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A Dental Dilemma?

A new trend that we are seeing among physicians across the country, especially internists, is a phenomenon called a “Concierge Doctor.” Fed up with low insurance reimbursements and the need to see a patient every few minutes, Concierge Doctors charge a yearly fee, typically $1500 – $1800 just for the privilege of being their patient!

This fee does include one very thorough physical each year; something they should have been doing anyway! It also comes with guaranteed access to your doctor by telephone and same/next day appointments. An internist with 600 patients (the maximum number) paying $1500 yearly is grossing $900,000 before they even pick up a stethoscope! Even if half of that goes to the company which administers the plan, it’s not a bad deal for the doc. And to that we say – “Way to go!!”

In dentistry things don’t exactly work that way. But we also don’t have to deal with Medicaid and insurance companies cutting our fees by 50% or more. However, just like our physician friends who decided to go “concierge,” we can have problems with our practices plateauing because we simply have a bottleneck. Many dental practices seem to be operating at or near capacity and the dentist and team are not earing nearly as much as they should.

Then it becomes a simple case of economics, and there are only two solutions: raise your fees or increase your capacity. The problem is, many of us are afraid to do either of these.

“If I raise my fees, I’ll lose some patients!” Well, maybe, but just like the concierge doctor, that’s kind of the idea!

Then there is the other choice – increase your capacity. Typically this involves hiring a new hygienist or associate, adding a few treatment rooms, performing more sophisticated procedures, or a combination of those.

“But if I do that, my overhead will go up!!”

Well, maybe temporarily. But if you really are even close to capacity, you’ll be amazed how quickly those hygiene or associate appointments will fill up. And even if they are only seeing a few patients a day while waiting for it to happen, you will be at least meeting your new overhead while growing the practice.

If your practice is not growing but you feel like you are busy and working hard, you are probably at capacity. And while you may not be able to become a “concierge doctor,” you CAN increase your fees, start doing some more lucrative procedures, increase your capacity, or all of the above! Now is the time to get started!!

If you would like more ideas about practice growth, be sure to become a member of Madow Powerhouse Coaching to share ideas with great practices all across the country! We’ll even give you a ton of free resources to get you going! Simply click here or call 1-888-88-MADOW!

A Message For Your Dental Office From Bill Murray

Yes – today is Groundhog Day. Perhaps even more famous now than the day itself is the classic Harold Ramis movie starring Bill Murray. In one of his best roles ever, Murray plays Phil Connors, a sarcastic miserable ego-inflated weatherman for a local TV station who covers Groundhog Day every year.

A blizzard (which ironically Phil failed to predict) keeps him stuck in Punxsutawney an extra day, but that day turns into what seems like an eternity as Phil awakes every morning to find it is still February 2nd.  His negative lifestyle has forced him to live the same day over and over again. After a series of wild daily escapades, it is only when Phil cleans up his act and starts to love life again that he can escape the cycle.

So how about your practice? Are you experiencing a “Groundhog Day?” Are you practicing the same way year in and year out, complaining and whining but making no progress? Has playing it safe led you to a stagnant and unfulfilling practice?

When is the last time you:

  • Learned a new clinical technique and incorporated it into your practice with enthusiasm?
  • Redecorated your office, even with fresh paint, new carpet, different wall hangings – and just created a newer, happier mood?
  • Took the entire team to a high quality practice management course and got out of your comfort zone by truly changing the way you practice?
  • Pumped up your marketing strategies by using Social Media and other current techniques?
  • Joined up with a group of like-minded dentists to brainstorm, share ideas and grow everyone’s practices?
  • Increased your new patient flow by really learning how to handle every single phone call that comes into your office, including “shoppers” and difficult questions such as “Do you take my insurance?”
  • Blocked off a long weekend for the entire team to learn, bond and have a great time together with the ultimate goal of taking your practice to a higher level?
  • …or done ANYTHING to get out of a rut and stop practicing during “Groundhog Day?”

If any of these things ring true to you, make today the day you decide to finally take action! You can have a more successful practice, enjoy dentistry more, and actually, like Phil Connors did, have a much better life. The choice is yours. Make today the day you decide to do it!!

It Might Get Crazy!

Something is happening soon that could knock the socks off of dentistry as we know it. Please read until the end to find out what it is! Here’s the story.

Of all the mega humongous dental conventions, the Chicago Midwinter is by far our favorite. This year it will be held on February 25th -27th, and it’s moving to the new western side of the fabulous McCormick Center in Chicago.

One of the reasons the Chicago Midwinter is so great is that each year on the night before the convention kicks off, Oral Health America presents their annual gala. Not only is OHA a great charity that helps to bring dental health to many underserved Americans, they host a kick-ass event that is one of the best in the field.

The Oral Health America annual gala is a who’s who of the dental profession. All of the top clinicians, lecturers, industry giants and other assorted superstars are there. As a charitable event which is open to the public, many caring dentists attend to give back to the profession and get to rub shoulders and mingle with the stars of dentistry.

The event includes an open bar, great food, live music, cool auctions and is always guaranteed to be a fun night of festivity. We urge you to attend. If you’re not sure, read on!

The thing about these charity events is that sometimes they can be a little, well, stiff. Well – you won’t believe who those wise (or possibly daring) folks at Oral Health America have invited this year to spice it up a bit. That’s right-

THE MADOW BROTHERS will be performing their one-of-a-kind off the wall totally crazy dental musical entertainment at the OHA Gala!!

Maybe the good folks at Oral Health America didn’t know what they were getting into when they invited The Madow Brothers – but it is very safe to say that this will be an event like no other!!

If you’ve seen us perform before, you know that nothing is off limits, no cows are sacred, and the only thing that is certain is that anything goes!! This will be a first in dentistry, and you gotta be there to witness this historic night!

Can you imagine what will happen when the crazy guys of dentistry take the stage at this event? It’s our goal to make sure it will be a night to remember!

Of course we are donating our time and further contributing by purchasing a full table – and we would love to see you there! It’s on Wednesday February 24th at beautiful Union Station in Chicago. The premier event in dentistry will get totally crazy this year! (Even if you can’t make it, it would be fantastic to give them a donation. But hey – you should be there!)

Check it out by clicking here.

Oh – and by the way – we will be doing our now famous full day program – “How To Love Dentistry, Have Fun and Get Rich!” on Saturday February 27th, also at The Chicago Midwinter Meeting. Why not do a Madow Brothers doubleheader?? You won’t have as much fun and learn as much at the same time anywhere in dentistry!!

Creating Wealth For Dentists: Free Teleseminar!!

On January 6th, 2010 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time we will be presenting our first “Can’t Miss” event of the year – and it is FREE!!

As the new decade begins, the number one thing on everyone’s mind is money. We are all asking these very important questions:

“How much money do I have?”
“How much do I need?”
“Will I be able to comfortably retire?” and perhaps most importantly
“How can I earn money on my investments and not have to worry about being crushed when the market goes sour?”

These questions are running through the minds of every dentist. But how do we really know what to do? With real estate still crashing, the markets uncertain, our retirement accounts clobbered and unemployment still high, how can we possibly plan for the future and see the light at the end of the tunnel?

That’s why you need to be on this call with The Madow Brothers and our special guest Ross Jardine. Ross is one of our country’s most recognized financial educators. Founder of Investools, one of the largest investment education companies in the world, Ross has created training programs for CNBC, Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily, TD Ameritrade and many more. He has taught financial strategies to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe for the past two decades and is one of our financial mentors.

On this call you will learn the things you need to survive and thrive in 2010 and beyond. Ross will be sharing with you one of his favorite strategies that actually made money during the Great Depression and all twelve recessions that followed, including the recent financial crisis of 2008. If you don’t have the stomach and nerves for another roller coaster ride, this is for you!

Plus he will be talking about ways to minimize taxes now and in retirement. You will learn why he considers most retirement plans (probably including yours!) to be a tax time bomb!

Over the years, Ross has taught his students why they can do better than the so-called “professional investors” and save tons of fees at the same time. So much incredible information will be shared on this call, and we will even save some time for questions at the end.

If you are concerned or even curious about your financial future, you need to be on this teleseminar. Here are the details:

Creating Wealth For Dentists FREE Teleseminar with The Madow Brothers and special guest Ross Jardine

  • Wednesday, January 6th

  • 8:00 – 9:00 PM, Eastern Time

  • 1-402-237-2015

  • Passcode: 547807#

Please note – our last few teleseminars have been so crowded that many people got shut out. Don’t let that happen to you! We suggest that you call a few minutes early to be guaranteed a spot to hear this fantastic call. The call will last one hour and you do not want to miss any of it! Your financial future depends on having access to the best information, and Ross Jardine is the real deal!!

This Is Guaranteed To Make You Feel Good About Dentistry!

One of the great things about dentistry is being able to enhance patient’s lives so significantly. Allowing people to look better, smile more readily, be free of pain, chew and function normally, live longer and have nice fresh breath for speaking and kissing are just a few of the things we do to improve the lives of everyone we touch. Even the most basic dental procedures are incredibly important – without good dental hygiene and regular cleanings millions more teeth would be lost every year.

Unfortunately even in the United States there are many citizens who have little or no access to oral health care. Many of these people, especially children, will have their futures dampened due to dental disease and lack of care. At The Madow Group, we are huge believers in helping the less fortunate achieve excellent dental health. We urge you to make 2010 the year that you help a few members of your community by providing free or low cost dental treatment. It will make you, the entire team and your patients feel even better about what you do.

Want to get involved on a larger scale? There are ways that you can touch thousands of deserving people from traditionally underserved parts of the country. For over fifty years, Oral Health America has been improving public health by eliminating oral disease through educating and empowering communities to provide access to care, and advocating for policies that create oral health parity.

Here are just a few examples of their great work:

ACCESS: OHA is close to their goal of providing 1,000,000 dental sealants to 225,000 children by 2010.

EDUCATION: Their messages of dental hygiene, proper professional care and healthy food choices have appeared in news sources which have reached over 170 million people.

ADVOCACY: For every American that lacks medical insurance, approximately two lack dental insurance. Only about one third of children covered by Medicaid obtain dental services each year. Oral Health America is advocating for the mouth to be included as one of our nation’s healthcare priorities, and is working in partnership with other oral health leaders to educate policymakers about disparities in access, social and economic equity, workforce, and effective community-based interventions.

We support this fantastic organization and hope that you will too. Please visit their website at www.oralhealthamerica.org to learn about the multitude of things they are doing to educate and improve the oral health care of so many in this country. While you are there learning about the fantastic work of this organization, we urge you to donate whatever you can afford. It’s guaranteed to make you feel even better about the great things we do in dentistry!

What’s Your BHAG? You Need To Know!

Yes – it’s that time of year again- the time when you get stuck with a really stupid white elephant gift from the annual gift exchange, drink too much at the office party and reveal a really embarrassing moment  from your past, get all nostalgic for something that wasn’t all that great anyway – and maybe, just maybe, begin thinking about next year.

When things in the office slow down a bit due to the holidays and you have a few more days off than usual, it is a good time to think about the future, namely your BHAG. So just what is a BHAG?

A BHAG is a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” – a long term picture of where you see things going – not a one year plan, but a futuristic vision of what you would like to accomplish many years from now. When you do your short term planning you need to keep your BHAG in mind.

What are some examples of BHAGs? Here’s one.

“By the end of the decade we will send a man to the moon and have him return safely home again.”

Most people know this was one of the BHAGs of President John F. Kennedy. He didn’t say that first we would develop the Mercury space capsule and have someone orbit the Earth for a few minutes. But that was certainly one step of many that had to be taken.

Or how about this one from the business world?

“A computer on every desk in every home.”

When Bill Gates said that in 1982, most people, including the big shots at IBM, thought it was ridiculous. What use could the everyday consumer possibly have for a computer in their home? They certainly never pictured that right now this blog would be written on a laptop at 30,000 feet. But Bill Gates did. (Of course, he probably did not think it would be a MacBook!)

So while those are great examples of Big Hairy Audacious Goals, how well do they translate to the dental office? Actually, very well.

Bill Gates had so much work in front of him and his colleagues to get a computer in every home. Things like writing code for an operating system that normal people could use, making processor chips small and powerful enough to fit into a compact enclosure, and tons of other things we now take for granted had to be created for that BHAG to be achieved. But without it, they may never have happened.

So let’s take it to the dental office (or chiropractic, podiatric, medical office or any type of business if you happen to be one of our growing numbers of non-dental followers). Pretty soon you will be sitting down to set your goals for 2010 – or you certainly should be anyway. And in it you will have all of the normal stuff, things like:

  • Increase production and collections by 22% over last year.
  • Obtain 45 new patients each month.
  • Begin the interview process and hire a second hygienist by March 2010.
  • Complete a course and have a Social Media Marketing program up and running in the first quarter.
  • Ask every single patient if they would like whiter teeth.

Okay – you probably get the picture there. And that is all great stuff. But without the BHAG, you really don’t know where you are going with this. So take off your loupes for a second and put on your binoculars. What do you want to be doing ten years from now?

Maybe you want to sell your practice and work for the new owner, netting enough money on the sale that you can comfortably retire. Or perhaps you want to develop your practice from a one-person show into a multi-specialty group practice. Maybe you want to buy your own building and lease out space to other medical professionals.

Or how about this one – maybe you want to grow your practice by converting associates into partners so that you may be involved clinically just one or two days per week, take off the months of April and September to stay at your resort condo in Hawaii, and keep your income high and your retirement plan funded. Sounds pretty good! That goal is really big, kind of audacious, and pretty hairy too. And the only way to make that happen is to start now!

Team members – does this involve you? Absolutely!! Remember, the more the practice changes and grows, the more you will be rewarded (or should be rewarded anyway). So feel free to pitch in with the BHAG. And you can also have a personal BHAG, so please take some time to contemplate that.

Here is the point. Many offices will be doing their 2010 planning around this time of year, and that is fantastic. But to REALLY know how to plan, you need to know where you are going long term, and for that you need a BHAG.

So go ahead and make one! Make it super big, pretty darn audacious, and really hairy. Don’t worry – you can always modify and change it, so dream large! And then, when you begin your 2010 planning, keep the BHAG in mind.