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4 Profitability Tips from a Dental Intel Executive – Episode 271


4 Profitability Tips from a Dental Intel Executive

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When it comes to increasing profits, what’s the lowest hanging fruit in your practice?

On this episode of the Dentist Money™ Show, Ryan welcomes special guest Curtis Marshall of Dental Intelligence. As master of all things data, Dental Intel is well-known for helping practices follow a daily roadmap to reach greater long-term success.

Almost every practice can find a way to tweak its performance and create greater profits. The trick is to know where to look. Ryan and Curtis examine four areas within every practice where additional profits can be found.

 

Show Notes:
get.dentalintel.net/dentist-advisors

 


 

Podcast Transcript

Ryan Isaac:
Welcome everybody, to another episode of The Dentist Money Show. Today, I have Curtis Marshall from the mighty Dental Intel talking about data and organization. And tracking all the important stuff in your practice and how to improve from where you’re at today to get you to where you want to go in the future.

Ryan Isaac:
Man, great interview. Thanks, shout out to Curtis and the crew at Dental Intel, they do such a great job. If you have any questions for us to go to DentistAdvisors.com, click the book free consultation link and enjoy the show.

Announcer:
Consult an advisor or conduct your own due diligence when making financial decisions. General principles discussed during this program do not constitute personal advice. This program is furnished by Dentist Advisors, a registered investment advisor. This is Dentist Money, now here’s your host Ryan Isaac.

Ryan Isaac:
Welcome to The Dentist Money Show where we help dentists make smart financial decisions. I’m your host Ryan Isaac, here with what looks to be like my twin brother, my long lost secondary cousin, Curtis Marshall. Curtis, what’s happening, man? Thanks for joining us. Thanks for being on the show.

Curtis Marshall:
I’m giving myself a round of applause. Hey, thanks for having me on Ryan, I really appreciate it. Always a pleasure to meet up with you, whether it’s in person or right now virtually. This is awesome.

Ryan Isaac:
Last time we met this was pre-COVID shutdown. It was at a dinner in a cool place in Scottsdale. What was the event we were attending, was that-

Curtis Marshall:
That’s a good question.

Ryan Isaac:
And we sat at that dinner and then we talked for five hours and we hung out forever. Remember that night? That was a good night man.

Curtis Marshall:
[crosstalk 00:01:29]-

Ryan Isaac:
I don’t remember what the event was.

Curtis Marshall:
I don’t remember what it was either but it was a great time.

Ryan Isaac:
You are with Dental Intelligence, AKA for the cool kids, Dental Intel, DI for the really cool ones. How about you intro? I always think me reading other people’s intros to their face is so weird. I don’t like it when people do it to me. They’re like, “Ryan Isaac is a portfolio expert.” I’m like, “I’ll just say, ‘Hi.'” Tell us, if people don’t know you, which I think would be a little absurd, who are you? Where do you hail from? What do you do? What’s up with your awesome chain?

Curtis Marshall:
Awesome. Yeah. Well, thanks again for letting me come on with you but myself love the dental industry. I started in the dental industry myself back, shoot, almost 20 years ago. Helped my in-laws take their practice from about 1 million, $2 million practice to over $7 million practice.

Ryan Isaac:
That’s how you got started? I don’t think I ever knew that. It was like a family favor or were you like in a consulting role of some kind before that?

Curtis Marshall:
No, so kind of interesting. So my in-laws went to a conference and found that, “Oh hey, we need more people.” And to get people outside of dental to come into the dental office as employees, right? I had a marketing background, I did some sales and in fact, one of my favorite jobs I ever had was I sold T-shirts on beaches in Aruba and Mexico and St. Martin and yeah, all over.

Ryan Isaac:
I have so many good T-shirt ideas, man, we need to revive that company. I’ll just give you phrases and you print them and sell them.

Curtis Marshall:
Those were some good times.

Ryan Isaac:
That’s amazing.

Curtis Marshall:
So when there was a treatment coordinator, did their marketing and moved to more management there and we rocked it. And one of the issues I had though when working in dental offices was getting reports, finding out why something happened. Because like for example, doctor would come to me and this happened, Doctor/father-in-law comes to you, and says, “Hey Curtis, you had a great month last month. What did you do?” And I’m like, “I worked my tail off.”

Ryan Isaac:
I started bringing my own lunches in to work instead of going out? I don’t know. Yeah, it’s like hard to tell.

Curtis Marshall:
Right. And so with that being said, well we came up with a dumb reason. We can talk about that some other time. I thought it was some other reason it had to do with cookies. Anyway, so next month we tried to do the same thing and we failed miserably. So it’s like, well wait, what was it that we did?

Curtis Marshall:
After I left that office, essentially helped start and got Dental Intel going, which Dental Intel is we grab all the data out of the practice management system like Dentrix, Eaglesoft, Open Dental. We grab that data, clean it up and give it to you in a crystal ball and say, “This is what to do today. In order for you to hit your goal, in order for you to do what you want, do this today.” And hat’s myself and what Dental Intel is.

Ryan Isaac:
So cool, man. It’s like the power of having data and being extremely organized before you try to make any decisions at all, and then tracking that data over time. It gives you so much power. It gives you the power of math, the power of numbers man, to make decisions instead of like those gut feelings about cookies where you’re like, “I think it’s cookies or something.”

Curtis Marshall:
Yeah, or I think it’s because we start putting cologne on or we started to clean up the front area, whatever it might be, those are emotional decisions that we’ve always done in many aspects of business and especially dental or in our own personal lives. And so it’s really cool to understand what to do today with information, if you know what you’re looking at and that’s-

Ryan Isaac:
That’s so cool.

Curtis Marshall:
… a few things that we can go over today.

Ryan Isaac:
So cool, man. Yeah, we’ll get into that. I’m curious man, I remember the early days with you and Westin and Clay, and we’d go to lunch near your office and talking about the early iterations of the software and how promising it was. So fast forward, I don’t know what year that would been, maybe 2011, 2012ish.

Curtis Marshall:
You’re dating us a little too old. I think it was closer to ’15, ’16. Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
2015, 2016.

Curtis Marshall:
Yeah but-

Ryan Isaac:
Years, they run together.

Curtis Marshall:
… regardless it was a while ago.

Ryan Isaac:
A while ago. So fast forward to where we are January 2021, how many offices are you in or have you been in like the software and tracking?

Curtis Marshall:
So that’s a great question. We’ve now sunk over 20,000 offices and currently we’re in just under 10.

Ryan Isaac:
Sunk as in past tense of sync.

Curtis Marshall:
Yeah, that’s actually a good point. I don’t if that’s the right terminology.

Ryan Isaac:
I’ve heard sunk and I’ve been reading this book about pilot ships and sailing, and that’s the first thing I thought is you sunk 20,000 offices. That doesn’t make sense to me but sunk as in you sinked. Sunked.

Curtis Marshall:
Whatever but so we gathered data from about 20,000 offices.

Ryan Isaac:
That’s incredible man, that’s like 10% of the dental industry in terms of total practicing dentists. That’s pretty wild. We got some great points here. We’re going to talk a little bit about profitability numbers and just some targets you guys have perfected and how do people reach these things and what to shoot for.

Ryan Isaac:
But first let’s just talk about what you guys saw ending 2020, starting 2021. If there’s any just high-level takeaways from data you collected. It was weird year because most offices were down in revenue. Although some people outproduced their 2019 numbers, which was crazy, but a lot of people were down in revenue but they were up in cash because of the government programs.

Ryan Isaac:
So it was really, it was strange from a personal financial planning standpoint to see drops in revenue of 20 to 25, 30%, but then sitting on more cash than they’ve ever had in their lives, too. So what did you guys see or notice, observations do you have after that crazy year?

Curtis Marshall:
Man, was it ever first off, right? That 2020 was insane. What we noticed in dentistry was interesting. So typically dental offices for the last 100 years, they’ve been looking at three main numbers, production, collections, new patients, that’s typically what people … And then sometimes your bank account.

Ryan Isaac:
And the bank account, yeah, for sure. How much cash you’ve got.

Curtis Marshall:
But for the practice you typically look at those three numbers. Well, we do have a formula, it’s called the profitability formula. And rather than looking at those three numbers, we’ve broken out into four different categories in order to improve a practice, everything can be based on it and it’s called the profitability formula.

Curtis Marshall:
So the profitability formula is four steps. First is visits, which would include new patients. It also would include reappointing, getting your patients to come back in, filling up the holes, all of those, case acceptance, more visits.

Ryan Isaac:
So visits, okay visits number one.

Curtis Marshall:
Second is what’s called production per visit. So for example, when you go to Jiffy Lube or the local lube store to get your car done. What do they-

Ryan Isaac:
Your local lube store. Yeah, you go there a lot.

Curtis Marshall:
[inaudible 00:09:17] there, right?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. No. Yeah, Jiffy Lube.

Curtis Marshall:
Right before they’re done, they bring you up and they say to you, what?

Ryan Isaac:
To be honest, my wife goes to Jiffy lube, so I don’t know. What are they asking you?

Curtis Marshall:
They come up to you and they say to you, “Hey, look, it looks like your windshield wipers aren’t working or your filter is dirty.”

Ryan Isaac:
Oh the other stuff. Yes, the [crosstalk 00:09:40] track.

Curtis Marshall:
For some reason, even though I just changed my filter two days ago-

Ryan Isaac:
It’s always dirty for you.

Curtis Marshall:
It’s always dirty.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, they’re like, “Sir, you need a new filter like stat. I don’t know how you’ve been getting along with this old thing.” And you just did it. Yeah. Chipped windshields. Okay, I know what you’re talking about now. Chipped windshields, windshield wipers. Yeah, okay.

Curtis Marshall:
They’re included and also back in the late 90s, early 2000s you had, “Do you want fries with that?” Right, the whole McDonald’s aspect. So the second aspect of the profitability formula is production per visit, increasing or being aware of what you’re producing per visit. Okay?

Ryan Isaac:
Production per visit. You’re talking about the whole office. You’re talking about the providers, the dentists, the hygiene [inaudible 00:10:27] everything that’s going on.

Curtis Marshall:
Visit comes in, that’s one. Right? And how let’s say you saw 10 people come in the office, that’s 10 visits and you produced $10,000 total. That means you’re $1,000 per visit. Then you can break it down and say, “In hygiene, what am I in restorative?” What am I but-

Ryan Isaac:
It’d be like a subcategory number two.

Curtis Marshall:
Bingo. Yeah. So production per visit though is fantastic to know what’s happening, and this is going to roll back into what happened with COVID in 2020. The third aspect is not how much you collected, it’s what’s your collection percentage. Very key here, Ryan, and you’ve worked with money and with a lot of different dentists. If a dentist were to produce a million dollars, what does a typical dentist think that he or she should be collecting?

Ryan Isaac:
800 and above, 80% or more.

Curtis Marshall:
Okay, that would be you, yourself right?

Ryan Isaac:
Yes. Right.

Curtis Marshall:
A guy who doesn’t know money typically, typically think that, or a girl, think that they should be collecting if they produce a million?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Oh, they think they should be collecting … Yeah, exactly.

Curtis Marshall:
A million.

Ryan Isaac:
A million, all of it. Every penny needs to come in the door like we produced it, it’s coming in.

Curtis Marshall:
Why isn’t it coming in? Right. I produced this money. So that portion is very key to know the percentage. Now you said 800,000, which would be 80%.

Curtis Marshall:
Collection percentage, yeah. 20% right off.

Ryan Isaac:
So how do you increase or do better on collections, you increase your collection percentage.

Ryan Isaac:
That subcategory list is probably fairly extensive like things you can do to increase your collection percentage.

Curtis Marshall:
There’s some wonderful things on that. Yeah, absolutely. On top of that, let’s say my goal every month is to collect a hundred thousand dollars. If I don’t do percentage, but I do dollars instead I need to collect a hundred thousand dollars this month. Right? Well then how much do I need to produce now?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Right. Well over a hundred. Yeah.

Curtis Marshall:
Right? So if you now know your percentage though, let’s make numbers easy, I’m a 50% collection percentage. Great. Well, if I want to produce a hundred thousand this month collect.

Ryan Isaac:
Collect it, you need to produce 200. Yeah.

Curtis Marshall:
If I want to collect, I mean, it’s that simple. And if I want to produce 200,000 then I need to say, “Do I need more visits or more production per visit?”

Ryan Isaac:
I can reverse engineer that to to look at your visits and go like, “Well, these are all cheap procedures or just we need to get some expensive stuff on the books here. Yeah.

Curtis Marshall:
Raise your fees, right, that’d be another way so there’s so many different ways to-

Ryan Isaac:
You need insurance negotiated. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. As you say these things because here’s what comes to mind. A lot of times people get stuck. And you probably see this all the time where a dentist for one reason or another might be legitimate, it might just be emotional. They’re like, “I have to earn more money and I have to get paid more. I need more money.” It might be rational, but usually it’s just like, “I better go get another location, a better install and associate.”

Curtis Marshall:
Better get more new patients.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, needs more new patients.

Curtis Marshall:
Better bake more cookies.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Dozens of things that you can check down the list, but you you won’t know that. You’ll just be guessing at cookies, unless you actually go get the data, gather it, collect it, track it for long enough to analyze it and then make decisions on it.

Curtis Marshall:
And one nice thing especially, I mean it’s 2021. Right. We should be able to have something to look at the data and tell us instantly, which of those three or four levers and the fourth one is overhead. So yeah, visits, production per visit, collection percentage or overhead. There should be something to say, “Hey, in your office your lowest hanging fruit in order to collect more or to get more profits is to do one, which of these four things? It’s in your office it’s X.”

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Curtis Marshall:
This should be in there, too.

Ryan Isaac:
And the subcategories of all these too.

Curtis Marshall:
That’s ultimately. Now you could do this on a piece of paper, on a spreadsheet, whatever you want but that is what Dental Intel is doing.

Ryan Isaac:
So that’s the profitability formula. That’s the title of that, that’s the profitability formula and I feel like you could drill down so deep into those things. You started to say, “Here’s the profitability formula and here’s what we learned out of 2020 in the profitability formula.” What did you see? How did all this stuff get affected?

Curtis Marshall:
So what we saw was the first three months of 2020 it was going great. Everything was normal. Right?

Ryan Isaac:
We remember, it was blitz.

Curtis Marshall:
All of a sudden it dropped, why did it drop? Out of those four areas, Ryan, what was the reason?

Ryan Isaac:
No one came to the office, it was shut down, no visits.

Curtis Marshall:
Bingo, okay. Now here’s where it gets crazy. So we saw that happening. Right. And then what we noticed instantly was, hey, if you don’t have anyone in the office in March, April and May, that means that six months later from March, April and May, you’re not going to have any future visits as well. You could have generational issues going on, right. So the very first thing that we came out and said was and let everybody know, visits, visits, visits. You need to get them rescheduled right now in those future months.

Ryan Isaac:
Immediately. Yeah. So the September, October, November to just don’t get crushed.

Curtis Marshall:
Because it was going to be bad. Yeah. It looked like it was going to be another hit that was COVID related but not the actual virus itself. It was the result of the virus. Right? So got that, fixed that visits. But then what we noticed, as soon as doctors came back in the office, they had bigger months than they’d ever had before.

Ryan Isaac:
Oh yeah, huge. Yeah. I remember calling everyone as they started coming back, June, July, August, everyone’s crushing it.

Curtis Marshall:
Why? And by the way, they weren’t having more visits because a lot of people were worried. We had to do more PPE. Right. Our visits were if not anything lower than typical.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Slower, they were definitely slower.

Curtis Marshall:
Why did they have bigger months though than ever before?

Ryan Isaac:
I think it’s the second one, production per visit. They produced more on every visit, even lower number of visits. That’s my guess anyway.

Curtis Marshall:
My man.

Ryan Isaac:
Was that it? Was that it?

Curtis Marshall:
So it’s shocking how much production per visit went up. Why did it go up? Okay. So why would it go up? Well, all of a sudden you’ve got a doctor and hygienists that have been sitting on their hands for a month to three months depending on where you’re at, sitting on their hands. And when they come back, what’s their energy like? What’s their motivation to help get mouths healthier?

Ryan Isaac:
Oh yeah. You’re no longer in your natural, comfortable, smooth flow of dentistry every day. This’ll be here for 100 years and you’re like, “Well, this was taken away for three months.” Now we have patients with like severe cases. It’s probably some pretty urgent oral health problems going on. And I think it probably, my guess would be just refresh people’s minds to why they’re doing dentistry and how urgent and necessary all this stuff.

Ryan Isaac:
They probably taught and their case acceptance, I would guess, maybe went up too, but they probably educated better and taught better, and with more urgency and sincerity, then maybe they had by being just comfortable and just coasting along. Is that it?

Curtis Marshall:
So you mentioned a lot of things, first off.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay I did, yes.

Curtis Marshall:
So first thing-

Ryan Isaac:
Usually I like to, my strategy is just talk a lot, say a lot of words and then see if one of them worked. Yeah.

Curtis Marshall:
Awesome. So number one, one of the things you mentioned was, “Hey, there’s emergencies. People needed work to be done.” I thought that that was a big issue too, but it wasn’t as big as it was fairly …

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, three months tops.

Curtis Marshall:
It’s stayed the same, it didn’t jump up. Your typical emergencies and regular emergencies, right? So we’re going to throw that one out, okay but there’s another way to increase production per visit. One of them is diagnosing, your diagnostics percentage. Okay. Another one is acceptance percentage. You said both of those. Both of those are subcategories or production per visit. Correct?

Curtis Marshall:
My brother-in-law, I’m not going to tell you, I got a couple of them. I’m not going to tell you which one and they’re all, a bunch of them are dentists. I’m not going to say which one. But one of them said to me, “Curtis, you know what, when I’ve got two people numb in the back and a patient comes in, they come in every six months. I know them and I see something that’s an issue I go, “You know what, this is a watch. We’re going to keep an eye on this.” Right. Because I got to get back to here and I’ve probably got another exam, maybe another exam to do. Right.

Ryan Isaac:
Well, they’re prioritizing urgency. They’re like, “We can get to that later, it’ll be okay.”

Curtis Marshall:
I could either have a 20 minute discussion or a 5 minute discussion right now or just be done in 20 seconds. This is a watch. Now-

Ryan Isaac:
And the patient’s like, “Really? Cool. Sounds good to me. Yeah.

Curtis Marshall:
And so it’s not because he’s being neglectful at all but it’s just human behavior. So when we’re going now back to patients coming back into the office, our diagnostic and collect acceptance. It’s not that doctors were meaning to not do good on both of those in the past. It’s just that I’ve now had time to sit and think, and I’m now going to really pay attention and do my best job at diagnosing every patient and my best job of explaining this to the patient and guess what, they got more dentistry done. Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Higher sense of urgency all of a sudden.

Curtis Marshall:
Yes. Diagnostic and acceptance went up, but it wasn’t because these people hadn’t been brushing their teeth, it was human behavior, right? And so they had their best months ever and one sad thing is we’ve seen those numbers already go back down to their normal rate.

Ryan Isaac:
You’ve seen diagnosed percentage and accepted percentage decline. Wow.

Curtis Marshall:
Going back before pre-COVID numbers.

Ryan Isaac:
Homeostasis. Back to the mean, reversion to the mean. Interesting.

Curtis Marshall:
Offices that are really focusing on those were able to stay. And those are the offices that had their best year ever in 2020 even with having three months off. Go ahead.

Ryan Isaac:
Just that subcategory of that one out of four pieces right there, if a dentist comes to us or you guys and says like, “I need to make more money.” well But that’s just one piece right there you could just drill down and focus on for a year and probably make more money. No added associates, no added staff, no new buildings, no second locations. It’s pretty wild, man.

Ryan Isaac:
This is an important announcement from the Dentist Money Show podcast system. Go to DentistAdvisors.com and click the big, green book-free consultation button. Schedule a time for your free consultation and save your financial future.

Curtis Marshall:
I mean, Ryan, don’t you think it’s a bit much?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, it was probably a little bit much, but I think some of our listeners might find getting a consultation should be more like an emergency.

Curtis Marshall:
They probably should, I mean, we are saving financial lives.

Ryan Isaac:
I’m amazed at the probably, I don’t know, two to three dozen things you can do in a practice that have nothing to do with new locations, new providers or new patients. And still increase not only your production but increase your profitability, which increases your income. It’s pretty crazy how many things you can do and they get overlooked.

Ryan Isaac:
Why do you think that is? Is it just they’re too nitpicky? They’re too nuanced? It takes like six months of tracking data to even know in the first place. Is it because the new location’s sexier? Is it not known? People not know that there’s two dozen things you could do before a new location to make more money?

Curtis Marshall:
Do you want the Curtis answer or do you want-

Ryan Isaac:
I want the best answer to market the podcast. What’s the best snippet here we’re going to cut out and it’s going to be like a hot take, controversial headline answer?

Curtis Marshall:
Well, I’m not going to say that one but know that there’s a couple of factors you got to be aware of here, right? The first one is not knowing where to improve. I don’t know where to improve and I got sold by someone else or I saw someone else do something and oh, I want to do that. Right.

Curtis Marshall:
For example, I mean really basic and simple. Right. My next door neighbor, he works on cars all the time. Right. And I see, oh man, he’s like doing really well fixing up cars. In order to get more money, I’m going to fix cars.

Ryan Isaac:
Side hustle, you should just start fixing cars, I’m sure it’s easy.

Curtis Marshall:
Well, so I did, so I started to work on a car.

Ryan Isaac:
You really did this? Oh, this is great. Okay, cool.

Curtis Marshall:
Yeah. No, listen and it wasn’t even side, it was just like an, “Oh, let me play in this sandbox. This looks great and at nighttime we could hang out together and we could make a couple extra. Oh my gosh, I got my fingers dirty, like greasy for the first time. I’m like, “No, this isn’t for me.” Once again, going back to human behavior, we see someone else doing it and they were successful and we’re like, “Oh, I can do that.” And I know why they did that, whatever reason.

Ryan Isaac:
Or sometimes we don’t know why they did that, it just the outcome was fine.

Curtis Marshall:
That’s what I’m saying.

Ryan Isaac:
The outcome looks good.

Curtis Marshall:
Here’s the blessing and the curse though, Ryan. The blessing and the curse with dentistry is that if you do anything and you actually just put some effort to it, you will increase somewhat. It’s a blessing and a curse within dentistry, right?

Ryan Isaac:
The coolest profession, yeah.

Curtis Marshall:
It’s amazing. Now think about if you are strategic and you put that same amount of effort but 10, 100 times more results.

Ryan Isaac:
I mean, most dentists just don’t have the time and most don’t have the interest or the skill set to do all that stuff anyway. But the good thing is there’s no shortfall of companies in the dental industry to help out, help a dentist grow and run and improve a business. I mean, that’s why like Dental Intel it’s outsourced to you guys and just have a team of experts that’s just perfected the process, do it for you and then tell you what the results were and what you can do about it. And all those dozens of levers they can now pull, “Let’s make some money over here [crosstalk 00:25:16].”

Curtis Marshall:
You just look at three areas every day that are for you, you specific which is going to be different than my father-in-law’s practice. Right?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. If you had to name some of the things that are what are some of the top things people should be looking at every … I mean, you named four, maybe it’s those but are there other things that are some core metrics that should be monitored and organized and analyzed frequently in a practice?

Curtis Marshall:
Oh, well apps. So number one is if you just simply knew what your visits were, your production per visit and your collection percentage. If you even don’t even know overhead, just know those three, you will say, “Oh, this where I want to improve.” Instantly, without even looking at the subcategories. Okay. That’s something that Dental Intel gives him automatically but if you don’t want to give that effort, the best thing to do is every day know how many patients you saw yesterday and how many patients got rescheduled. That is if you take nothing else away from today-

Ryan Isaac:
Why is that? I mean, I can guess but why is that so powerful?

Curtis Marshall:
So well, here’s the quick answer.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s not quick anymore.

Curtis Marshall:
It’s not that quick. Actually, I wanted to say something else. No, here’s the quick answer. If you have 2,000 active patients in a practice, on average how many have a future appointment? In all dental practices what would you guess? Actually let’s make numbers even easier. You have 1,000-

Ryan Isaac:
Active or total? Active patients.

Curtis Marshall:
Active meaning you’ve seen them in last 18 months and they’re marked active.

Ryan Isaac:
1,000 active people you’ve seen in the last 18 months, what percentage of those have scheduled appointments?

Curtis Marshall:
How many of those have a future appointment today?

Ryan Isaac:
I’m going to say 30%.

Curtis Marshall:
Okay. You talk to any office, other office they’re going to say closer to 80, 90%.

Ryan Isaac:
They figure that everyone’s appointed, everyone’s ready to come back scheduled. What is it?

Curtis Marshall:
The average is high 30s, 38, 39% which would be-

Ryan Isaac:
I just assumed because I’m the patient who doesn’t, I don’t schedule. I haven’t been for like a long time.

Curtis Marshall:
I’m going to have to call your dental office.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, give them a shout out, man. I’ll text him after this and see if he’s using Dental Intel because I’m slipping through the cracks. That’s crazy.

Curtis Marshall:
Ryan, I’m telling you, you see that and you just have that remember who cares about how much you produced yesterday or how much you [crosstalk 00:27:57].

Ryan Isaac:
It’s all there, yeah.

Curtis Marshall:
You start with how many patients left your office yesterday without an appointment. So I saw 10 patients yesterday and this many don’t have a future appointment. Okay. Well now and now you’re going to have a discussion.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Why did they leave without an appointment? And then that starts to shed light on holes and cracks in the process, procedure, team training leadership, right, which is a whole other … There’s consultants, insanely good consultants making entire professional careers out of just training teams on why people left without an appointment, nothing else.

Curtis Marshall:
With that specific metric. Yeah. That’s a separate point, right? And if you do that now think about this, what’s the first step of the profitability formula? Visits. The first step of the profitability formula is visits. If you start decreasing the amount of patients that leave your office without an appointment, you’re going to automatically have more visits, and you can’t not have more profits if you have more visits in that scenario.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Number one. I love that, man.

Curtis Marshall:
It’s that simple.

Ryan Isaac:
So when someone works with Dental Intel is that like software gets plugged in, data’s collected, is that the first place you guys begin? Office comes to you from scratch. They’re like, “There’s holes.” I don’t even know where they’re at, I don’t even know what questions to ask. Where do we begin? What’s the process like? Where do you guys start?

Curtis Marshall:
So there’s a lot of different areas that you could start, right?

Ryan Isaac:
You guys probably diagnose and see where to begin, right?

Curtis Marshall:
First question is pretty simple. What do you want to get out of this data? Do you want to produce more? Do you want to collect? What’s your goal, right? And whatever their goal is. But typically where somebody would go first when they first get the data is they don’t have to look at the dashboards. You don’t need to look at yesterday I produced $10,000. Whoop-de-doo. What can I do today to increase what I produced yesterday?

Curtis Marshall:
Unless you have a time machine, unless you’re Bill and Ted, you cannot change what happened yesterday. Right? So what are you going to do today and that’s the product we push people to call morning huddle. And the morning huddle tells them every day tells them number one, how many patients left the office yesterday without an appointment, right?

Ryan Isaac:
As a team you stand around and do it and then stare awkwardly at the person in charge of that. You’re like, “Dude.”

Curtis Marshall:
Well, hopefully you’re not blaming but it’s a team effort that you’re just saying, “Hey, how can we improve?” It’s not a, “How dare you.” It’s like, “Okay, so let’s see here. We got Ryan, he didn’t reschedule for an appointment. That guy is a slacker. How can we get Ryan to schedule next time?”

Ryan Isaac:
You just got to text me a few times, I’ll come back, I will.

Curtis Marshall:
but just having that discussion of saying, Hey, and it’s not even the front desk fault. It’s like saying, “How can we improve that number or that patient, those patients?” Then it takes it on, that was yesterday. Then it takes today and it shows four awesome numbers that you don’t even have to pull. It shows out of the patients coming in today, how many of those patients have unscheduled family members? So Ryan, your wife goes to this doctor’s appointment. That’s a visit right, to the dentist appointment.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. My wife and kids are actually great about their visits.

Curtis Marshall:
Right. They’d go and when-

Ryan Isaac:
I’m the unscheduled family member in that conversation.

Curtis Marshall:
Bingo. So when they come in, you’re now going to talk to Ryan’s wife and say, “Hey, Ryan doesn’t have an appointment.” He doesn’t?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, she’ll schedule that.

Curtis Marshall:
Guess what I just did? I just increased my visits again, but double down on my visits because I’m going to reschedule your wife before she leaves and you. Right?

Ryan Isaac:
I mean, when people ask like, “What’s the biggest mistake dentists make financially?” I personally think it’s a lack of organization in numbers and data. It’s a lack of tracking progress and it’s a lack of accountability to those numbers. And you have to have the cold, hard facts before you make decisions.

Ryan Isaac:
I mean, we operate really the same. If someone hires us, if we don’t make strategic decisions for a month until we just have a month worth of onboarding data and facts and numbers, because then you have to have that first. I love that.

Ryan Isaac:
Let’s end with how about like 2020, we’re gone, we’re done, we’re moving on. Any advice moving forward from lessons learned, things you would tell people this year like, “Hey, let’s do this different moving forward that we’ve had a tough lesson of 2020.” Anything like that?

Curtis Marshall:
So the biggest thing that I would tell anybody for, especially since we’re going to stick with numbers for 2021, is to know where you’re at today and where you want to be at the end of the year. And it’s not just a, “Oh, I’d like to be at $5 million.” No, where are you at today? What did you do last year?

Ryan Isaac:
And you would define where are you at, maybe the begin where are you at in those four categories, visits, production per visit, collection percentage, overhead. That would be a good place to start.

Curtis Marshall:
That would be the best, yeah. Look at each of those and say, “Where do I want to increase? At the end of the year where do I want to be at?” If you have those nobody can stop you. Even if there’s another COVID situation or shut down, no one will stop you if you know where you are and where you’re wanting to go and that’s the biggest.

Ryan Isaac:
We’re ending on that. No one can stop you if you know where you’re at and where do you want to go. Boom. If I didn’t care so much about this mic I would just drop it and we’d hang up. I think everyone knows. Where can people find you and Dental Intel and connect with you guys?

Curtis Marshall:
Well, basic simple, go to our website, DentalIntel.com. I got sent Jess over a link. You know what? I’m also going to include a free download of the profitability formula [crosstalk 00:34:10].

Ryan Isaac:
You’re the man. Okay. So if you’re listening to this, we will make sure to include it in show notes and links, free profitability formula from Dental Intel. So DentalIntel.com, on all the socials easy to find, and then they can find you during a football game this fall. Right?

Curtis Marshall:
Yeah, well hopefully. I went to as many as I could this last year. Hopefully more this next year.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, this was fantastic. I love how it ended, man. That was such a great piece of advice. So thanks for being here and keep doing what you’re doing, man. We love you guys and you’re doing an excellent job in helping the industry at ton, so I appreciate your time and expertise, man.

Curtis Marshall:
Everyone else hope you have a blessed day and we hope to see you again here on the podcast show with Ryan and the next consultant.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. All right, guys, thanks for tuning in. Thanks for joining us. We’ll catch you next time. Take care.

Practice Management

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