Art Wiederman, CPA Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of the Art of Dental Finance and Management with Art Wiederman CPA. Welcome to the podcast. I'm Art Wiederman. I'm a dental-specific CPA located in Southern California. Our CPA firm, Eide Bailly, which we just merged with about a month ago, represents a total of about 700 dentists. My group works with about 300 of them here in Southern California. I'm also a proud member of the Academy of Dental CPAs, which is a 24 CPA firms across the U.S. that represent over 9000 dentists. And we have a special show for you today. My whole mission now that we're about, I was thinking about this one. We're five months into this COVID-19 pandemic. Dental offices have been open for about, oh, I'm gonna guess two to three months now. And we're hearing some really, really good, positive things about dental offices. But one of the things that we're kind of looking at is the fourth quarter and moving into 2021. And one of the things I'm trying to do is to bring you information that will help your profitability. And that's what we're doing today. So today, my guest is Jill Nesbitt, who is the senior customer success manager at Henry Schein One. And she works with a software called Dentrix Ascend and we're very happy to have Dentrix Ascend as our sponsor our show today. So thank you, Jill, for that. And we're going to be talking about what is Dentrix Ascend? How does it differ from DNA tricks? And basically, what can we do to use your practice management software to help you make better business decisions? I mean, these programs are so intricate and so I have so many tools and my experience and we'll talk to Jill about this in a minute. Is that that dentists don't use anywhere near the capabilities of what these programs have to offer. So we're going to learn all about this and how you can use this software to help you make better business decisions. So we'll get to Jill in a moment. What I want to do is give you some information. Now, if you want to get a hold of me in my office in Southern California. I'm at 657.279.3243 That's 657.279.3243. You can e-mail me at ArtWiederman@gmail.com. One of the things I do want to tell you about is that we're really excited. One of the great things about merging with Eide Bailly, which is our firm and by the way, go to our website, which is www.EideBailly.com. We have a new what's that new service. It's an old service, but we are ramping it up to help the dental profession. And it has to do with the research and development tax credit. So we're recording this. The show will come out, I believe, on the twenty-sixth of August. So on put on your calendar is September the 16th. Now you should be listening to every one of these podcasts. But that's a real special one because we're gonna be having a couple the folks from the Eide Bailly R&D credit group on the show. And we're going to be talking about how we can save you thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in tax money by using an R&D credit. We can actually go back and go back two or three years and get you some money from prior years. I just got a client, almost four hundred thousand dollars in research and development credits. So I do want you to know that this is available, in fact, before you even get to this show on September 16th. Go ahead, write this down.
Write this address down, which is www.EideBailly/dentalrd that's d-e-n-t-a-l-r-d and I will put that in the show notes. Go ahead and go on to that and you can get our complimentary checklist and just fill out that checklist, follow the instructions and we will do a free evaluation for you to see if you qualify for research and development tax credit. Make sure that you also go on to our wonderful partner, DecisionsinDentistry.com. Go onto their website if you are not subscribing to their magazine, shame on you. It has got amazing clinical content. Fantastic. Continuing education. This is very, very reasonably priced. Great courses. They have been an amazing partner to our podcast. And if you're looking for a 30-minute complimentary consultation regarding your financial situation, just mark the box and we'll get you to either myself or one of our member firms.
And if you're not working with a dental-specific CPA, you need to be looking at www.ADCPA.org. All right. Well, let's get into our topic today. And I want to tell you a little bit about Dentrix Ascend So Dentrix Ascend what this product does as it moves practice management to the cloud, meaning dental teams can access their practice data at any time from any location on any device. It really simplifies the of group practices. We're going to talk about group practices today, providing a central database and business reporting for the group while allowing individual sites the flexibility they need. And folks, you don't want to be using your practice management software just to schedule patients. It does a lot more than that. So, Jill Nesbitt, welcome to the Art of Dental Finance and Management. How are you today?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA I'm great. Thank you for having me.
Art Wiederman, CPA And you are in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA That is right. Oh, wow. How's the weather in Nashville today? It is absolutely beautiful.
Art Wiederman, CPA I know it's amazing how the sun can shine in Southern California than twenty-five hundred miles away. I never understood that, but didn't do very well in my science classes. That's why I went to accounting school. So, Jill, I understand, before I let you introduce yourself a little bit, that you and your husband have taken up a new hobby, I believe it has to do with the water.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA That's absolutely right. We just last spring, we took a couple of sailing classes. I'm officially past the A.S.A. 101 and 102 courses. And I'm actually looking out my back window at a tiny little sailboat. So that's a new hobby of ours this summer for sure.
Art Wiederman, CPA Nice. Nice. I was in the Long Beach State Sailing Club, taught sailing for about a month, then took two very nice folks out and taught them how to capsize a boat and ride it. And fortunately, they didn't hear what they said. They thought I said, stand on the mast, don't hold up the mast. And the boat ended up turtled in the mud in Alameda's Bay in Long Beach. And I got a big applause from the entire Long Beach State Sailing Club and the Harbor Patrol. That was the end of my teaching career. So but I'm sure you'll do a lot better than that. So. So, Jill, now you're with Henry Schein One before we talk about, you know, Dentrix and Dentrix Ascend Tell. What is Henry Schein One as compared to regular Henry Schein? I'll explain that to some of the folks that might not know.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So, Henry Schein, as everyone knows, with all of our equipment and technology and supplies and everything we are now trying to fix to provide the experience of one Henry Schein and the Henry Schein One piece of this is the technology part. So we provide dental software and we provide a lot of the electronic services that go right along with it.
Art Wiederman, CPA OK. So tell us a little bit about your journey; your career, how you ended up with Henry Schein and experience in the dental field.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Thanks for asking. So I've been in the industry more than 20 years. I started out by managing a one location group, dental practice. We had three general practitioners and then we had specialists. I had a pediatric dentist, an orthodontist, an oral surgeon, and a periodontist. And I managed that group for just over 15 years. And it was in Ohio and I loved it. And in fact, we used Dentrix at that time. And after so many years, at some point, we decided time to make a change. We moved down here to Nashville and I started doing some independent dental consulting for multi-location groups. And then what kept happening is I have a couple of different clients and want in Arkansas in some different places. They would have, say, four offices. Two of them would have Dentrix, one would have an Eagle Soft, one would have Softdent. And they look at me as a consultant and say, what's the right software that I can use for all of these locations?
Right. And then multiple practice locations. You know, some of these groups are looking somewhere down the road to merge up or get out. And I know that from my experience that the private equity folks or the larger groups are looking for continuity. So if you have a group that, you know, they have twenty-five offices and eight offices have Eagle Soft and ten have Softdent. That doesn't work, right?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA It is very, very painful. It is very painful. And so even back then, I was looking around to try and find - I need to find a solution to this problem for my dental group practices. They need some help. They can't send their staff. They can't cross-train their teams because everything is different. They can't run central reporting. And as a dental CPA, you know what a pain in the neck that can be to get six different reports in different formats and then nothing jives. It was a real pain in the neck.
Art Wiederman, CPA No. Every single dentist that sends us accounting work, it's all perfect. I don't mean to shock you. No. No, it's not. That's why my hair is gray. I'm just kidding. Just kidding, folks. Anyway, so. So, Jill. So you were telling us your story. I'm sorry.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Right. So as a dental consultant, then I'm looking for options. And one of the ones that I found that I was especially interested in was Dentrix Ascend. And I ended up taking a job working for a DSO specifically because they were using Dentrix Ascend in their group. And so I worked with them. And my job for them was to help all of their pediatric practices come on to Dentrix as they acquired them, come onto the software, get trained, get all the reports figured out and be successful on their software. And I did that for a while and got to know the Ascend team very, very well. And when it was time to make a change, they invited me to come and work for them and do exactly for all of their clients what I was doing specifically for this one DSO. And so I have been at Henry Schein One now just over three years, and I get to work with the largest groups now that are on Dentrix Ascend.
Art Wiederman, CPA Well, that means you must know a lot about Dentrix Ascend. So explain to our audience again, folks. You know, if you're on Dentrix Ascend you're going to learn a lot today about how to use the product. If you're not, just might be something you might want to take a look at is. So I know there's the traditional Dentrix product and there's Dentrix Ascend. And I think. Did you tell me there's also a third one or am I imagining that?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Well, Henry Schein has all kinds of great opportunities and software and things right? One thing before I get too deep, just inside of, you know, Ascend or Dentrix, etc. I didn't want to take a step back because I've actually been a fan of your podcasts for several months now. It was really helpful for me, especially back in March when I'm trying to support all of my customers. And all of this happened with COVID-19. I really wanted to understand the financial impact that my customers were facing. And your podcast was super valuable for me to listen and understand the alphabet soup of what is the PPP and what about the EIDL loan and what are the options? And so my goal a lot of the lot of my goal for today is to join you and talk about now that we've made it through some really difficult times, how can I bring some ideas, no matter what software you're on? There's a lot of stories I'll tell about Dentrix Ascend. But I really hope that the ideas that I'll share, you can use no matter what software you're on. So the focus for today can really be on giving you some ideas on increasing your profits in your practice today, no matter which software you choose.
Art Wiederman, CPA All right. So what's your favorite restaurant? Because if I come to Nashville now, I have to take you out to you and your husband out to a really nice dinner for those very kind words you gave to me. It's good that you're getting hobbies like sailing because you needed to do other things than listening to the podcast. No, just kidding. Thank you for those very kind words. So tell us a little about that difference between Dentrix and then Dentrix Ascend.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Good question. So Dentrix is server-based. Like you said, it's really got eighty-five percent of the market share, and most people they know Dentrix. Dentrix Enterprise is another software that we offer it has also been around for a number of years. It's very popular with some of our very large DSOs and especially in the public health space. The Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, things like that. And then Dentrix Ascend is sort of the new kid on the block. We are Cloud-based. We've only been around, I think, about seven years and it's become, it is definitely not Dentrix on the Cloud. I'm impressed with Henry Schein One that they literally started from a blank sheet of paper and wanted to design a software. That was the way people use software today, that you didn't have to need someone to have come. And how do you work with Facebook or how do you use Instagram? People can sit down in front of Dentrix Ascend and it's very intuitive to use. And so that's a little bit about how the Dentrix Ascend works.
Art Wiederman, CPA So what type of a customer? A dental practice. I mean, we have a lot of the practices I work with are single doctors. They're producing, I don't know, 400,000 to five million, they have associates. We have clients who have multiple offices. So what is Dentrix Ascend's wheelhouse? In other words, is it better for, can it be for a single practitioner? Is it for multiple ...give us a little idea who best would use this product?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So it's popular actually across the board. My solo practice is really like Ascend because they don't have to buy a server and they don't have to invest in a whole bunch of technology infrastructure. They don't have to worry about ransomware. They don't have to worry about backups and updates. And some of that piece just takes that off their list of things to do. My group practices love it because it's centralized options. You can have a centralized reporting. You can install it, just like we mentioned earlier, in multiple locations. And so there's one software across all of your offices and it makes it easy for you to cross-train. So it's actually pretty popular in both the solo practice as well as the group space.
Art Wiederman, CPA OK. So I know one of the things that you and I talked about before we went live was we really want to share some tips that we can help our doctors make more money. And I know that you want to talk a little bit about, like digital workflow and online booking and patient forms. So why don't you kind of give us a couple of things that in your experience as a Dentrix Ascend, I guess we'll call you a trainer. Would we call you a trainer?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So, it's kind of unique. This customer success role. I'm sort of at the intersection of consultant and trainer because I'm trying to help my practices really get outcomes on the software.
Art Wiederman, CPA Right. So it's not just. And again, folks, we're not using this just to make appointments. So give us some pearls on how we can use this software to help increase profitability.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Absolutely. So one of the best practices that I'm seeing across working with my different groups is that they are really trying to improve efficiency using a digital workflow, just exactly what we were talking about. And so that's kind of the top three that are online booking. I am seeing this be incredibly successful. In fact, I have a client in Washington State. They recently turned on online booking in two of their offices and in two days they had 18 patients book online just like that.
Art Wiederman, CPA So how did that start? So explain to me, how does that start? I'm not doing online booking and now I want to do online. But how do you go from not doing it to doing it?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So when you're with the Ascend, it's actually kind of a piece of cake. We provide you all of the links. You literally can copy the information out of our software and paste it into a button on your website. We also then allow you to set up your schedules so that when the patient clicks that button, it will allow them to choose exactly the time and the provider that you have set up. So you do not lose control of your schedule at all. You're just allowing the technology to save your team time by scheduling those appointments.
Art Wiederman, CPA Is that mostly prophy hygiene appointments or can that also be clinical appointments?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA It can be anything you want. Most of my clients prefer it for two things prophies and hygiene and new patient visits.
Art Wiederman, CPA Right. And they know how much time to see... Because I'm assuming on the Ascend schedule, it's set up that a prophy visits an hour or maybe now with COVID an hour and fifteen or whatever the dentist does. And then a new patient exam is probably, what, mostly an hour and a half to two hours, depending on the practice. Right?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA You can set it up any way you like. That's the beauty of it.
Art Wiederman, CPA Nice. Nice. How about digital patient forms? It does some cool stuff with that too, right?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA It definitely does. So it's step one. You actually do the online booking and your patient schedules their own appointment. The next piece of allowing technology to increase efficiency is simply allowing your software Ascend, for example, to deliver a digital health history and overall financial agreement. Saves you a ton of time and it can get rid of that scan file that we all hate in our practice.
Art Wiederman, CPA So a new patient makes an appointment. They do it online and then they, are they led right after that to the health... So it's not like you have to call them again, right?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Absolutely. The idea is they'll automatically get either an email or a text message. Thank you for scheduling your appointment. As soon as they, it also can say, would you please confirm? Once they confirm it all again, automatically invite them, would you like to fill out your forms? Which again, they can do on their cell phone and even sign with their finger. It just makes it so easy.
Art Wiederman, CPA Cool. Cool. How about we're also talking about before the show - treatment plants. What does Dentrix Ascend help doctors in monitoring and documenting treatment plants.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Yes. This has actually been a very popular feature and it's really helped, especially in this age of COVID-19. So what a lot of practices still do, if you create a treatment plan, you print it out, you hand it to the patient, they sign it, you give it back to your front desk team and they scan it. Well, how tall is everybody scan pile in your office right now? So another opportunity that Dentrix Ascend, or this is again, this is outside of any, you know, specific Ascend. This is an idea that any of your offices can use, is to digitize more and more of your forms. But again, I'll speak specifically to the software that I know so well. It can be very easy. We can send that treatment plan again by a text or an email on your phone or on a tablet, whatever you like. Your patient can easily see exactly what the treatment plan is. They can sign off on it. It just makes it so much easier. It's also, I know, I had a doctor's appointment recently. I go in again. They're asking me to update my health history and I start to hand the pen back to them and they say, no, no, no, keep the pen. And I'm thinking, if you just had digital forms, you don't have to give every single patient a pen because you don't want to worry about cross-contamination. Right. That's our dental practices can do is make your team and save some time just by using those digital forms and making things more efficient.
Art Wiederman, CPA So, Jill, I know you've seen a lot of different software because you've taken people and do a conversion. I'm guessing if someone becomes a customer of Dentrix Ascend that you obviously I mean if it's a brand new office, they don't have the software, that's easy. But a lot of cases, they're working with the software that just doesn't do everything they want them to do. What do you see? Say, I'm assuming you've seen a lot of software.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Yes.
Art Wiederman, CPA So what would you say are some of the challenges in some of the other software that are just not being addressed that maybe a sense does address?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So what we're trying to do with Ascend, we're trying to make it as, keep it all in one place as possible. Right. You know, one of the great things that we've done is that it's different and a lot of software. One of things we do is we include all of the imaging inside of Ascend. So what that means is you don't need a separate software that handles your images. You don't have to do that on film. You don't even have to have that separate at all. It's literally all part of the software. And so just having that convenience, it just makes a huge difference.
Art Wiederman, CPA So for example, I know that Henry Schein's one of their primary digital products is Dex's. Right. Exactly. So I'm assuming the Dex's integrates with Ascend very nicely. So how does that work?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So we actually have the x rays inside of Ascend. You don't need a separate integration. It's kind of unique in that way. In fact, another example of that isn't just for the x-ray side. We offer all of the same patient communications. So emails and text message reminders that you'll get in solution range or gosh, what are some of the other ones..
Art Wiederman, CPA Right like, 360, Demand Force, Revenue?
Art Wiederman, CPA Well, yeah, I know all of them.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA You've got it. That's all built right into Ascend. So again, trying to make it that it's almost a one-stop-shop experience. So those are some things that make it a little bit unique.
Art Wiederman, CPA Have you had patient? Have you had customers who actually are dropping some of those products that we mentioned? And does Ascend do everything that they do?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So it's not exactly the same. But what we're finding and you actually mentioned this earlier. No matter what software you buy, it doesn't feel like you're actually using all the features in the first place. So what I find is so many of the customers of mine, they were mostly just using their software that’s demand generation software, mostly to send the patient communications. And so when they find that's already built into Ascend, why pay for it extra?
Art Wiederman, CPA Yeah. And that could save, you know, three, four hundred dollars a month, which I'm sure the doctors you have something very, very nice you can do with that three to four hundred dollars a month. So I want to take a second Jill, and I want to just let everybody know how to get a hold of you. And you've got a special offer for Art of Dental Finance and Management listeners. So now if someone was interested and they wanted to learn more about Dentrix Ascend. How would they get a hold of you? What's the best way? And we'll also put Jill's information in the show notes that you'll get in your e-mails and on our website at www.EideBailly.com and www.DecisionsinDentistry.com. So what's the best way to get hold of you?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So the best way to get a hold of me is probably phone number and email. But let me give you the website for Dentrix Ascend because that's probably the easiest to catch on the phone. Right? Wherever. The podcast. And that is www.DentrixAscend.com/. And then we do offer a free article with more ideas on increasing efficiency. And so that is simply DentrixAscend.com/efficiency. But to get to me, my phone number is 615.970.8405. And I'm sure you'll put my email in, but my email address is Jill.Nesbitt@HenryScheinOne.com.
Art Wiederman, CPA And that was the offer you were offering that book? It's a book or a pamphlet or a?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA It's an article on just more efficiency ideas.
Art Wiederman, CPA OK, well, we always like efficiency ideas, so folks do take advantage of that. So let's talk a little more about, like, group practices and dentistry. You know, what are you seeing? I mean, I know that we have a lot of doctors that are entrepreneurial in our listener base. They own two, three, five, 10 practices. What are you seeing in group practices? What's working, what's not working? And how does this software help?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Absolutely. So I definitely ... that's one of my favorite things in my role. Since I get to work with customers across the country, is to really find what are the best practices to share. And I'm finding a variety of ideas. The one is... One of the things I'm seeing that makes it easier with our software is they're adding specialists into existing general practitioner offices. I'm seeing that as a way to really increase the quality of care. Because now you're talking with each other about collaborating on cases and what specialty care can interact and support the general practitioner's treatment. And it makes it easier with Ascend because if you have, let's say you do have a group of five offices and you bring in an oral surgeon that travels around or goes to one location and you can refer in, with Ascend you have one patient record. So no matter where that practitioner is, whether it's the GP or the specialist, you have all that patient information. In fact, you can even have that specialist sign their clinical notes, looking at their X-ray on your phone while being able to see that information that way. But that's been really helpful, is adding specialists into a group that already exists.
Art Wiederman, CPA Now, I know and I've talked about this on this show before is, are this are the practices you're working with the group practices, and I'm assuming you're working with some that have 10, 20, 50, 100 or more offices. Are they groups that have all the specialties in the general office or do some of these groups have... They'll have a general office and then down the block, there'll be a perio office. And around the corner, they'll be endo office. What do you have mixes like that?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA I'll tell you what I see most often. I mostly see that they're primarily working as GP offices and then they bring in the specialists that will travel. It is very common in a group of maybe 10 to have an oral surgeon or a periodontist and then they go to different locations on different days so that everybody can refer and have that doctor in-house. That is probably the approach that I see the most often.
Art Wiederman, CPA So you have the software allows you... Does the software allow you to... Let's say you're working with a traveling, I hate to use the word traveling periodontist because I've used it with periodontist. They don't really like it. But let's just let's... I think of the traveling Wilburys. You live in Nashville. There you go. The traveling Periodontist. So let's say that the general dentist says, you know, I think we're you know, we're going to do an implant here and we're going to send you over here or something like that. Does it communicate directly with the specialists and tell them, alright, you got them you've got Jill coming in for two implants here at 10 o'clock?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA The nice thing about it, it not only provides all that patient information, if he changes his mind at the last minute and he's not going to go to office number three or goes over to number four, you don't have to worry about picking up all of the physical charts and carrying them to a different place. You're never without your patient information. It makes it so much easier on that specialist to get the information that they need and to share it back with their general practitioner. They could even be in a different location and say, hey, pull up this x-ray. Let's talk about this patient that I have in the chair right now.
Art Wiederman, CPA They could do it on an iPad, too, right? So some of the reports we're talking about, again, we want to help the doctors, here. Talk about like, how do you help the doctors use, like, the unscheduled treatment plan?
Well, I think that's huge. It is amazing to me how many hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars that are not scheduled. They just don't have time to deal with.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Yeah, totally agree. Actually, that's a perfect example. Just this week. I had a call with a group. They have four offices on Ascend right now. Actually, they only have four offices in their group and their clinical director was looking for, how can I really coach my doctor so that I can help fill schedules and I can give us some good feedback on what's working and maybe what's not? And so we worked together and we found just a few different reports. But two of them that she liked the best. The one was the unscheduled treatment report and the other in Ascend is called the treatment tracker. And that shows you every single one of your cases. You can narrow that down to the specific doctor. You can see the dollar value of the case. And it gives you whether it's scheduled or whether it's not. She absolutely was so thrilled to see this because there's a lot of conversation. I'm sure you've heard this. Is it accepted or not? Do we have case acceptance? What is case acceptance actually mean? What I like about this treatment tracker report is that it's actually scheduled. You and I both know, if it's scheduled, they've definitely accepted.
Art Wiederman, CPA And if it's not scheduled, it's unscheduled.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Exactly!
Art Wiederman, CPA I passed by English class, barely, but I passed it. Scheduled is not unscheduled. So there you go.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA I'm thrilled to be able to use something like that to not only coach her doctor but to then say, hey, it looks like you're being really successful maybe with this kind of procedure, but not as much with this. How can we help you?
Art Wiederman, CPA And we can also use it in morning huddles, right?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Absolutely.
Art Wiederman, CPA All right. And then what about, like insurance utilization reports? Talk about that.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Yes. This is one you and I wanted to give you the insight to. I think this would be one that a dental CPAs would be very interested in taking a look at. If you have a Dentrix Ascend client and you're a dental CPA, ask about this report. So the thing that I love about this insurance utilization report is that it actually will show across all of your offices of your group. It'll show all of them, how many patients by carrier and the percentage write off that you are taking for each one. You can drill down if you want to, even by procedure code, so that if you want to turn around and negotiate with your insurance carriers to try and get, hey, I need to be paid more on this or the other specific procedures. You know which ones will make the most impact on your finances because this report tells you.
Art Wiederman, CPA So I want to talk more about this report because this is important to me. I mean, one of the things that I have a mission is to help doctors reduce their dependency on insurance. And it is a scary, scary thing for people to do. It's harder to do in groups. I mean, bigger groups are going to be taking on more insurances, but bigger groups have the depending on the size of the group. They have a lot more negotiating power with the insurance companies.
Art Wiederman, CPA But to me, I want to be able, I have a standard, Jill, that's like, if you're not getting at least and I only do like this at least 70 percent of UCR on a procedure from an insurance company. And you look at your top 10 procedures, your you know, your four thousand code procedures. Your 1110s. Your 2940, 2950. All these procedures, if you're not getting 70 percent, I mean, you know, it's almost like you're throwing it. You should almost give money to the patients when they come in. Don't have them give you money. You give them money because it's like a marketing class. So you're telling me that this software I can want to report and if I'm looking and I'll pick a, you know, insurance company, X, Y, Z, and it'll tell me how many patients I have with this insurance company, it'll tell me how much I've diagnosed and treated. Right?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA How many patients, it'll show you gross production, your UCR, and it's going to show you your net production and then it's going to do the math to show you exactly the percentage. And even better, Art, you don't have to run it.
It's literally sitting in your Ascend right now you literally click a button and it comes up for you. You don't have to even do anything. The data is right there available to you.
Art Wiederman, CPA Now is that for all the procedures and the or if I want to pick like top ten, I want to know where I am with these?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So it starts out. It gives you everything. And if you want to narrow it down, you absolutely can.
Art Wiederman, CPA OK. So let's talk about collections. And that's something that, you know, is near and dear to my heart. And we have and especially in a difficult time like this. So, you know, talk about electronic statements, online payments and insurance verification. So what can we do to help our doctors improve their collections?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA This is a hot topic for my clients right now. So a lot of my clients over these last couple months when they had to be shut down for this COVID-19 issue. A lot of people really focused their efforts on following up on insurance. And now they're left with a really large patient balance because they just didn't feel comfortable. They didn't send statements. They didn't have team members working in their office. So one of the definite, you know, best practices that I would recommend right now is to go ahead and make, send out electronic statements and allow online payment. You can immediately get this set up in your practice so that you can then help to generate that cash flow. It just makes a huge difference.
Art Wiederman, CPA Right. No. Oh, absolutely. And then it also helps you, looking at the schedule today. I mean, I go back again, it still amazes me in 2020 how many doctors don't do morning huddles. So what does Ascend do to help you identify the opportunities on today's schedule?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So that's actually one of my favorite, you know, approaches with Ascend. We have, we call it kind of this little side panel and it walks you through exactly the status of your appointment. Everything you need to get done right. Kind of step by step by step. It makes it very easy. And by the end of the day, we wanted to help make sure that you can do four things before your patient walks out. They schedule their recare, you collect their copay, and you get both their email and their cell phone. And if you make sure you get those things done on every patient before they walk out the door, you've probably done a pretty good job. So what our software does is it provides this report that if you use that little side panel, it'll give you a report that you can, again, click the one button at the end of the day and you can see how that your whole office to do on those four items. And if you failed on any of them, like maybe there are some patients, you didn't schedule the recare. You didn't collect the money. You literally can also drill down into that report and you can find out. OK. Jill is working at your front desk. You can click on my name and see the names of the patients that I did not collect the copay on so that you can come back to me and say, hey Jill, maybe we can work on that. Or you could also use this report. Let's say you set a goal in your practice. I mean, you were talking about you'd like to make sure on insurance reimbursement, we're at 70 percent. Maybe you want to say, I want for these four things, I think our office should be at 85 percent success. You could make sure that, hey, here's a report that shows us exactly how we're doing. Pizza party at the end of the month if we stick at 85 percent.
Art Wiederman, CPA Pepperoni please.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA It just makes it easier, I think, for a busy practice, Art, that you drill down and you focus on the experience at each individual patient and the software makes that easier on you to get those items accomplished. Now we're making you a little bit more profitable.
Art Wiederman, CPA So, I mean, again, you know, I mean, Dentrix is... And again, it's great to learn about Ascend because I think... How many users, I mean, give an idea how many users Dentrix users, Dentrix Ascend users. What do you got, an idea?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So I think last I heard, I think we have a couple thousand customers on Dentrix Ascend so. And we are growing every month. So it's fun.
Art Wiederman, CPA No, I'll, I'll bet it is. And so if someone... What are some of the things you're hearing about, things that software is not doing? Some of the other software out there that are challenges to dental offices?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA You know, I think the biggest challenge is kind of the same thing I saw years ago. And a lot of my groups are finding it now. They're trying to, they don't have centralized reporting. Like that has been a real gap. You know, if you have different offices that have different software, there's almost no way, and especially if they're server-based. You just have to then run each individual report and then pull them all together and Excel. Whereas, in Ascend, you can run one report and that includes all of your offices, all of your providers, all of your insurance, all of your procedures. It's all right there, which I think makes it a little easier on your dental CPA to actually help you analyze how is your business going? So you can make better decisions.
Art Wiederman, CPA Right. And the other thing we also worry about is we worry about security. I mean, we've had CPA firms (not ours). Our CPA firm is locked down tighter than Fort Knox. But if you look at dental offices, I mean, I've heard stories that the bad guys are getting smarter and smarter and what they do is they go in and they take over your computer. And they say, OK, we're taking over your computer. We've got all of your information that you treasure, that's HIPPA issues, and OSHA issues, all this stuff. And by the way, we'd like eighty-five hundred dollars of Bitcoin and we'll give you computer back. Now, having a cloud-based system that doesn't that kinda take that away to some extent?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA It absolutely does. And in fact, I had a customer that that happened to. They have multiple locations and one of them was not on Ascend. And that's exactly what happened. They had a disgruntled employee that got a hold of the administrator password and was threatening to kick everyone else out and delete the database.
Like you said, that has been one of the nice things. Dentists and practice managers, they don't want the hassle of having to worry about ransomware and all the other IT expense and drama. It's enough for us to manage our dental practices, to keep up with all the financial responsibility that you share and help keep everyone educated about, much less to become an IT expert on top of it. And so, I think Ascend is just... And I think people also, they're used to working on the cloud. Our banking is on the cloud. You know, we schedule all of our dinner reservations on Open Table. We're just used to working online anymore. And so a lot of our Dentrix Ascend clients are like, well, yeah, why wouldn't I work online and on the cloud when it takes care of some of the drama and expense. And that's just what I'm used to already.
Art Wiederman, CPA No, I understand completely so. So basically, if someone wanted to hack in, I mean, is it just they can't or if they do, you go you can hack whatever you want. I get everything is up on the cloud. It doesn't matter what you do. How does that work?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So I will explain as much as I know, because I am definitely not the technology expert.
Art Wiederman, CPA That's OK.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA But since we partner with I believe we partner with Amazon Web Services. Right? And so they have. Imagine the protection and security that you can have in your one dental office as opposed to what Amazon is invested in and all the different layers. I've been involved in some meetings where our technology experts walk through the multiple layers of firewalls that exist and all the different server banks that exist all over. I mean, it's pretty incredible what technology is involved in and the layers of security that really do exist.
So, yeah, I would not want any part of all of that detail, but I would say, yeah, we are, far as I know and my involvement, I've never had any customer of mine come to me and say, hey, I have a problem or there's anything involved with security or ransomware or anything with any of my clients up to today. That has never been a conversation that I have had to be involved in.
Art Wiederman, CPA So give me like one of your best success stories, like you had somebody that maybe a new practice. Do you do this with a lot of new practitioners that are setting up from scratch using this software?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So, yeah, we work, like we said, with solo practices all the way to multiple location groups. I particularly work mostly with groups that will say, just like we've been talking about. All right. We've been working with multiple different software. It's finally time that we need to get digital. We need to get on the cloud. We need to not be reliant on all of the offices that someone actually physically goes in. I'll give you a story. So right through all of this COVID excitement, we'll call it excitement, right? All this COVID excitement.
Art Wiederman, CPA I don't know if I'd call it excitement, but you call it what you like. You're the guest.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So I have a group, a customer of mine. They have 18 offices. At the time, thirteen of those were on Ascend and five still had server-based software and March hits and then we all have to shut down for a number of weeks. They... And I stayed in touch with them and they were OK, etc. And then they decided, they said, this is crazy. With Ascend, we can right now, we can still work on our outstanding insurance. We can still follow up with patients. We can still monitor who was scheduled. It's all right at our fingertips and we can deliver that information to anyone that is still working from home. The challenge they ran into in the other locations where they have that server-based software. OK, who is ...? What all team members were furloughed? Who is actually available that could even go into that office and get the mail and maybe make sure that the computer was on? And is it actually backing up and is everything OK? And then, what are you going to have them stay there by themselves and run the report? It just ...they realized it was so difficult to manage their group practice when they didn't have five of their offices any information regularly coming in. And so what happened was, literally, like I was actually shocked at how quickly they made the move when they brought their offices back online in June and everybody opened back up, they immediately turned back around and turned, got those five offices live on Ascend. So they said, now we have all of our offices onto the same software. They've done a fully digital workflow. They're sending electronic statements and they no longer have to worry about what might happen in the future with COVID 19 or any of the open and closed rules, etc. They know they have access to their software.
Art Wiederman, CPA That's great. So what are some of your favorite reports that you like to run, when you tell the doctor, I want to help them improve the profitability? What are the reports that you like to run off the software that would say, OK, here's a profit hole and this is where we need to fix it?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So outside of the insurance utilization report, which we've already covered, I really like to see, I like the treatment tracker that we've talked about, insurance utilization. I would say I really like the production reports and some collection reports. I like how we have a really nice new patient report. Recently there was one on referral sources that I like that really helps you see how are you actually doing and documenting a referral source in the first place. And then if you actually got it documented now, you can very nicely dig in to see how much production am I getting from different kinds of referrals? So those are, I think, a handful of the ones that I like the best.
Art Wiederman, CPA Well, again, folks that I want to bring you, you know, different tools to help your business. Again, we do this every single week. There's so much out there in dentistry. And, you know, you start using these tools. Now, talk about training. OK. So I know. I mean, the software is only as good as the person who's using it. So if I get this software, what kind of training do I get, what does it take to really master the software? How does that work?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA You know, you actually brought up a really good point that is addressed at first by training, but then it actually even builds into something more. So the training that we offer, we have offered onsite training as well as remote training. We've done obviously a lot of remote training over these last few months.
Art Wiederman, CPA It's probably the only training you've done.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Yes, that's exactly right. But yes, definitely onsite. And we can cover all of the software, how it works. And I love how our trainers do this. Even usually the last day when you go live on the software, they stick around and make sure that your team is comfortable and can easily work with your patients through that patient flow of the software. So the training that we have in our training team is absolutely top-notch.
Art Wiederman, CPA Fantastic. So we're coming to the end of our time. I very much enjoy talking with you, Jill. You're very, very engaging and knowledgeable about the software and you've given our listeners some really great tips. So give us some final pearls - like, you know, maybe the top two or three things that dentists should be looking for out of... And if you're not using Ascend, you're using one of the other software out there, what should they be looking at? What are you helping doctors look at to try to find profit holes and fill them?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA I think the two overarching ideas are really look hard at centralization and standardization. And I'd say the takeaway, no matter which software you're working with, from our conversation today, are a few things. I'm a big fan of setting up online booking and sending electronic statements. Those two things alone can really put some money in your pocket right now. And looking at a software that can really provide you that full digital workflow, allowing you to customize your communications and continuously fill your schedule. And if we can do those things, I think our dental practices would be in a pretty good place.
Art Wiederman, CPA Then you'd be buying, what, a 52-foot sailboat if we did that? No, I'm just kidding.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA I like the way you think.
Art Wiederman, CPA Say, hey, listen. There you go. Although the one sailing race I went in, I went from San Diego to Ensenada and there was no wind. It was the most painful six hours of my life. It took forever to get down. But sailing is is a lot of fun. So one more time. Jill, let's give our audience and our listeners, how we get a hold of you and again, what you are offering them from Dentrix Ascend.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA So my email address is Jill.Nesbitt@HenryScheinOne.com. And I will tell you that's Nesbitt with two T's because most people mess that up. You also can reach me by phone. My number is 615.970.8405. And if you would like to learn some other ideas on increasing efficiency in your practice, we have a free article for you. And you can get that by going to DentrixAscend.com/efficiency.
Art Wiederman, CPA And efficiency Is a good word. So, Jill, thank you so much for your time. Hang on for a minute. I'm going to kind of give out some more information. And you've given our listeners a lot of great tips. And in my experience is that, you know, the front office, they get busy. They're understaffed. They don't have time to learn. I mean, if you can really learn your software, whether it's Ascend or whatever it is, you'll be able to do a better job in the front office, right?
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Absolutely. Totally.
Art Wiederman, CPA Great well. OK. Thank you, Jill. Again, hang on for a second. Let me give you my information again, is if you want to get a hold of me in my office in Southern California, I'm at 657.279.3243. I am also at ArtWiederman@gmail.com. Go to our Decisions in Dentistry partnership website, which is www.DecisionsinDentistry.com. Again, great clinical content, great articles, everything that you need to be a better clinician. And the top advisory board in the world, a who's who of dentistry go to our website which is www.EideBailly.com.
I've now been part of this firm for about a month and it seems like every day I learn a new thing that they do. And again, I want to mention that on September the 16th we're gonna be doing a show with our folks from our Research and Development Tax Credit Group, and we're going to show you how to more, or greater, greatly, no greaterly is not a word - how to increase the federal deficit. That's what we're gonna do. By taking tax credits that are not subject to the alternative minimum tax. This is research and development tax credits. You're going to learn all about them, you know, pencil down September 16th.
But if you have some new innovations, or some research that you've been doing in your practice, some new methods or procedures, maybe you're using a CAD cam machine or a CBCT and doing a, you know, just different things than what you're normally doing. We might be able to get you a really nice federal and boy for my doctors in California, the California tax credit is bigger than the federal one. I learned that too. What I want you to do is go to www.EideBailly.com/dentalrd and you will find the not backslash, but regular slash dental R as in research and D as in development, and you will find a worksheet that you can fill out, send to us and we will do a complimentary assessment to see. Now, this credit is not for everyone, it's not for every practice, it's not a slam dunk. It's not like the PPP loan. You're dentist, you were put out of business, you can apply for it. And it's not like that. It's a credit that you've got to show that you do some innovation and some... You're making some changes in what you're doing. But we're finding that a lot of dentists can qualify for this. And depending on the size of your practice, it could be really, really nice. So, again, go to our website www.EideBailly.com/dentalRD or just, you know, if you want, you can just send me an email at ArtWiederman@gmail.com and we'll get you over there too. And again, if you're looking for a dental-specific CPA anywhere in the country, we've got you covered. www.ADCPA.org. 24 fantastic CPA firms that represent the now close to 10,000 dentists.
Jill Nesbitt of Henry Schein One, thank you so much for your time and your expertise and for the caring that you put into your customers in the dental profession. I'm sure they very much appreciate it.
Jill Nesbitt, MBA Thank you for having me.
Art Wiederman, CPA And that is it, ladies and gentlemen, for this edition of The Art of Dental Finance and Management with Art Wiederman CPA, please tell all your friends about our podcast. It's growing exponentially. You know, we're getting calls and emails every day. If you have a topic you want to hear about, send it to me. If you have a good joke, send it to me. So again, that's it for this edition, and we'll see you next time. Bye-bye.