As the dental industry begins to reopen their doors following an unprecedented mandatory shutdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the number one question on all practice owners’ minds is “How will we recover?” While there may be multiple options to increase revenue, few can also make a huge impact on patients’ lives.
Oral cancer is one of the leading major public health concerns in the United States. Over a 17-year period, the number of oral cancers has increased each year while the number of most other cancers has declined. For 2020, The American Cancer Society estimates 53,260 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States and nearly 10,800 people will die from this disease. Malignancies diagnosed at late stage (stage III and IV) contribute to the increased morbidity rates. Alternatively, early stage detected cases (premalignant, stage I, and stage II) have between an 80% and 90% survival rate; however, in 2019, 38,000 cases were diagnosed in late stages in the United States.
OralID® is an enhanced oral cancer screening device that uses a proven, optically based technology called fluorescence technology. OralID is manufactured by Forward Science, a company that was founded with the vision to create a simpler, efficient, and more affordable oral cancer screening device. OralID uses the same proven fluorescence technology as other oral exam devices, with no up-front costs and lower overall lifetime costs. In addition, unlike any other device on the market, OralID has no per-patient cost during use. OralID’s technology provides the clinician an aid in visualization of oral mucosal abnormalities, such as oral cancer and pre-cancer.
Though visual and tactile oral tissue screenings were taught during dental and dental hygiene formal education, historically, using an enhanced visual screening aid was and is not part of the standard curriculum. This fact often leads dental providers and team members questioning why this technology should be incorporated into their practice.
Consider the following Top 5 reasons to overcome this obstacle:
Change Lives. As with all cancers, early discovery is critical for a satisfactory prognosis. The survival rate for an early diagnosis of oral cancer is 84%, whereas late stage discovery drops quickly to only 39%. Early detection benefits not only the individual but the lives of their loved ones!
Practice Differentiation. OralID differentiates a practice. A commitment to oral and total body health will not go unnoticed resulting in increased patient retention and patient referrals. In addition, patient referrals from professional colleagues will increase due to the desire for continuity of care for specialty services.
Decrease Liability. In many states, one of the top 3 malpractice suits are for failure to diagnose oral cancer. Using the OralID to exceed the standard of care, will help defer or reduce judgments in such an unfortunate situation.
Improve Employee Morale. As a business owner, staff turnover and low morale are expensive and toxic to office culture. Providers that have a life changing technology, such as OralID, at their disposal are energized and proud of their work environment thereby reducing staff turnover and increasing morale.
Make Money. While clinicians’ main responsibility is to provide the best clinical treatment, maintaining a profitable business is also a priority. Incorporating OralID can help both grow the practice’s revenues and increase the bottom line.
Since OralID was FDA cleared in 2013, Forward Science has partnered with many single and group dental offices throughout the US to enhance patient care. New technologies continue to play an important role in patient care and DSOs are often looking for ways to differentiate their offices. Understanding the DSO landscape and their unique challenges is one of the reasons why a partnership with Forward Science is essential to ensuring success when implementing an enhanced oral screening program.
Forward Science understands that for groups to successfully launch any new product or service into their affiliated practices, continued support and training is necessary. This need was the genesis of the ID for Life Program. This program provides a risk-free alternative to the traditional purchase platform because it eliminates the need for up-front costs or capital expenditures, while providing unlimited training, warranty, upgrades, batteries, etc. for a low monthly fee. The unique partnership model that Forward Science provides allows the Forward Science team to act as an extension of the group practice and, thereby, assist in coordinating training and implementation efforts. In addition, Forward Science offers a comprehensive training platform, Forward Science Education, along with a dedicated support team to help analyze and track success across various markets and provide early intervention strategies, when necessary, to ensure success.
Below are some examples of Forward Science’s partnership with a few DSOs:
DSO 1: This DSO is a growing North East regional DSO founded on the vision to deliver the highest quality dental services provided by dental professionals that put patient care first. OralID and the ID for Life Program align perfectly with this group’s mission to institute innovative and leading-edge oral health programs that improve the overall health care of each patient. For example, within the first month of OralID implementation into only a fraction of their practices, this group was able to provide 210 enhanced oral cancer screenings, while exceeding expected revenue goals and achieving approximately $6,000 in revenue during the first month beta.
DSO 2: Looking to upgrade its oral cancer screening technology, this DSO partnered with Forward Science to continue their mission to screen each patient for tissue abnormalities. The savings that they experienced by eliminating the per patient consumables and from preventing interruption in service was a pleasant surprise and added financial benefit. “We know that oral cancer is an ugly disease, and we want our patients to rest assured that our offices are providing the best care to our patients by screening them with the latest technology in OralID,” said the Chief Clinical Officer at this Texas headquartered DSO. Since switching to OralID, this group has increased their overall screening rate by 60%, while contributing significantly to their bottom line and achieving $102,000 in revenue.
DSO 3: This DSO has a network of 70 affiliated dental practices across the country and partnered with Forward Science in 2016. Since using OralID, they’ve been able to provide over 50,000 enhanced oral cancer screenings to patients, while generating an impressive return on investment (ROI) and accumulating a profit of more than one million dollars over the course of their 3-year partnership.
Table 1: DSO Financial Performance With the Incorporation of OralID
Not only did these unprecedented circumstances cause a steep decline in revenue for dental offices all over the nation, but they also highlighted the dire need for outstanding patient care moving forward. The patient experience and level of care from the clinician must be exceptional as offices begin to reopen. The focus on overall health and customer care is at an all-time high—across industries. Dental offices must continue to prove that they are dedicated to the safety and satisfaction of their patients. OralID is a simple, efficient, and affordable tool that allows clinicians to provide a higher standard of care for their patients while driving new business and outperforming the competition.
Forward Science is a privately held MedTech company based in Houston, Texas. OralID, Forward Science’s flagship product, is an award-winning oral cancer screening device that allows clinicians to visualize abnormalities that may not be seen under traditional white light examinations. With the success of OralID, Forward Science continued to focus on moving science forward in the oral healthcare industry by launching advanced diagnostic testing products (CytID, hpvID, phID, PathID) along with treatment options (SalivaMAX and Orapeutic). In addition to developing proprietary, state-of-the-art products, Forward Science has partnered with industry leaders to provide new and effective solutions to the dental community. Forward Science designs, develops, and manufactures their products in-house, ensuring the highest quality of standards coupled with superior customer service. Forward Science has quickly evolved into the industry leader for providing oral healthcare products worldwide.