Ep 87: Uncovering Hidden Production Potential with Call Force

Did you know… for every $1 in production you’re getting now, there’s another $1.40 waiting for you? To get that additional $1.40, simply put your overdue patients on the schedule. That’s according to the latest stats from Dental Intelligence. So, how do you get those overdue patients to schedule? That’s the subject of today’s episode of the Double Your Production Podcast.

We’re diving into:

  • The 140% increase in production that’s hidden in your practice and how to recall the 56% of all patients who are overdue
  • The best time of day to call patients to get them on the schedule
  • Why 22.4 calls are needed to schedule patients (and how to bypass this problem)

Welcome to the Double Your Production Podcast with the Team Training Institute. The one place designed for dentists and their staff who want to grow their practices by following in the footsteps of those that have done it, who are in the trenches, who know exactly what you're going through. And now your leaders, the stars of the podcast, Dr. John Meis and Wendy Briggs.

Dr. John Meis: Hey everybody, welcome to this episode of the Double Your Production Podcast. I'm Dr. John Meis here with Wendy Briggs. Hey Wendy?

Wendy Briggs: Hey, Dr. John.

Dr. John Meis: How are you doing?

Wendy Briggs: I'm well, it's a beautiful day can't complain.

Dr. John Meis: I'm so excited about our guest today because one of the really most impactful thing that's happening in the dental profession right now is the fact that finding people to work has become more difficult. For the first time in my career, finding people is the biggest challenge that dental practices have right now. And so that's not going to change any time soon, hopefully, it will change but it's not going to be anytime soon. And so we have to think about innovative strategies of, how do we get the work done even though we have a workforce that's not as high as it used to be. And I'm so happy that we have Cory Pinegar with us from CallForce, because talk about innovation and using technology and using connections he's really got it figured out. So, hey Cory, how are you doing?

Cory Pinegar: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on.

Dr. John Meis: Good, good. So why don't you walk us through CallForce and walk us through what is really making an impact for your clients?

Cory Pinegar: Yeah, so just a brief background. We started about four years ago, we serviced a couple of thousand dental practices and really what we're honing in on is missed opportunity. Dental practices every day are creating opportunity through treatment that is not scheduled, through overdue patients that go untouched, through missed phone calls. You know there's a stat actually from Dental Intelligence that says if a practice does a million dollars a year, they're actually sitting on about $2.4 million in total production. So the goal of our company is to say, how do we provide a better patient experience to our patients, which also drives more revenue for our practice. Those are the two main things and then all of the five services that we deliver fall under that umbrella.

Dr. John Meis: Sure, sure.

Wendy Briggs: Some of these services I find interesting, Cory that you guys offer and we'll have you get into the details on those in just a few minutes, but these are the things that many dental practices even when they have a full staff don't want to do. They're always on the to-do list that no one ever has time to do, right? And so when we look at the numbers of unscheduled patients over the years, it can be really, really massively high for some of these practices. And that's just one of the things that you do, right? So I think even when a team does have a full staff, we have to be realistic about how the team is spending their time and the things that they always... you know things that they don't want to do aren't taking a high priority. And so often they go unfinished anyway, right?

Cory Pinegar: There are back burner items that are not fun. I know that on average for dental office it takes 22.4 calls to schedule an overdue patient. And so during your, or after your lunch break, or when there's an extra 30 minutes, the last thing a team member usually wants to do, when it's not their dedicated task is to go through the unscheduled treatment list or the overdue recall list and get those patients on the schedule. And because of that, that doesn't happen, which just leaves a greater amount of unscheduled treatment and a greater amount of lost revenue.

Dr. John Meis: Yep. So true. Awesome. Well, what is it that you do to fill this gap that's happening in practices?

Cory Pinegar: Yeah, really good question. I mean, to kind of dive into our individual services, number one, and our most popular service is overdue patient recall. About 56% of all patients, according to Dental Practices are overdue or 18 months or more are overdue. And so what we do is from 5:00 to 7:30, when people are at home, because the biggest issue is a dental practice could call at 10:15 in the morning, but kids are getting dropped off at school, groceries are getting shopped for, people are at work. People are harder to reach, but when people get home at 5:00 or 5:30, they have a little more time and they have the ability to talk to someone. So we dial from the practice's phone number and we're booking that patient once they agree to schedule directly into the practice management software. So when the practice goes to work the next day, they say, "Hey, that four o'clock that had opened up due to a cancellation was filled by our team."

Cory Pinegar: Then we have unscheduled treatment. So we actually went out and hired X treatment coordinators, X office managers, people who had worked significant time in a dental practice and said, "From the same timeframe, let's make calls, but let's work on their unscheduled treatment list. Let's convert one of that $1.4 million of treatment that's on the books, that's not getting completed." Which gives patients a higher level of care, better oral health and drives a significant amount of revenue. So those are our two outbound services, then on the inbound side, we help with missed calls. 32% of all calls, all patients go missed. Whether that be someone calling in for an emergency and they end up going to another practice and that patient is lost. A new lead that you paid $100 to spend on is just going to call the next school listing, or we can look at just a traditional patient calling in to schedule a hygiene appointment. It all will ring them through to us. You have a dedicated team and we're booking these patients in your practice management software the way that you would want.

Cory Pinegar: We don't work on a rubric of saying, "Hey, we're going to slap a hygiene appointment there for an hour." If you block schedule, if you stagger schedule we're going to follow those. If certain insurances are in and out of network, we're going to verify that before we're putting the patient on the schedule. Our goal is not to be a solution that's outsourced, but to be an extension of your practice.

Cory Pinegar: And the final thing that we offer is eligibility and insurance verification. We all know that you can wait 45 minutes on the phone for Delta Dental, and sometimes we just don't have time to do that for all 20 or 30 patients we're going to see in a day. So each of our team members works for dedicated practices, works on their custom form, and then is getting that information in 48 to 72 hours in advance so the practice is ready to go. And we really work hard to make our information visible so that the doctor can walk in and know exactly what he can offer that's covered, which increases the level of patient care for the patient, but also drives more revenue and production per visit.

Dr. John Meis: Awesome that it's all designed around keeping the chairs full because we know that's the biggest challenge particularly right now is last minute cancels and then trying to get the book full. You've got something that's got just checking in the background that doesn't even affect the office whatsoever. Because typically when something falls off the schedule, they're busy with what's happening right now, right? And so they can't necessarily break away to deal with it right now, but because you've got a team that's on the sidelines that can have a major difference on that.

Cory Pinegar: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And that's our sole job. We'll only get paid when we're booking patients and putting them on the schedule because we believe in providing value for what we do.

Dr. John Meis: Sure. Yeah.

Wendy Briggs: I love this. You know, our high-level practices know how much time we spend on a couple key things that you have solutions for, right? We talk about our practice success loop and how everything begins on the phone. We know about these call rates, we've talked about it and tried to help practices know how to improve that for probably more than 10 years. We know about the key with recall and the key with patient retention, how that can drive profitability so that's our 7R's, you help provide support with that. We talk about unscheduled treatment plans with the two, two, two, right? We have a process that we teach our practices to utilize, contacting the patient after two days, two weeks, two months. So you provide support with that.

Wendy Briggs: In the same vein of the importance of handling the phones well, we know that a lot of calls can be missed because of those insurance verification calls and trying to gather that insurance information on that new patient phone call. So those calls can be 12 to 15 minutes long when they should be two minutes long. You know, all of these high-level systems that we've taught over the years, what I think is so exciting about what you are doing is that you're providing backup and support for all of these systems that many of the practices that follow us are working on already, right? So my question to you Cory, is what do you say to the teams that say, they're going to mess it up, they're not going to get it right. I don't want to turn over our schedule to an outsider who may not... They're going to put a patient in the wrong spot or do it improperly. What would you say to kind of alleviate some of those concerns?

Cory Pinegar: Yeah. First of all, that's a very real concern because every practice is different. And the reality is a lot of people, just like a lot of people have had bad experience with marketing companies, a lot of people have bad experiences when they outsource or offshore something. And first and foremost, we don't view ourselves as an outsource solution. Our goal isn't... We don't have a phone where we're dialing and making each call. We've built systems and technology and spend millions of dollars developing unique systems that allow it to do it at a more advanced level. Instead of just taking your recall list and calling through it, we're actually pre-sorting it by the insurances that you have, then likelihood that they're going to show up, the amount of unscheduled treatment on the books. And so we are looking to take something over and to do it at the next level and not just be a cheaper or a solution to get it done.

Cory Pinegar: But second of all is all we focus on is dental. We, every day are looking at how do we schedule better? How do we advise better? And our team members are compensated on the quality of job that they do. So it's not based on, "Hey, just show up and schedule as many patients as you can." They actually have to pass a quality score which they go through twice a month, which is, did you schedule in the right column? Did you schedule at the right link? Did you put in the proper coats? Did you say everything on the call that you should have said to fall in line with the practice and to be a superstar on the phone? If we're not doing that at a 96% or above rate, they're not going to receive their commission or their bonus for the month.

Cory Pinegar: We realized that we're not representing ourselves. We are representing the practice and because of that, we need to do a darn good job because our name's not at the line, but it is the practices that trust us every single day. And as soon as we divide or take apart that bridge of trust, the game is over. So that's the first thing.

Cory Pinegar: The second thing is we actually don't do a ton of marketing as a business. We believe in providing a really good product and solution, and we believe people will talk about that. And so we have not done an online ad. We rarely go to conferences, but we believe if we do a really good job people talk about it and that will grow our business. So our focus and our dollars go to our operational performance.

Dr. John Meis: Awesome. So you work... In our prep work, we identify that you work with a lot of big groups, kind of what is the... Is this a service that you provide for individual locations or tell me how that works?

Cory Pinegar: Yeah. No, it's a really good question. So we work with a solo practice all the way up to a thousand practices plus. At scale, a lot of enterprise companies have centralized services and so we have worked with a lot of your larger DSOs, but when we started, we started with every solo practice and we work very well there. The type of dentists we're looking for, our ideal customer isn't a number of locations, but it's a mindset of growth. So you could be a startup that's looking to grow and you can be at 800 locations looking to go to 900 and if you have that mindset of let's grow while providing better patient care, we're the right solution.

Dr. John Meis: Yeah. So you've taken all those jobs that front office team members do when they have time and now you've created a group of people that that's their thing. That's what they're having time to do because often those things don't get done, particularly in a busy growing office. And so they end up just there's a lot of... When it comes to phone calls, there's a lot of chaff to go through before you get to some wheat like you talked about 20 some calls before we get an appointment. And that's daunting for team members and very discouraging, yet if you have someone that's a professional at that one particular thing, they understand that's normal and they just click right through it. But often people in the office just gets too discouraged and too distracted by something that comes up.

Wendy Briggs: I envision it as people in the dental practice are juggling, right? They got a lot of balls in the air and I don't know if you've ever seen a professional juggler, at some point there's too many balls and they can't keep them all in the air. And some of those balls are going to get dropped and what we see is too often, these balls are being dropped and the dentist, the owner doctor doesn't even know. And what can happen to the practice growth and profitability is really tragic. I was reviewing a practice analysis just yesterday and there was more than 5,000 patients on the unscheduled treatment plan list. More than 5,000 patients that no one was working, right? And so these balls are being dropped and we're not even aware of it. We're aware of other things, we're focused on other things.

Wendy Briggs: So I love that just like Dr. John said, you've got a team of professionals that is their focus. They're not having to try to handle the patients coming in, prepare a treatment plan, make sure the patient experience is top-notch, manage all the drama that's occurring in the back of the office, keeping the doctor happy. Like all of that isn't in their sphere, right? So they are able to have a hyper-focused effort, which I think is why you're so successful and why CallForce is growing so much is because you are helping become an extension of these practices. And it's so needed, right?

Cory Pinegar: No. I mean, that's what we're here to do and we're here to make the system every day better. How can we improve our scripting? How can we improve the times that we're calling at? How can we improve the show rate of the patients that we're scheduling with our scripting? So there's so much to do within those services to make them highly efficient and that's our whole effort every single day.

Dr. John Meis: That's awesome. Yeah. That's awesome. And I can see how this would have a profound effect on probably just about any practice that has capacity to fill. So, that is awesome.

Cory Pinegar: Yeah, you did say something very important. There needs to be open chairs. If a practice is completely maxed out, our service does not provide much value with where they are.

Dr. John Meis: Yep. That's absolutely right. Making sure that we have that capacity and demand in balance. And if it gets out of bounce too much capacity, man, you are the place to go. That is awesome. I'm really excited to learn about this. I didn't know much about you Cory before, even though we've met before, I didn't know that much about your company. And four years, and you're up to how many locations now that you're serving?

Cory Pinegar: Over 2,000.

Dr. John Meis: That's incredible growth rate. Wow.

Wendy Briggs: And how many team members do you have calling every day?

Cory Pinegar: 380.

Wendy Briggs: Yeah. That speaks volumes about the services you're providing. If you didn't do a great job, you wouldn't be growing at that rate. So I think that's really exciting. So Cory, on our podcast homepage, we often have resources or a PDF or a link where our listeners can learn more about our guests. So could you provide something for us so we can have that for our listeners on our W Production Podcast homepage?

Cory Pinegar: Absolutely.

Dr. John Meis: That'd be great. Very good. Well, thanks Cory. Thanks for telling us about CallForce. I think it's an innovative product and you're really at right place in the market right now because there's so many practices that are struggling without being able to fill the full team. And this is a great way we can outsource or shift your team into our team and get some of these things done, that just really in a lot of practices are not happening right now.

Cory Pinegar: Well, I appreciate the opportunity to be on and whether practices want to use us or not, we want to be a resource. We are a completely open book on how we make calls, how we pull lists, how we have made eligibility and verification checks quicker. Our goal is to be an open book to provide the industry growth and stability and so if people have questions on how we do things or best practices reach out to us and we're happy to provide our complete playbook.

Wendy Briggs: Love that.

Dr. John Meis: All right. Very good.

Wendy Briggs: Yeah. It was a great, great conversation and I know you'll probably have some of our listeners reach out because it is something that so many of them desperately need. So we appreciate your time and your insight for sure.

Cory Pinegar: Awesome. Thanks everyone.

Dr. John Meis: Thanks, Cory and thanks for listening to this episode of the Double Your Production Podcast. We'll see you next time.

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