole I have to go home and talk about it with my spouse, some of the time. That’s true. A lot of the time, that’s basically a defense mechanism in a way to say no, so let’s we what we want to do with case acceptance is we want to tackle it into two pieces. A we want to accept the number of times and the percentage of the time you get a same day. Yes, which I want to tell every practice, you have the permission to ask for same day, yes. So we were able to immediately in an in month rate be able to get them from 22 to 44%. In terms of case acceptance. The other thing about Accept Care, though, is it’s not just a fee presentation tool on site. It also has a powerful patient pending management reminder system, automated text and email reminders system that stays with patients, because we know that practice has struggled to find the time or find the confidence to follow up effectively with patients after few presentations and so what we’ve seen is a that those numbers actually swell over the over the next 90 days and so that the remaining climb, we see about 32% of the patients saying yes after seven days after their exam, and we make it easy and they can do it from home and so the remaining climb to that number which is incredibly exciting. If you look at it that way we’ve seen 150% increase in their case acceptance from that and legacy that two-thirds of it is by increasing same day acceptance and the other third comes from getting more of the patients who have left the practice who may legitimately have to talk to their spouse, saying yes, so that’s the first part of the data. The other part that I’m also really excited about that Dr. Liu also touched on is the courage to present comprehensive care. What we’ve also seen is over the last four or five months, we’ve seen a steady increase in the average treatment amount accepted, and which is what it’s all about. So we not only want to increase the hit rate, but also how much you know, treatment patients are able to accept that they need right, it’s not about you know, overselling. It’s about getting patients connected to the care that they desperately need.

Regan 25:49
Doesn’t it, Dr. Lee, doesn’t it make you feel good in your heart to see not not just the data reflect the accuracy of it, but the impact that you’re making in the community to go below the surface problem, so that, you know, you’re addressing the root concerns and coming up with these acceptance to comprehensive care plans? I mean, I would be it’s a moment to take a pause, because this is I think, why we’re all in health care, we want to make people healthy, we want to give them ways so that they can be healthy. So that has to feel good for you.

Dr. Edmund Liu 26:21
Yes, it feels great, feels great that we that we know that we are taking care of that patient and also they are able to let us take care of them.

Regan 26:36
Sierra, if I was you, especially as wellness coordinator, I’d be jumping out of my skin, probably because I get a little bit competitive sometimes but you probably see these numbers on a daily basis and you interact with patients. So I saw you kind of like get excited. And I would be that’s a big climb. So congratulations on that. That’s, that’s huge. Can you walk us through, like how it was to bring Accept Care into the practice, from your perspective, and what this has been like, for you as an office lead and wellness coordinator.

Cierra Johnson 27:06
Yes, I absolutely loved it. When we did the PDA and they were reviewing the slides, I was like whispering to the assistant. I’m like, “I’m signing up, I’m gonna talk to doctors, but I’m signing up,” because this is what we have to have because it’s like, I just felt like everything that we kept trying. It’s just I felt like that was just we hit a wall and I’m like, okay, something’s got to change, we have to go with the times and being that you know, so much stuff is electronic now, except care is set up to be electronic. We know that people always have their phones in their hands. They’re always checking their text messages. When they get an email, they want to see who emailed them and the fact that Accept Care sending those reminders. So consistently, it’s like a “Hey, don’t forget, hey, don’t forget,” because it’s like a lot of times they leave the dental office and they like, forget that I’ll think about it, and then it leaves it leaves their brain. One thing that we always say is like it takes three times they need to hear something three times. So yeah, you know, the back, they hear it in the front, but it’s like when they go home, they’re gonna get it, they’re gonna hear it again. And sometimes when you’re home and you’re in that comfortable spot, and you’re no longer in that office where you already probably felt uncomfortable, because of course, as they always say, nobody likes to come to the dentist. That’s like now you’re at home, you’re on your couch, you’re relaxing, and then you get that pop-up, and you’re clicking the link, you’re looking at it and you’re like, oh, okay, yes, I do need this, I do need this treatment. So I’m just over the moon excited that when we brought it in, doing the Zoom call, it was the easy setup. It was you know, they go through everything as far as what it looks like what’s expected. It was the easy transition and I think it’s Einstein that says like, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting the same result. And so I feel like when we were actually able to get the Accept Care in, it’s like, okay, this is something different, like we’re changing, because I felt like you know, with the paper and just going over the same things over and over and over again and you know, we we tried to fine tune our verbiage we fine tune, you know, the the handoffs, we’ve fine tuned, every little thing that we could possibly do to make ourselves better as a practice and it still felt like there was just something missing when it came to the case acceptance. And not just because it’s my office, but these people are absolutely an amazing team, amazing assistants, amazing hygenist amazing doctors and front office. So it’s like, okay, if we know that we’re doing all that we can, we’re great, you know, what’s missing and so when we brought the Accept Care in it just it took off. I told everybody you know, it takes 30 days to make a change 30 days to create a habit 30 days to break one. So let’s let’s give this at least 30 days to really put her all into it and try to figure it out and nav gait it and see what we can do to fine tune it. The great thing about the process is being able to communicate with the Accept Care team constantly of what’s working and what’s not working could be changes with this benefit, and just having them be so supportive and those changes has really helped. I think, you know, on both sides will accept care and our office as a team. And it’s, it’s been a great experience, and just to be able to see the numbers and see the email pop up that says A case has been accepted when, you know, I’m like, “Oh, so and so accepted their treatment, I’m gonna call them so we can schedule.” It just really amps up the flow of the office and just brings in so many good vibes. So I love except care. That’s all I have to say. It’s great.

Regan 30:49
I did not expect on this podcast to see this demonstration of leadership. So you just blew me away, Sierra. Dr. Liu, I don’t even have to ask you. I know how lucky you probably feel to have Sierra on your team and you just highlighted Sierra the power of a team environment and the power of knowing your controlling idea and really, that had to feel amazing to go from I mean, you you fine tuned everything, you’re still probably frustrated or just even optimistic, like what else could I do to get that number to move up from 20% to finding the solution and being brave? I hope listeners I hope you all really sit with yourselves for a second and think about your own wellness coordinators and front office leads are you providing them the space, the safety, the confidence to really be able to explore options for the practice that they know that they can bring from their unique perspective to plug in and help because it’s not all on the owner doctors responsibility? It’s not all there on their shoulders and when you have a team that’s really fine tuned and aligned. I think this is exactly a fantastic example of of the result of that scenario. Sierra, you just blew me away. What what kind of questions? Do you think doctors are asking themselves perhaps? Or what should they be asking themselves if they are considering if Accept Care is right for them?

Cierra Johnson 32:14
Yes, so I would say just to touch on the doctor side of it as well. Our doctors are definitely amazing at just hearing the opinions or alternatives. One thing that they had me do that I would tell anybody as far as you know, treatment coordinators that are listening, is to create a this versus this, what are you currently doing that you’re having pros and cons with, versus what what can accept care give you a pros and cons list as well. And that’s something that I developed, you know, for the doctors and sat down and was able to show them, this is what we are currently trying to figure out. This is our pros and cons. I’ve had the Zoom call with the Accept Care, this is what they can do. And here’s you know, the two different sides of it and just them being open and receptive. I think this is huge. So questions that I would say as far as that would go is just being able to ask yourself, can you repeat the question one more time and then?

Regan 33:11
Yes, I can. Ricky, Sierra kindly. Yeah, you did. Great, though. The question. The question was, what should, what kind of questions should doctors be asking themselves when they are considering bringing in Accept Care?

Cierra Johnson 33:26
I would ask them. I think one of the biggest things is, are you feeling defeated at work? Are you feeling like where you’re at right now is just not at a good place when it comes to the acceptance? Because I feel like when the questions as far as like the Accept Care goes is if there’s something that you should bring in. What do you have to lose? Is what you’re using right now currently working? That you’re having to question you know, your your verbiage or your dentistry you’re having to question you know, the patient or or question your team, you know, are they not doing what they’re supposed to be doing? It’s like, sometimes we try to pinpoint a target of what is it or who is it? That’s not getting us to guess and sometimes we have to look outside of that and see what’s get out of the habit of the consistency of, well, this is what we have, this is what we signed up with. This is what we’re going to use. Yes, we may have signed up. Yes, we may have tried that but maybe that’s not working and I think being open to change and being receptive to the fact that what you have may not be working so what do you have to lose? I told Dr. Liu the other day instead of saying what’s the worst that can happen what’s the best that can happen? The best that can happen I’m trying accept here is that you get case acceptance that your numbers are going up patients are saying yes and so I think that’s the biggest thing is what’s the best that can happen if you try except here, and I can promise you the best that can happen is your case acceptance will most definitely go up so I think it will be the best decision for you to try.

Regan 34:59
Here I want to have coffee with you and whichever next PDA workshop you’re coming to let me know, because we will, I will, I will get you a coffee. Um, you know, Victoria Peterson, our CEO and co founder, she has always talked about respect being the willingness to take a second look and I think when you combine that with the optimistic question of isn’t good enough? Is it worth that second? Look, I remember, you know, throughout my 20 plus years in my career, I once worked for someone who said, you know, “Good enough, is good enough. It doesn’t have to be great,” and it was supposed to be an inspirational speech and as soon as I heard it, I knew this is not the organization for me and it wasn’t bad. It just showed me that I love taking a second look and it’s, and I do the same thing, “I say, what is the best that can happen?”, and then what’s the very worst that can happen? And if the risks are, you know, well balanced, like, let’s go ahead and try it. So Dr. Liu and Sierra other than the financial and improved health of your patients, which we know we have great numbers on both of those, were there some surprising but maybe less obvious results that you experienced from implementing Accept Care?

Cierra Johnson 36:12
I would say from my point of view, as a front office, I noticed a lot more disunity even within the front as well because when we were printing the treatment plans out and it’s like a foreign language to the patients and a lot of times, they just felt I would notice the front would feel, you know, defeated at times feeling like, you know, they feel in their heart, like, “Oh, yes, I got this, I got this,” and it was like when you put that paper in front of them, and you get that, you know, instant, blank stare of I have no idea what I’m looking at, you know, it does feel kind of defeating. And so I think with the Accept Care with it being electronic, and the patients are more in control, I’ve seen more confidence come from the front office as well and I’ve just watched, you know, everybody in the front, including myself just excel and feeling confident when they’re presenting the treatment to the patient and just kind of passing it over to them and just noticing that, you know, it’s, we’re excited together, when we see a patient sign up, or we’re giving each other a little fist pounds, I guess, good job, like, I’m excited because it’s more about than just getting the acceptance, but knowing deep down like that this is going to change the patient’s life, it’s just a win win on the case acceptance and a win on knowing that this is going to change the patient. So I think that that’s been something that has just been amazing.

Dr. Edmund Liu 37:34
For sure. Yeah. You know, financially, definitely, you know, it’s been helping us a lot. However, the other thing that that I think is worth mentioning is how much more is said care has made our team happier, you know, especially that maintain, you know, none of us working in a dental office to be a banker, right and I could feel that, you know, before when we were presenting the treatment option, the payment options know if a piece of paper, I could feel that, you know, my admin team member were very uncomfortable, no matter how many times they have participated, or how many times they have, you know, presented them that way. They just didn’t like it, you know, and it’s not a good feeling when I know that my, my team members are doing something that they they don’t feel comfortable or their joy. Uh, you know, the changes from the piece of paper to having everything on the iPad. You know, Sierra and, you know, all my admin team member they share with me that they were just so much more comfortable doing it. Yeah, yeah and the patient also feel more comfortable when, like CSL and know that they are in control. You know, they they are they have the, you know, is is, is, Is there information, you know, is and it’s very easy to understand, you know, you just look at it and you just do a few clicks, you know, and it just makes everything so much easier.

Regan 39:21
Thank you. You know, it’s it’s really hitting on, on a personal mission of the reality that dentists go into dentistry wanting to make a positive impact in the lives of others. And they might be super nerdy about oral health or dentistry in general, like, who knows, they might be teeth, artists, whatever the case is. To me, it definitely hits my heart when they get into business ownership and realize all of the additional duties that come along with it. And yeah, you’re not you shouldn’t have to be a banker. You shouldn’t have to worry about all of these little you know, details. So the so that it really, I mean, because over time it can impact your dentistry and how you feel about the dental practice and your whole entire career. So to get it fine tunes like this, it takes intention. It takes that willingness to keep looking, not giving up and all over. Since you’re overnight, I’m saying overnight success just because this is the first time you’re on my podcast after a decade and and as you’ve been growing, when you look out on the horizon and the future of our industry, what are you seeing next what what problems do you see that you kind of have a passion for solving, you

Oliver Gelles 40:34
know, we’re gonna stay, we’re gonna stay within our mission around increasing case acceptance, increasing access to care. That said, increasing access to care involves a lot more things than just be presentation. So when we plot out the patient journey from, you know, call to console to contract and to collection, you know, we want to help in all those phases. And in the orthodontic field, we do a lot more of that of that flow. And again, we’re trying to bring all of our learnings. So as we expand to cover more of that patient journey, again, to try to maximize case acceptance. That’s where we’re going and the first thing we’re going to do is just getting case, acceptance is great, and getting patients to pay depending on how they pay, sometimes they pay in full, which is easy and great. Sometimes they go through third party financing, but sometimes they do what has been very popular at Clarksburg Dental, which is, you know, making some short term payment plans, which then puts some burden on the practice to get collection. So we’ve have some proven technologies with our Bella product, that we’re going to be able to incorporate more and more connected way into Accept Care, which we plan on launching early next year, we’re going to call that Accept Care Plus, but there’s a lot more to that patient journey, even thinking about, you know, how do we get how do we make sure that patients insurance is verified and accepted as quickly as possible on site to then lubricate that process even better, and make sure that they know how much coverage they have in real time, all of these things that little by little accumulate to a fantastic and seamless case acceptance journey.

Regan 42:19
Well, I look forward to having you all back again, after accept Care Plus, perhaps ever feeling that Dr. Liu might put that in his office as well and and have a checkup and see how it’s going maybe a year from now. Dr. Liu, is there anything else you would like doctors to know about bringing in this type of support?

Dr. Edmund Liu 42:42
Well, yeah, I want to share that I have, you know, me and Sierra, we have no financial interest. We’re really trying to sell that product but no, we, you know, we just love the product. You know, we did it, we feel like it’s the best service, you know, available right now on the market, in terms of providing payment options for patients. Yeah.

Regan 43:12
Thank you, Dr. Lu, Sierra, and Oliver, especially for, as Oliver said, your vulnerability, your transparency in sharing your journey, and and your numbers everything along the way. It’s I know this is going to be impactful for others, and they deserve to know that this exists. So thank you for being guests on our show today and I wish you well, and I look forward to seeing you in 2024. I’m going to make it my mission. Thank you for listening to another episode of everyday practices podcast. Chad and I are here every week. Thanks to our community of listeners just like you and we’d love your help. It would mean the world if you can help spread the word by sharing this episode with a fellow dentist and leave us a review on iTunes or Spotify. Do you have an extraordinary story you’d like to share or feedback on how we can make this podcast even more awesome. Drop us an email at podcast@productivedentist.com And don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at productivedentist.com/podcasts See you next week.

 

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