Art Wiederman, CPA: And hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of The Art of Dental Finance and Management with Art Wiederman, CPA. Welcome to my podcast. I'm Art Wiederman. I'm a Director in the Dental Division of Eide Bailly, which is a wonderful CPA firm that I just, our dental group and our whole CPA firm merged with about two and a half weeks ago in late July of 2020. And today I've got a real special episode for you today. One of the things that I'm trying to do in this series, especially now that we're in, heading into the second half of 2020, is to bring you people and resources that can really kind of resonate into - gee these are some of the things that I want to do. Some of these resources are going to be private practice dentists that I've run across and met and have been very impressed with. And Dr. Sam Ahani who's our guest today, is one of those dentists. And we're going to talk with Dr. Ahani today. He practices in Northern California. He's got a very successful dental practice that he manages and runs. We're going to talk to him about what he's done. You know, when COVID came out, during the shutdown and what he's been doing, because he was telling me that he's just really, his practice is doing well. And then he's got a really, really cool problem that he has actually solved, having to do with, you know, relationships between specialists and general dentists. So we're gonna get into that before we bring on Doctor Ahani, what we're gonna do is give you some information today.
If you want to get a hold of me in my office in Tustin, California, which is in Orange County, I'm at 657.279.3243. That's 657.279.3243. You can email me at email@example.com. . We have this wonderful, wonderful partnership with Decisions in Dentistry magazine and they have great, great clinical content and wonderful continuing education courses. Go to their website at www.decisionsindentistry.com and on the first page you'll see a link to the podcast. And if you want a complimentary 30 minute consultation with a member of the Academy of Dental CPAs, you can get that there or just go into our mailing list. Again, if you want to see all of our podcasts and we're approaching 100. I'm working on a really cool surprise for podcast number one hundred and I'm not going to tell you yet because I don't have it nailed down, but it's going to be really cool.
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So let's go to our guest today. My guest is Dr. Sam Ahani. Dr. Ahani has, as I mentioned earlier, is a private practice dentist. His practice is located in Pacifica, California. And Dr. Ahani went and did his undergraduate work at San Francisco State University in computer information systems. And in 1996, he graduated from the University of Pacific Dental School and one of the best dental schools in the country. I've met many, many people from there and it's just a fine, fine institution. Did a residency in Washington, D.C., I believe you told me at the V.A. in 1996. And the reason I brought Dr. Ahani on again is because he is not only a dentist who's running a dental practice, he's been involved in some other businesses, I'm going to let him share with you. He's got a lot of really great insight into what is going to help get you back to hopefully where you were after this horrible pandemic. You know, after the opening of the offices. So, Dr. Sam Ahani, welcome to the Art of Dental Finance.
Dr. Sam Ahani: I'm really excited to be here, Art. Thank you so much.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, thank you for coming on. I do have to be nice to you, because I can't say anything bad, although we are about 500 miles away. I understand that you are a martial artist. Are you a black belt? Brown belt? Dental belt? How does that work?
Dr. Sam Ahani: I'm a purple belt in Brazilian jujitsu. But just be nice to me anyway. Please.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I will try. I will try and do that. Dr. Ahani's wife is also a dentist. She's a pediatric dentist. So it kind of runs in the family. So, Dr. Ahani, why don't you give a little bit... I mentioned where you went to school and everything. Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you get started dentistry and maybe a little bit about some of the businesses that you've operated in. And just tell us a little bit about yourself.
Dr. Sam Ahani: Sure. Just a quick correction. I graduated University of Pacific 1995.
Art Wiederman, CPA I'm sorry.
Dr. Sam Ahani: No, no, it's okay. I just don't want all my classmates to get when they hear this to get all over me. Well, the story is interesting. I had an auto glass... After graduating from college, my parents are in the glass business and I opened my own glass shop and it was called Auto Glass Doctor and I worked there for a couple of years. You know, my hands were constantly black from the urethane that you used to put glass in and one of my friends who was going to U of P at the time came to my shop and he said, "you know, what are you doing here?" And I was making a lot of money, but obviously kind of unhappy. You know, I'm one of the things I remember is that my hands were always black. And he came over one time and he said, "why don't you why don't you come and take a look at U of P?" He was he was going to school there. And I went into the lab and I really liked the handwork that they were doing there and kind of decided, you know, maybe this is for me, but I didn't have any of the prerequisites. I went home. I started talking to my parents about it.
And they said, if you want to go, you know, just close up the shop and go tomorrow. So basically, I didn't close it up tomorrow because there were still cars in the shop. But, yeah, a week or two later, we just basically shut it down. I moved in with my cousin, who's now an oral surgeon. We moved in together to do this together. And we basically started taking the prerequisites and got into U of P together and started in 1992, graduated in 95.
Met my wife who is now a pediatric dentist. In 97 we bought this small little three chair office that we found through our dental CPA actually. And it was in foreclosure and we turned it into a, if you can imagine, a pedo and the general practice in three chairs. Imagine that. And we, that's how we kind of got started.
And then ever since then, we basically we expanded it.
And in 2010, we were able to buy a building, kind of overlooks the ocean. So we're really excited about that. And kind of the rest is history.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So how many ...? And you had mentioned you were working with a dental CPA. I know you had mentioned it. So happens to be one of our ADCPA member firms in Northern California. My good friend, like I've mentioned his name, Hayden and I've known Hayden for oh, my goodness. I've known Hayden was one of the first people that I met in dentistry.
I met him at the CDA North Convention in the mid 80s, late 80s. And I just have such great respect for Thomas Dahl. And I met Sherman Dahl, who was one of their, you know, Brant Thomas Sherman Dahl, the two founding partners. And Hayden was right there. He's been there thirty, thirty five years. And it's been a real good, good experience working with Hayden and his team?
Dr. Sam Ahani: Yeah, he's, those guys are amazing. And we've basically, you know, Hayden found us the practice. I mean, literally found us the practice. He called us up one day. He said, "this practice if up for foreclosure. I know that they were doing well in there before. Go take a look at it." He got involved in the nitty gritty of actually bidding. We had no idea. I mean, I'm straight out of dental school like I how this stuff works. The office was nice. It had beautiful, it had beautiful three chairs and beautiful inside. And we bid on it and we got it. So, yes, we owe a lot to Hayden in that way because he actually got us started there.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, he's one of the most well-respected CPAs in the country working with Dennis. I'm glad you're in good hands. I'm glad to hear you're working with an ADCPA member. So let's start talking about what happened. So we started hearing about COVID I mean, probably we started hearing a little bit about it in China in December and then January and everybody started thinking, yeah, no big deal. It's not happening. It's not here. Did you see this thing coming early or did it hit you like it hit everybody else on March 17th?
Dr. Sam Ahani: I didn't see this coming, but I have an assistant, Ivy, who has ties in China. And she was really closely monitoring this thing in China and what was happening and what was happening with dental offices in China. So she slowly started to order a lot of PPE.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Smart lady.
Dr. Sam Ahani: Yeah, well, you know, I mean, she ordered so much that at some point I got I got a call from my... You know, my accountant, Hayden's bookkeeper, and she's like, "Dr. Ahani, something's wrong here, you've spent triple the amount that you're spending and you usually spend on PPE. And I said, "let me see what's going on." So I get called up and I talk to Ivy and my wife, she's like, you know, it's a good idea. So I told... So I gave her the go ahead. She started ordering stuff, hand sanitizer, masks, really, really smart of her to, you know, get ahead of the curve like that. And we. So we really stocked up. So I literally had no idea that this would happen. But she did. And we were lucky that we were lucky that she did.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah. And I will tell you, one of the biggest challenges, Dr. Ahani, that I had with my clients when I was talking to them, living the PPP and the EIDL, our listeners know that I've done, gosh, 30, 35 webinars and seven or eight straight podcasts on that subject. But we were talking about this is the fact that dentists were struggling, struggling because they knew that when they opened, they were going to have to have all this equipment and supplies and they couldn't get it. So you got a jump on it. And that also gives you a pipeline going forward. Right?
Dr. Sam Ahani: That's true. But also, remember this. At the time, they're saying to everybody that, you know, the hospitals don't have PPE that don't have N 95 masks. Meanwhile, we're sitting on a bunch of masks and and stuff. So I couldn't really just sit on it like that. So we kept ordering. So, like, Ivy was ordering these things for like 70 cents a mask or something. When we kept ordering them, we were buying them at like five dollars a mask. But then I could turn around and I donated a bunch of the mask to my friends and nurses. Actually, some patients who were nurses that would put stuff on things. So we just turned around and donated a bunch of the things because I knew that, you know, supply would catch up the demand on this. I didn't know when, but I knew it would it would more expensive. But it was I was able to actually donate a bunch of that stuff, which I was really happy to be able to do.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And God bless you for doing that. I'm sure you helped a lot of people because it was really touch and go for a couple months. Still is in some places in the country, so. OK. So we get to March 16th, March 17th, CDA ADA come out with a on their website strongly recommending the dental offices shut down for everything except emergency care. And I'm assuming you kind of did that like the rest of the world did, or what did you do?
Dr. Sam Ahani: I dragged my. I dragged my feet a little bit, just to see where it would land. And then when they put the shelter in place, I couldn't really tell the team to, you know, let's keep working. So basically, once the shelter in place was placed, we just told them, shut it down right now. So we started to reschedule patients. And, you know, I mean, we only rescheduled them like one week at a time to start. So that's how it all kind of started. It was like dragging our feet a little bit and then suddenly, like, OK, well, this is real. OK, everybody just shut it down.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So did you reschedule people for like I mean, let's say end of April. Did you start calling the end of March? Did you start calling people and saying, OK, I'm gonna go ahead, reschedule you, we should wait maybe June 1st or something? Or what did you do with that?
Dr. Sam Ahani: We were scheduling literally a week at a time. So we would take next week's patient and schedule them whenever we could, you know out. The reason was we didn't know how long this was going to last. So I didn't want to like, you know, suddenly because everything was so fluid at the time, I didn't want to have to say, OK, now you can go back to work. And now we've rescheduled three weeks or a month's worth of patients and have to try to get them back, you know, back in. So we started them at just a week at a time and then near the end where it was just dragging on, we started to do two weeks at a time. So our schedule was kind of full the whole time. Obviously, patients, you know, we were sending emails and stuff. They knew that we weren't gonna be able to see them because unless it's an emergency, we weren't supposed to. So they kind of knew that they were canceled. So we didn't. In other words, I think it's a bad idea to schedule them out too far because you don't know. And they might not want to come in if your schedule them out up too far. So that's how we did it.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So when, OK. So when did you open up? When did you go back into practicing?
Dr. Sam Ahani: We started mid-May. We started sorry, mid-May. That's right.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I mean, I had some doctors that did what they called a soft opening and less hygiene and a lighter doctor schedule. What did you do?
Dr. Sam Ahani: So mid-May. Okay, so here's a few of the issues and I'm sure everybody else had them. Actually, we were never closed closed, OK. There was somebody always in the office answering calls, one person. And then we, one of our doctors lives very close to the office. So he would come in with one assistant and see emergency patients. Emergencies, you know, everything from like my temp fell out because at this point they are in temps for a long time. To, you know, extractions and those kind of things. So we never shut down completely. The front desk never shut down. So they were always there either rescheduling or taking care of patients.
And we did do video calls and we would send patients emails so patient. So we had to keep everybody kind of together at this time. Patients, team members with Zoom calls, you know, that kind of stuff. Come mid-May, not everybody is really no shelter in place was still in place, but I knew that if we didn't get the office rolling, somehow, this anxiety would just get kind of worse and worse. So what we did was we didn't have any assistants that were willing to work. So I actually had to call one of them up, one of the ones who was like least resistant because, you know, remember, they were getting PPP so it doesn't really make any difference if you're working or not. So I had to I had to basically give them a three thousand dollar bonus to work those two weeks. And he accepted it. And we had to do that a couple of times because the people who were in the office were getting paid and the people who were out of the office were getting paid, it wasn't really fair. So we had to actually, even if there's no production, no collection to put us in a position where we had to kind of bonus out the people who were in the office but felt it was worth it because it was just gave continuity to the business.
Art Wiederman, CPA: They didn't want to. They were they were afraid of COVID? They were making more money on unemployment? Maybe a little bit of both?
Dr. Sam Ahani: I think it's a little bit of both. In my case, though, I think my team would you know, my team is there's so great that it's actually was fear of catching it. And so and by being open to that...So your question was how did we start? Yeah, we opened up the office. We we're seeing six, seven patients per provider. And it was one hygienist, one assistant and one doctor. And mostly what we were doing is just - and one front desk. And mainly what we were doing was catching up. You know, people need cementations and stuff. So we were just bringing those people in and catching up. But it did also help that, you know, people saw that nobody got sick. Everybody was OK at the end of those two weeks. So it did make it easier for us to get back. During that period, and even a little bit before that, we started doing trainings on how to actually, I should say, a week or two before that, we started doing in-person trainings also. So just being in the office, being in the atmosphere, being together, helped with the anxiety? I think so.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So you were... It was interesting. Because a lot of my doctors, they weren't scheduling every week. But the good news about you scheduling every week, because obviously you had to call people and reschedule them when you weren't allowed to be open, which gives you more touches of the patients, if you will. That was probably good. I would think that that was good. And so your schedule was a little lighter getting going in the first two weeks, maybe?
Dr. Sam Ahani: Yes, very much lighter. About a quarter of what we normally do, or maybe even less for the first two weeks.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So have you ramped? I'm assuming we're now at the, you know, I keep saying we're in July. We're now in the middle of the middle of August now. Have you ramped up? Tell me how you ramped this practice up. What are the things that you did? Would you do with the schedule and talk a little bit about that?
Dr. Sam Ahani: OK. So one of the things is that, you know, you can't have multiple people, you know, multiple patients being seen by one provider. That's one issue. Providers need more time in between patients. So that's another issue. So basically what we did was and know plus the other stuff like, you know, we have pedo practice so parents can't come in. There's a lot of stuff that goes along with, you know, working here.
So what we did was, we basically gave everybody an hour and 15 minutes per patient and we extended the schedule to be like a 10 hour schedule so they could see at least eight or nine patients in a day, if we had the patients. They were getting paid overtime. So it's kind of like, I thought of it as it's OK, it's hazard pay. Plus, we've got all this PPP money that we know we should use. And so and interestingly, what happened was that, you know, we ultimately ended up doing a lot of production in those first two months. For a variety of reasons, I think one is patients didn't want to come in multiple times, so they were actually willing to do a bunch of work and one sitting, you know, more than before, even if it meant they had to pay a little extra. Our doctors had more time because they're in there for, you know, that they had more assistants at their disposal. And also they had hour and a half, hour and fifteen minutes per appointment. So they were able to do more work in each sitting. And it all actually turned out to work pretty well. Let me see, is there anything else? I mean, but we did have all the PPE and all those things. I had ordered a bunch of suction units and surgical filtration units that came sometime in the mid June. So we were able to like, you know, we felt it made the staff and the patients feel a lot more comfortable that we were so proactive. And that's why we were able to kind of ramp up like that. And we would keep the patients in the loop too on all that stuff.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So tell me about the verbal skills that you were using, both with your team and with your patients. Let's start with your team. Because I have preached, Dr. Ahani, that leadership is so critical right now and I've got a lot of doctors that I've talked to that they need to step up to the plate. So what were like some of the first things you told your team about this. Was it a positive message? Was it a realistic message? What were you telling them?
Dr. Sam Ahani: Well, let me just start out by saying that, you know, my wife and I are sitting every day at home. You know, these are those initial Zoom visits with the you know, the zoom conversations with the team. Right. We're watching these numbers rise. We know we've got to go back to work at some point. So we're both nervous and anxious about what's going to happen. And we have to put up a really solid front for the team. And what that means is that you have to make the team believe that everything is going to be OK, even though you're anxious. And so the funny comment that I made to the team was, you know, in fact it was a second Zoom meeting, kind of close to starting the, you know, the trainings and stuff. And I said, hey, everybody, how are you? And they said, we're all fine. I said, does anybody here know how to do anything else besides dentistry? They all started to kind of laugh, just kind of shake their heads. No, I'm like, "us either". So basically, if you know how to do anything else, this might be a good time. But if you don't know how to do anything else, it's kind of a start. It's time to start figuring this out and go back to work. And everybody just kind of laughed a little bit, but then realized, yeah, that's kind of it. You know, we don't know how to do anything else. So I think that helped a lot. The other thing that I told the team that might be a benefit to your listeners is that I told them, listen, when we go back to work, it's not like patients are coming here to be seen at the time of COVID. They're still coming here for good customer service to be taken care of well, to be spoken to well. It doesn't matter if you're hot. It doesn't matter if you can't breathe out of your N95. We've got to still, patients are still number one. And we still got to, you know, make them feel welcome and happy. And actually, I think that helped a lot to put it in perspective, because a lot of places I go, I notice that, you know, people are down. It's kind of like an excuse not to have good customer service right now. That's kind of what I feel like. I don't blame them. It's hard to breathe in those masks. It's you know, it's oftentimes procedures have changed, but you still have to give good customer service. So those are the two things that I talked to the staff about.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah. And like I say, the leadership is so important, even now as we're coming out of this. So you had a lot of pent up demand. You have a decent sized, good sized practice, as you've shared with me, and you had hundreds and hundreds of people. So, first couple of months coming out of the gate. You were, you know, after you you ramped up. You were doing better, right?
Dr. Sam Ahani: Yeah, we were. We were actually. We did about 20 percent more than like an average month in these last two months, in July and August. But I you know, I'm still trying to figure out why, but I think it has something to do with all the pent up demand. Even though we're not seeing as many patients, we're able to take time and talk to the patients and we have more time with the patients. So there, and patients are more willing to do more work in one visit because they don't want to come back as often. So that could be a talking point that you have with patients. We'd like to do all this at once. Are you willing? So I think that helps a lot with production. Collections is still lagging, obviously, because, you know, I mean, you start to collect and it takes a it takes a few months, but production has been really, really good. August, I can feel it slowing down a little bit. And so we'll have to you know, I'm really interested to see what happens in August.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I think August is an interesting month when there's not a pandemic because a lot of people go on vacation. And I mean, I have almost two hundred followers on my Instagram page. Arthur Wiederman, I think is my Instagram page, if you want to come follow me. And it's nothing terribly exciting. But my youngest son, Forrest made me started an Instagram page. He said Dad, you're the only human being I know that doesn't do social media, you're going to do this. And people are. I'm seeing people. They're going you know, they're not taking cruises. They're not getting on airplanes and going to Europe, but they're going to national parks and they're going boating and they're doing stuff. So that could be part of it. And so one of the things I want you to talk about is, have you been talking to your patients about the connection between healthy mouths and COVID and the immune system? Have you been getting into that conversation?
Dr. Sam Ahani: No, we actually no, we have not actually gotten into that conversation with them. There's so much going on in each visit with all the, you know, "put your mask on and take your mask off. You know, come here. Let me take your..." There's not a lot of conversing that needs to be done, you know, because our actions are showing them that, you know, what needs to be done. As far as the connection between COVID and overall health, I mean, I think everybody kind of understands that. But we haven't been talking to them about oral health and COVID. Which is not a bad idea probably.
Art Wiederman, CPA: That's what we've been talking to some folks about doing that. So your hygiene department again, did you. Did you make longer hygiene appointments for each patient?
Dr. Sam Ahani: That's right. Hour and 15 minutes. They usually get done in about 45 to 50 minutes. Doctor does the exam. They have about 20 minutes to clean up and spray and you know fog. And remember that everybody, you know, whatever you're doing, patients are seeing it. If you put it... So, for example, we try not to put two patients next to each other and in two chairs next to each other. We try to put like an empty chair in the middle.
So, you know, people try and notice these, you know, what you're doing, especially now, they're watching everybody. So if you go to the waiting room, for example, hug one of your cousin that came to the, you know, for cleaning, they're watching you. And you have to be you know, you have to be really, really careful as far as the hygiene department. You know, we bought those big air vacuums and it makes comfortable. You know, I don't know, I think they are effective. And also, it made them feel comfortable and the patients feel more comfortable for the first month and a half, we didn't actually do any ultrasonics. But, you know, asking them to do, you know, hygiene without ultrasonics is pretty, as you know, with all that stuff on and stuff is pretty hard. Yeah, it's tough. When the machines came, we started to use the ultrasonics and went to the 10 hour days. It's kind of working out OK. They're working longer days, but it's a slower pace. So nobody's complaining so far. So we'll talk later about that.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, they probably like the overtime and the unemployment did run out on the 31st of July. They're talking at this moment about increasing it, but it's not going to be the 600 dollars a week. I can almost guarantee you that from the things that I've read. So what were some of the best moves you made opening your office up? Some of the real just say, boy, I'm really glad I did this or boy, I'm really glad I did that.
Dr. Sam Ahani: I'll tell you, you know, one thing is, you know, when some stuff like this happened, a lot of not just dentists, but business people in general, they try to throttle back and figure out how to, you know, how to spend less money. It's kind of like a restaurant that doesn't have any business or they start to like, you know, serve yesterday's food today. And it's like an ever, you know, as self-fulfilling prophecy after a while. You really like, during this time we hired two people because I knew we'd have some people, to, we need somebody to go after hygiene for those next months when we don't have hygiene. You know, we'd need more help with that. We hired one more assistant. We were short anyway, but we hired one more assistant to help with the cleaning and all that stuff. One thing is that one thing I'm glad is that we ordered all those, you know, because, you know, that equipment wasn't cheap. It was you know, I don't know. The ones I got was very, very expensive. And they were you know, they were sold out for they didn't come for six weeks. So we ordered them very early on. I'm pretty happy. My brother was kind of the one who, my brother the endodontist was the one who said, let's just pull the trigger and buy these. And by having them, it just makes everybody feel better. So one of the things is, you know, don't throttle back. This is not the time to throttle back. That's kind of the.. That's kind of what the PPP and EIDL and all that stuff, that's why it comes in handy, is because you can do a little more and not less. So I'm glad I didn't throttle back and like try to lay people off and, you know, and, you know, try to, you know, try to bring overhead down as much as I could. So I think that's one of the things is when something like this happens, you can't be afraid to spend money on it.
And that's what the government money was for. So that's how we spent it.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I think that's a great, great point. And one of the things that I've learned, I probably mentioned this on this podcast, folks, is I had a, I don't remember who it was, it was a business owner or another CPA friend of mine who told me, he said, "Arthur, the day you stop marketing your business from the day you stopped trying to grow your business, is the day your business starts to die." Does that seem reasonable to you?
Dr. Sam Ahani: It's totally true. If you if you're seeing the day where you're looking to see if you're have to like they raise the rent a thousand dollars and it's going to crush your business, that's the time that you should have closed it down already. So if you're starting to penny pinch because you have to, then that's a clear sign that you should be thinking about maybe the opposite. Maybe you need to expand.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And you're also sending a message to your team that, well, "you know, I'm pulling back and maybe we're not going to make it and maybe they should look for another job or something like that."
Dr. Sam Ahani: You know, some dentists, like, they don't have patients for half a day and they send the team home. And so, you know, all that's telling them is that we don't have enough work for you.
But then you lose one and you save three hundred dollars on that day or two hundred dollars three hundred dollars, you lose one and then you end up spending twenty five thousand dollars training somebody else and maybe they're as good as the other one and maybe they aren't. They probably continue to lose your money. I know it's a tough pill to swallow for a lot of people, but when things like this happen, you can't be afraid to throw some money, even though you're not sure if it's like, you know, spending all that money on the air filtration. That was like, are you sure? Are we serious? We're going to buy a bunch of equipment right now. We have no idea what's happening. There's not anything in the schedule. But I always go towards that. Let's just do it, because in the long run, losing your business is way worse than, you know, whatever money you spend on the equipment and the payroll and those kind of things.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, we have a saying on our podcast that failure is not an option. And obviously you're my one of my biggest cheerleaders for that. So in talking to the patients, this is something I'd love to get your take on. Talking to the patients, do you tell the patients - okay, here's all the things we've done to make sure you're safe or do you show them the machines or what have you been doing to reassure patients and how have they been apprehensive about the safety of your office?
Dr. Sam Ahani: The patients come in a variety of packages. Some of them are not afraid at all. It couldn't be less on their mind. Some of them moderately. They want to see you know, they want to see that you're taking precautions. And that's by and large, that's where they're at, the ones that are coming in. And the other ones are just staying at home. And they will not budge. And they are scared to death of getting COVID, getting it. As I told you all along, we've been emailing patients. So we've been telling them about, you know, kind of everything that we're doing. Even the struggles that we have, you know, those things we've been taught. We were telling them when we got the new protocols in place. We sent one e-mail when we got the equipment in place. We sent another e-mail with pictures. I mean, Art, if you've seen one of those suction things, you can't really miss it. Exactly. It's like a giant elephant in the middle of the room. And then we have you know, we have the splash guards that are, you know, that are in front of the you know, the front of the reception area. I mean, you really can't miss those things.
So we don't, it's not so much talking to the patients, but it's very obvious we set up an outdoor seating area for the patients. We were lucky enough that we have an area where we can we can do that. They come in. They get their temperature taken. I mean, you don't really have to say a lot. Everything is different. And, you know, we are all wearing masks. We're all wearing, you know, this, that and the other thing. So there's not a lot to say. They notice it. But on the other hand, if you mess up, they notice it, too. So you have to be really, really you really have to be diligent about staying on the team and making sure that even though it's not a big deal to you, like in that example I was using happened in the office when one of our assistance cousins came for a cleaning and obviously she went and gave them a hug. You know, we had to kind of tell her, hey, you know, that doesn't look good to the other team members. And everybody else. So you just she's like, "oh, my God. Yeah".
Art Wiederman, CPA: We don't think about that. So now your wife is a pediatric dentist and she practices in the same facility, correct?
Dr. Sam Ahani: She does. Yeah.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So how is that working with parents and kids? I mean, because we have pediatric dentists that listen to this podcast. And we also have, you know, most of our clients take children in their practices. How how has that changed?
Dr. Sam Ahani: Yeah, she's seeing far fewer patients, obviously, because, you know, pedo is just, it is basically a numbers, right? So she's seeing far less patients, but she's working an extra day a week, so that's making up for it. If you're wondering about the production piece. But listen, Art, a lot of people should remember this. Kids are home now. So if you have a problem, and parents are home. So if you have trouble filling your mid-day things, that's maybe a good direction to go. You know, call them and say bring the kids in, you know, in the middle of the day. So whereas before, you know, everything in pedo happens from like three to six, seven. Right. Because the kids are getting out of school right now, their home in the middle of the day. They're kind of bored with nothing to do. So getting kids to come in is actually a little easier now than it used to be. So that's something to think about.
Art Wiederman, CPA: You know, it's interesting. I have a large pediatric dental practice that I've been consulting with for 30, 35 years. And I get involved and we were doing twice a year meetings and all this stuff. And that was one of the biggest issues that we had, was that in a lot of counties, the school district will not let you pull the kids out of school. I don't know how it is up there, but. And the parents don't want to pull the kids out of school. So, you know, you can't just say, oh, by the way, I'm going to offer you a job, but you can only work from three to six. It's hard to find people, and it's very hard to find people. I mean, you know, it was before the pandemic. It's now. It just depends on where you are. But that was one of the biggest issues in pedo was you couldn't find anybody. You'd find people who would work and you couldn't get parents to get the kids in no matter what you did. And that's the same. That's what your wife struggles with. But now that everybody is off school, or they're doing virtual school, which is less time, you know, starting soon, that's an advantage for my pediatric dentists, right?
Dr. Sam Ahani: That's right. That is. So how we used to handle it. I'm sure most of the pedodentists do the same thing, but it's worth a mention. Even before, if you know, you won't pull your kid out of school to come and get a cleaning, maybe, you know, those have to be between three and seven. By the way, we're open until seven a lot of times. And most days.
But you will pull a kid to come out and do fillings and, you know, extractions and those kind of things. So we would do our standard policy in the office is, you know, all the cleaning, all the fillings and all the extractions and all that work has to be done in the morning. And it's good for the kids. And it's know because they're not tired, exhausted after school. And it's also good for the practice. That's how we fill the morning. So and then all the hygiene we try to do between, there's exceptions, but for the most part, we try to stick to that.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, you've given a lot of really good tips. I just love to have my listeners hear somebody who's in the trenches and doing everything that they need to do to get back. What are you doing? Like, I know in fact, one of the people that referred you to me was my good friend JoAnne Tanner, and her podcast came out and she was just raving about you. So what are some of the things you're doing like for the fourth quarter, you know, getting down to Christmas and, you know, maybe people are not scheduling as much. Are you doing anything in that regard?
Dr. Sam Ahani: So we've actually JoAnne turned me on to the fact that, "hey, make sure you go look at your September, October, November schedule."
And I, you know, immediately the light went on and I and I sent this, you know, a message, told my, you know, because I'm we're on a group text with all my classmates from class of 95 at U of P. Shout out.
I'm telling you, we literally have spent well sent ten thousand text to each other and then that last two, three months. No joke. And so I sent, I said, hey guys, go check, go check your September, October, November schedules and get back to me. And they're all like, oh no. So. So, yeah, I am concerned. We did hire that extra person. And so we have availability for somebody to work on hygiene. We do like the idea of bringing patients in, you know, because a lot of them are allowed, you know, twice a year cleanings on their insurance benefits. We do like that idea. However, that's not how we make production. I mean, I could go into how we calculate production as a as a thing of as a part of hygiene.
But I won't go into that. But the thing is, if you're bringing in three and four month recall patients, they don't have any work to do. You're getting some hygiene production and they're probably good for the patients. That's so that's good. But you really need patients who haven't been in for a while to get that. So reactivating patients the way JoAnne was talking about on your podcast, that's a great idea. Giving incentives for them to come in. That's an amazing idea. I've actually planted double and triple my marketing efforts during these.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I was going to ask you about that.
Dr. Sam Ahani Yeah. So we've never actually done any Google ads to any great extent at that time. So I've created a new website and I plan to spend a good bit of marketing money on Google ads. We also do Chris ad fliers. I don't know if you're familiar with Chris Ad. I've been working with them almost as long as Hayden. We do those fliers. And also, you know, the reactivating the patients and reactivating direct mail, whatever I can do. But I do plan to again, you know, my philosophy is if you have a problem, try throwing some money at it and see if it sticks. So this is what I'm trying to do, you know, to make sure that September, October, November, December should be OK. I think we're back on track in December unless, God forbid, something happens, we get shut down again or something like that. But I think we're OK in December. So those I'm trying to just pull in new patients however I have to make up for any lack. So I'm actually very concerned, but also super interested to see what happens in those in those months. It tells a lot about the practice to see what happens, you know, when something like this happens. Right?
Art Wiederman, CPA: I like the way you're thinking, Dr. Ahani. I really do, because the ADA took a survey and fifty five percent of dentists said that they're going to bring themselves back to profitability by cutting overhead. And I've been preaching for thirty six years that that's not the way you make money in dentistry. You make money in dentistry by increasing your production and your production per visit and your production per hour and making sure patients come in, which are all the things that I'm sure that you do. I want to change gears here with you because you've got a very intriguing project that you've taken on. And when I heard about it, I thought, wow, this is a great subject and I want to share it with everybody is obviously the relationship between the general dentist and the specialist and the referral. So, Doctor Ahani, talk a little bit about how you got into this whole project and maybe what's the issues that you're finding? And then we can talk about maybe some of the solution that you've created.
Dr. Sam Ahani: It could be that I'm just a glutton for punishment, Art.
Art Wiederman, CPA: You and me both.
Dr. Sam Ahani: We'll talk about that. OK. So as I said, you know, my wife's a pediatric dentist, my brother's an endodontist, my cousin's an oral surgeon. My brother in law is a dentist, everybody. So we have a lot of dentists and specialists in the family. Right. So I refer all my endo to my brother, for example. And even though, you know, it's my brother. And I can get him at a drop of a hat and send him a text. You know, we still saw a lot of people drop off, drop off as they're being referred to his office. So and, you know, for years I've been basically every time I had a referral to a patient, I think all GPs, you know, will recognize this thought, as soon, like a patient would come in. They need a lot of work. Ten thousand. Fifteen thousand. Twenty thousand. And then there was this like one root canal that I can't do. And then as I'm handing in and as I'm handing this referral to the patient, I'm thinking to myself, "God, I hope I see you again."
And then I go to the front desk and say, "hey, Jeanette, can you make sure that we see Mr. Smith again? He needs a lot of work." And then she'll put a little Post-it somewhere. And then we just sit and wait for the final, you know, the final report to come. And obviously, my brother's office doesn't know that the patient's been referred. We did e-mail some referrals sometimes. My brother's office basically doesn't know that the patients have been referred. And so the patients never go and they never make it back to us. So tracking these referrals better is a win win for everybody. The patients, the patients, the specialists and the GPs. On a side note, you know, what really triggered it was I was having a conversation with a pretty well-known malpractice attorney and I was explaining to them what project that we were thinking about doing. And he said that, "you know Sam, about half of all litigations in dentistry come from this mismanagement of specialist GP patient communication." So he was he was really into it. So when you said that, then I thought this is a good project and we've been working on it ever since.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So you shared a statistic with me that there is a certain... I don't know if this was in your practice or just nationwide... Is the percentage of referrals that you make that never make it to the specialist.
Dr. Sam Ahani: Yeah. In my practice, the number is somewhere around 30 to 40 percent. If you look on... Well, it depends on the specialty. Right? I mean, how many if you give 10 perio referrals out. How many of them go you think? Art, right?
Art Wiederman, CPA: I'm gonna guess half maybe if you're lucky.
Dr. Sam Ahani: There you go. If you're lucky. What about ortho? What if somebody needs four or five implants, you refer them to an oral surgeon out of 10. How many go? It's really not that hard to understand this. But if the oral surgeon wants to call them right after they left the office and say, you've been referred by Dr. Ahani, we'd like to, you know, we'd like to schedule a consult with you, 20 or 30 percent of the time more they're likely to go. It's not really rocket science. It's just basically good customer service, a nicer handoff and better communication between the specialists and the general dentist and the patient. And if you look nationwide, there is not really dental referral numbers, but we found a lot of articles on medical referrals and no reason to think that that's any different. And they range from 40 percent don't go to sixty five percent don't go for their referrals. So it's a big number. It's actually a huge problem. And for GPs and specialists and I thought it was worth solving.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Let's do some simple math. Let's say that you diagnose that a patient needs four implants, OK? A quadrant of implants. And again, at Northern California fees, I'm obviously not as familiar as Southern, but I'm guessing let's just use 2500 dollars a tooth, depending if there's an abutment and things like that for the implant, for the periodontist or the oral surgeon. Is that fair number?.
Dr. Sam Ahani: It's probably an average number. Yeah.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Yes. So that's ten thousand dollars for the specialist. And then you're going to come back and you're going to put in the implant crown, which for you, most dentists charge more for an implant crown than they do for a traditional, non implant crown. That might be six, seven thousand dollars for you. Right?
Dr. Sam Ahani: It's closer to. Yeah. I would say six, seven thousand six, seven thousand dollars.
Art Wiederman, CPA: So we got just with that one case, we've got 16, 17, maybe as much as 20, twenty thousand dollars at play here. And if you're telling me that 30 percent or more don't do this, that's interesting. So tell me, you have a solution. And before ... Doctor has created an app called Refera. Did I get that right?
Dr. Sam Ahani: That's right. It's a play on the word referral.
Art Wiederman, CPA: I want to be real clear before we start talking about this. I do not take any kind of fees from anybody to promote products. I only promote things that I think are going to help my listeners and my dentists and my CPA practice on podcast. So this is not about ...I'm doing a referral situation here. I was so intrigued by this. Thirty six years of dentistry, I had never heard of it. So I want to learn more about it. So tell me, how does it work? How does your app work?
Dr. Sam Ahani: So basically it's a... You sign onto the site and you know, mostly on the GP front, they hit the create referral button. And immediately on the other end, the specialist sees it on their dashboard. They pick up the phone or text the patient or however they usually communicate with patients. And they call the patient, they schedule them. But when they schedule them, they click a little button that says scheduled on their dashboard and that shows up on our site as an outgoing referral. We see that that patient has been scheduled.
If it sits there and there hasn't been schedule that's also noted.
Any notes that they those guys put into the schedule we see on this side, so that the problem that that's solving is, hey, I don't have to call now to find out where this, where this referral is at. They can also communicate with the other office via chat, which means you just leave a message and they answer you. So a lot of times it's like, can you send me the insurance info for so-and-so? Although the software does allow you to input all that information and send it too. And so, at each stage, when the patient's complete, it's marked as complete. You upload your final report. Art, everything sits in one place. I think that's what... I created this mostly for GPs. Right? So from the GP perspective, it's really great to have all our referrals in one spot where we can monitor them. We can see who's been scheduled, who needs to come back. The other day I clicked and there was you know, we were short on like those empty spots in the chair. And there was a patient who had like two implants placed who was ready for things. So I went on Refera, and I told the team, hey, guys, did you guys see this? They said, oh, they just came through. So she'd just gotten done like yesterday. And so we called her up and brought her in for the for the implant crown. So it's kind of, it's not really that difficult. It's pretty simple. And the point I want to make on this on our software, which is different than others, is you can send a referral whether the person is on the network or not. The way we do that is we have a database of all the dentists in the country. You select, you put their email address in. If they're not in on Refera and we then will email them that referral and they can click and they can be on the dashboard, too.
So it's got kind of this network effect that can happen. And in our area, you know, twenty five offices have signed up, about 100 offices have signed up. Twenty five of them are using it daily. And we're just about to take it to market and start to get the word out on it a little bit.
Art Wiederman, CPA: What kind of feedback are you getting from the dentists who are using it?
Dr. Sam Ahani: You know, the ones they use it solid, they love it.
The trouble is getting you know, changing the way like you do some stuff in the office is a little bit difficult because, you know, they used to hand out a referral to a patient just like, you know, squiggle the patient's name and then maybe a phone number and click something or check something. And then they would give it to the patient thinking that that's the end of the referral. But that's not really the end. The end was that then the office calls and says, what is their insurance information? Can you upload their x rays? Can you do this? Can you do that? So actually, our software saves a lot of time, although it does it you know, it appears to, you know, the GP that it's done. It's not saving time, but it's saving a lot of time because it's just filling out. That thing was not the thing. And we also can do integrations with basically uploads all the patient's information easily onto the software. So that does make it a lot easier.
Art Wiederman, CPA: And you mentioned liability, and I hadn't even thought about that. I mean, do you have some examples that you can give where if a patient doesn't go to the specialist where there could be a lawsuit?
Dr. Sam Ahani: Yeah, I have a I have a great one. Actually, it's not our case.
I think I think this one ...
Art Wiederman, CPA: Thank goodness it's not your case, right?
Dr. Sam Ahani: It's not my case. I wouldn't I wouldn't do that. No. But what happens is. OK. So, for example, the dentist referred the kid to an orthodontist to do ortho. Midway through treatment, the orthodontist refers them back to the general dentist saying that he's got decay on 18 and 19 and to take care of it. The parent never goes.
It's actually noted in the chart that the parent was given a referral back to the GP to get these taken care of. They never take care of it. Next thing you know, they take the bands off and those two teeth are have to be extracted because they're blunt. You know, they're rotten.
Yeah. So Mom says, I never got that referral.
And the doctor says I. It's right here in the chart. And, you know, it's very easy to see in an ortho office that they see 60 to 80 patients a day. You know, it's 80. I mean, I know what the number is, but it's astronomical.
Art Wiederman, CPA: That's about right. Yeah. Yeah. A very busy ortho office, 60 to 80 is not unusual.
Dr. Sam Ahani: It's not hard to understand that. You know, the doctor told the assistant, please give him a referral back for this. But the assistant never did.
That's easy to see. So with our system, basically, if you refer them back, you could do a refer back to the original office and the patient gets text and email saying that you've been referred back. Please go. The other office sees that on the other side, hopefully calls the patient and schedules it. That's one. That's one example. The other one that everyone's familiar with is when you when you check mark those little marks on that referral slip, our system prompts you to, you know, to make sure that those two numbers are correct and you have to certify that, like with the checkmark. And then you hit the wrong tooth numbers on those lab slips, on the referral slips, is another is another big deal. I have a story on that one, too, but it's good.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Go ahead and tell it.
Dr. Sam Ahani: Tell that one? OK. So we... Not us, but we refer GP refers to an endodontist for three and four four for root canals and evaluation. So goes to the endodontist, the endodontist determines that number three can be saved. So he does the root canal on number three. Number four though is too far gone and needs to go to an oral surgeon. So she sends the referral now to the oral surgeon. Marks three and four on the referral slip. It goes to the oral surgeon.
The oral surgeon sees their initial referral that says, please evaluate, looks at the preop x rays, which are from the GP. And doesn't realize that the root canal has been done on number three somehow, OK, and takes out both of those teeth. I know, but you know, you know, it seems difficult, but like, you know, these guys are seeing 30 patients a day. It's not that hard to imagine, you know.
Art Wiederman, CPA: No, to miss something.
And the great thing is that with your app, everything is documented. Right?
Dr. Sam Ahani: Everything is in one place and it's all documented. And every note this place than there is you can see it in the history in chronological order.
It's I mean, I might be biased, but I think it's a pretty cool thing.
Art Wiederman, CPA: No, I mean and you know, you look at it, we're trying to generate production. And when there's a referral involved, this is not just a, you know, two surface composite restoration. These are these are thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars in case revenue. Right?
Dr. Sam Ahani: These are your best patients. You know, a lot of times they talk about hygiene and how keeping hygiene in the loop. Right? You're supposed to preappoint every single hygiene patient. Right? But this is kind of the same thing, isn't it? You know, Art, how many new patients does an average office get a month, do you think?
Art Wiederman, CPA: I'm going to say that my consultants teach that a single doctor producing out of about four operatories. We like, you know, 12 to 18 new patients a month. That's what we like to see, you know, maybe 20 at the most.
Dr. Sam Ahani: OK, so let's say 15, for example. Right. On average, how many do you suppose get referred out in a month? I mean, just take a wild guess. In my office, it was way more than I thought by the way.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Out of fifteen, I'm going to say 20 percent, maybe three or four.
Dr. Sam Ahani: No, overall in the office, like...
Art Wiederman, CPA: Oh, how many referrals? Oh, my goodness. Depends. In a busy office. I mean, I've had doctors ... because I remember I sell dental practices. And I'll ask how many root canals? How many how many endo referrals, how many period. And I'll hear. Oh my goodness. We probably make ten, you know, five to 10 a week sometimes. I mean, you've got a busy office. It could be that high.
Dr. Sam Ahani: OK, so let's say let's pick a low number. Let's say they refer out twenty a week. 20 a month.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Twenty a month; five a week.
Dr. Sam Ahani: 240 referrals that to keep track of a year. And if you take back that length of two years. Right? because that's kind of the window isn't it, for like a referral maybe?
That's 400, you know, whatever, 80 referrals you have to keep track of. How are we keeping track of these referrals?
Art Wiederman, CPA: Because the front office has nothing else to do but just keep track of it, right.
Dr. Sam Ahani: So if you think about it, if even 30 percent of those are getting getting lost, that's like three months worth of new patients. Four months worth of patients.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Oh, yeah. So let's tell the listeners kind of how this works. First of all, what's the website?
Dr. Sam Ahani: It's www.refera.com R-e-f e-r-a.com.
Art Wiederman, CPA: OK. And so they go on there. So do they pay for this? Is it a monthly fee? Is it by patient? How does that work?
Dr. Sam Ahani: So we have a. So you know, one of the things we have to figure out is that how do we make it so that dentists don't mind having their specialists get this software and specialists don't mind asking their GPs to get it. So, the money conversation is tough. So the solution we came up with is we have a very powerful version for GPs. GPs can do virtually everything on the software for free. OK. And we have a very powerful version for specialists for free also. So you can basically use this thing for free. And it's still a way better system than you ever had before. If you're if so, for the GP part, we charge for integration with like your Dentrix and stuff. 99 dollars a month. It does make things a lot easier, but it's not a it's not you know, it's not a deal breaker. It saves you some time and some it makes it a lot better. But you don't have to have it. On the specialists side, we charge them $199 a month for their reporting, which is really valuable to them because now they can see who's sent them, how many and what time frame, how fast the front office is scheduling those patients. You know, it's a lot of information that they never had before. And also on the free version, we don't surface the patients contact information because our value prop is that if you call these patients, they will 30 percent more will come. So if you don't think that's true, you don't have to call the patient first. Just wait for the patient to call you, just like you did before, because they got the text and the email. But for 200 dollars a month, you get that contact information, and it's virtually a no brainer I think.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Well, I would think that the specialists who want you to refer would be jumping all over this thing.
Dr. Sam Ahani: The specialists like it and the GPs like it. And it's actually pretty great for both. So, you know, the way we have it set up, the way that networking is, the way that you add people to your network, that kind of stuff is really, really cool. They are all over it. It's just a way of, you know, a change... The reason I'm you know, I want to talk about this in person on podcasts and things is because you just have to get people to recognize the problem. It's actually a pretty big problem, that bigger problem that a lot of things you're trying to solve in your practice right now.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Wow. And it's again, I mean, there's all kinds of things in a dental office and a dental business, and especially during these very, very challenging times that we're in. This is another way to generate revenues in your practice. And, you know, so it's up ...so you say you work with about 100 offices right now nationwide?
Dr. Sam Ahani: That's right. Yeah.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Right. And you say they've seen increases and more fluidity. And the patients are coming out.. Now, one more question, because we're running to the end. This just goes so fast. I tell you, it's so much fun, but it goes so fast. Who's the one? So, you know, the GP makes the referral to the specialist.
All right. And then we don't hear... Do you recommend that they wait two or three days to schedule or do you...? How does that work? And then who makes the call? Because you don't want to get a call from the GP and the specialist for the patient, because that's a little overkill, isn't it?
Dr. Sam Ahani: We don't. So the GP refers them out. The patient gets a text and an email that gives them the information for the referring office, says you've been referred to Doctor So-and-So.
And then the specialist sees it on their dashboard on the other side and they call. But we don't recommend that they wait. It's kind of up to them. But what happens is, like we literally, Art, sometimes see, because, you know, we have a timestamp, right, when the referral was created. And then when the patient was scheduled, sometimes it's like 10 minutes, 12 minutes apart. And it's because the specialist understands that they need to call these patients while it's fresh in their mind while the iron is hot. Yeah. They call. And then sometimes they schedule them within, you know, ten or twelve minutes. And and I swear to God, sometimes I'm like this person still has to be at the general dentists office. They probably didn't even leave yet.
Art Wiederman, CPA: But that shows people like being on the cutting edge. Now, you also mentioned a case where a your orthodontist found 18 and 19 was a problem and they needed to send him back to the GP and that didn't happen. So does it work the same way that the specialist would put in the referral and then the general dentist would then go ahead and call the patient?
Dr. Sam Ahani: It's exactly the same way. So basically, they the referral is there. There's a button that says refer back and the specialist, the specialist clicks the button. So all the patient's information's already in there and just, you know, types in what the patient needs to have done. The patient gets a text and an email says that you've been referred back to your general dentist. So there's no question anymore that, you know, if it was done or wasn't done or whatever, this general dentist then sees it on their side and there needs action. And then they call and schedule the patient.
Art Wiederman, CPA: That's fantastic. So one more time. And we're coming to about the end of our time here. One more time. So the website is www.refera.com. Is that correct?
Dr. Sam Ahani: That's correct. And if anybody wants to contact me directly.
Art Wiederman, CPA: Yeah. Go ahead and give out your contact information, please.
Dr. Sam Ahani It's just Sam@refera.com
Art Wiederman, CPA: That's how we scheduled this podcast. So there you go. And yeah. Just give him an email. Again. Doctor, you just intrigued me when we talked and when JoAnne was talking about you. And I'm thrilled that you were able to come on today. Any final comments about any advice? I mean, you run a I mean, a big practice between you and your wife. We're not going to give out your numbers, of course. But it's a very successful practice. Any last tips that you can give to our doctors for, like, going forward to keep the momentum going?
Dr. Sam Ahani: I want to give this advice, and this is something that I struggle with every day, is you really have to make sure that you take care of yourself. You know, COVID will come. COVID will go. Production will come. Production will go. You need to make sure that, you know, you're taking care of yourself so that you can take care of your office. So that you can take care of your family. Dentistry is not an easy business. You know, I am 54 now. I've been in this for a long time. I don't know. Twenty seven years. You know, something like that. So one of the things that I really wanted to tell people is that you really, even though these are hard times or whatever, don't forget, you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of everybody else in your practice.
Art Wiederman, CPA: That's great advice. So, Dr. Sam Ahani, thank you so much for your wisdom today. Helping our doctors. I know. I hope, doctors, that you'll listen to some of the tips that the doctor gave as far as things to be doing with your patients. The thing I love the best that you said today was, you know, don't... You need to spend money during this time, it's like I say, marketing people say you need to spend more money marketing when the times are tough. And this solution that you have for the relationship between the specialist and the general dentist, sounds really fascinating. I'm going to certainly mention it to some of my clients. So, Dr. Ahani, thank you so much. Just hang on for a little bit. And as I wrap this up. Again, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for listening to our podcast. We are exploding.
I mean, we're just in, you know, gaining new and new listeners, newer and newer, I don't know if newer and newer is a word. More and more listeners, I get so excited about this, every single week. If you want to give me a call, you have a question about anything that's going on in dentistry, any of the podcasts we've done.
My number in my office is 657.279.3243. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My email at the office. You can e-mail me there too is email@example.com. Go on to Decisions in Dentistry. Look at their great CE courses and their great content. Fantastic Magazine. If you want a complimentary consultation with an Academy of Dental CPA member, that's where to go and mark the box and we'll get you in touch with our member in your area. And again, if you're looking for a dental specific CPA anywhere in the United States, www.adcpa.org. Dr. Sam Ahani, thank you so much for your time today and your wisdom and your expertise.
Dr. Sam Ahani: I appreciate it Art. Thank you so much. That was a lot of fun.
Art Wiederman, CPA: That was fun. And tell Hayden I said hi. And that is it, everyone, for this edition of The Art of Dental Finance and Management with Art Wiederman, CPA. Stay strong and remember my saying, as I mentioned earlier today, five words - failure is not an option. You have worked way, way, way too hard to accomplish what you've accomplished in your practices. And we are not going to let a virus take that away from you. So everything that you can do to make your practice better. Be proactive. Be a leader. And thanks for listening. Please tell all your friends about the podcast and we'll see you next time. Bye bye.