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Everything Dental Blog – November 2014

Everything Dental Blog – November 2014

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Who Are These Boomers?

Dental offices should always be aware of “who” their patients are. A large percentage of your demographics are “the Baby Boomers”.

Does your team really know who they are?

Some of those rebellious, peace loving hippies of the sixties are your Baby Boomer patients. These flower children, stoners and antiwar protesters did not grow old to be your typical senior citizens. Don’t compare them to your grandparents from 40 years ago. These patients are dynamic people and they have a bank of knowledge and life experience beyond our comprehension.

This generation of educated political activists, entrepreneurs, captains of industry and civil servants have lived through five plus generations of change. Most are disciples of WWII parents and are likely grandchildren of immigrants from Europe. They grew up with playing cards, transistor radios and Etch A Sketch and then graduated to a world of wireless web, iPad’s and smart phones!

They’ve lived through the Cold War, Vietnam, Kent State, the assassination of JFK and Martin Luther King, witnessed the Apollo space missions and survived the infamous gas wars/shortages of the 70’s and Y2K. These seniors are very much a part of today’s technological revolution but their values and beliefs are from a simpler time. These wonderful patients want to stay healthy. They want to live long and productive lives and they want to look good!

While the Boomers have the money today, the Millenniums are the emerging consumer of tomorrow. They get their info on the run (mobile technology) and have grown up with search engines and e-commerce. Don’t expect them to show the same loyalty we have today with the Boomer. They want quality delivered fast, efficiently, painlessly and economically.

My daughter is 24, I am 55 and my mother in law is 83. Each of us has different priorities and we view the world through a different lens. We also differ in our capacity to accept treatment ($) or indulge in elective procedures. However, in most cases a trained professional can treatment plan all three of us while providing affordable payment options. When you and your team acknowledge a patients demographic, behavior style and out of pocket responsibility, it will help you communicate and design the right treatment and financial plan for them.

The Take away: We must always treat our patients with respect when discussing their healthcare and dental treatment options. Consider the audience when delivering dental advice and educate your staff about those demographic sensibilities. 

Do not blame your poor performance on insurance participation, poor patient dental IQ or untrained and unengaged staff. Good leadership with a great team can accomplish anything. An efficient practice in a modern facility (correct # of operatories and current technology) will execute if they have the right systems in place.

Most practices can be productive and profitable when the correct systems and training are the owner’s priority. If you are not growing your business, then it is declining. If your production and collections are stagnant then you need help because costs are rising and your bottom line is shrinking. There is no harm in having a coach or working with a consultant. The harm is lacking the humility to ask for help.

Please feel free to call me for a no obligation discovery meeting with a professional coach or consultant. This conversation will be held in the strictest of confidence. Selecting a coach or consultant requires due diligence and knowledge of your practice. I am here to help you identify the right coach for you and your practice.

 

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Optimists believe that the political gridlock and economic uncertainty that has paralyzed our government will improve after the Midterm Elections.

The politics of our time both domestically and internationally are turbulent and at times seem insurmountable. One cannot tell if the U.S. congressional posturing is the result of political belligerence or hostility against the current administration’s policies. And the fear of terrorism clouds any and all hope for peace and tranquility here and abroad.

This Midterm election will set the stage for the 2016 Presidential Election and todays policy decisions will set the course for America in the next decade or more. There are hundreds of domestic, social, economic and international policy decisions that will become front and center over the next few years and it is critical that we get it right. Please learn the issues, get your information from good sources and VOTE! Our children deserve an America that supports the rights and values of its citizens and they deserve a pathway to the American Dream!

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

To my clients, co-workers and business associates. Thank you for your trust, loyalty, support and confidence. This past year has been the most rewarding in all of my 23 years in dentistry. This year I have traveled a great deal. I attended many CE programs and represented HSD at various industry functions and events. My blogging and social networking continues to evolve and my relevance in the dental services and consulting arena has grown exponentially.

However my greatest achievement to date is that my clients continue to outperform their neighbors. I have the best clients in the industry and we are (the majority of us) mutually invested in each other’s development. Many of my clients are serious students of the clinical and business applications of dentistry and perform accordingly. Another reason for some of my client’s success is they use one of the industry’s best kept secrets. The have a Henry Schein Practice Analysis done annually and measure their progress. This color coded road map/practice analysis evaluates your current fees so you can see revenue lost or gained based on percentiles. The analytical data is priceless as it illustrates your code utilization, production numbers and lets you know about opportunities in your radiology, preventive and other key areas in your practice(s).

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The Greater New York Dental Meeting is not just the industry’s largest meeting and equipment showcase. It is an instrument of measurement that helps us gauge the mood and prosperity of our industry during the last and final quarter of the year. After 23 consecutive years of attendance, it is clear that this meeting reflects the state of our industry. The vendor booths and the size of the show floor plan reflect corporate investment and their commitment to organized dentistry. The attendance numbers tell us the level of engagement and the popularity of the venue. And the business done at these shows is an indicator of the economy. It also helps us understand what is on our clients want/wish list. And lastly, the show rewards those that command the business.

As with all measurement, the variables are subject to change. In general, the larger dental meetings are being challenged by smaller, local venues, web based continuing education and a sluggish economy. Additionally, the technological revolution requires dentists to invest in the computerizing and digitization of their facilities instead of replacing tired and aging traditional equipment.

Popular Dentist Dilemma: Do I digitize my pan (2D/3D) or get a digital impression scanner or replace that operatory that is getting old but still works?

Dentists must focus on their practice and invest in technology to remain competitive. Interest rates are low and in many cases, the dentist can buy/lease their equipment now and defer payments for up to 6 months. Additionally, these purchases qualify for a write off on the dentists 2014 taxes! This allows the dentist to generate income before making any lease payments. Dentists are encouraged to develop a growth strategy and business plan with their CPA.

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