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The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice Of The DSO Industry – Episode 45

Dave Monahan, CEO of Kleer, makes his third appearance on the Group Dentistry Now Show! Dave discusses what he is seeing in the dental support organization space from a dental membership perspective. He also shares Kleer’s latest service offering, Kleer Employee Care, which DSOs can offer to local employers. Kleer Employee Care cuts out the middleman – the dental insurance company. If you want to improve practice performance, this podcast is for you!

Our podcast series brings you dental support and emerging dental group practice analysis, conversation, trends, news and events. Listen to leaders in the DSO and emerging dental group space talk about their challenges, successes, and the future of group dentistry.

The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice of the DSO Industry has listeners across North & South America, Africa, Australia, Europe, and Asia. If you like our show, please give us a 5-star review!

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Full Transcript:

Bill Neumann:

Welcome everybody to The Group Dentistry Now Show. I’m Bill Neumann, and thanks for checking in with us. So we have Dave Monahan with us from Kleer. He’s the CEO and founder of Kleer. So welcome back, Dave.

Dave Monahan:

Thanks, Bill. Thanks for having me on.

Bill Neumann:

So he’s our first third timer on the podcast. So he is actually done this. Every year he gives us an update on what’s going on in the dental membership space, what they’re seeing at Kleer with their emerging group and DSL customers. And of course, I’m sure he’s got a lot to talk about with 2020. I think when we recorded this last year, it was right at the beginning of COVID. I think that was right. Yeah.

Dave Monahan:

Yeah. I think it was March. Yeah, we were right just about ready, getting into it.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. You might’ve been sitting in an office that was relatively quiet, which is probably quiet today again.

Dave Monahan:

Me and one other person in our office right now.

Bill Neumann:

There you go. But for folks that don’t know Dave, I’ll give you a little bit of his background. And like I said, this is his third time on the podcast and we’ll have links to all the other two podcasts that he’s done with us. So he is the CEO and founder of Kleer. So talk a little bit about Kleer’s platform in a minute, but really they based the platform on dentist and patient feedback. And just a little bit about Dave’s team, I mean, really that the team at Kleer has a deep background in technology in the dental industry. The team publicly advocates for dentist and patient rights. And Dave and the team are continually pushing the company to innovate and be better.

Bill Neumann:

A little bit about Dave’s background, he was the CEO of Fitlinxx and they created simple and affordable wearable devices that enabled patients to monitor and manage chronic conditions, and athletes to monitor and improve their performance. And he also worked at a teeny little company called Microsoft and he helped develop and implement new product market and partner strategies. He has his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Penn State. We are, and actually has his MBA in international business from Loyola University. And he and Kleer, they’re neighbors of ours at Group Dentistry Now, so they’re in the greater Philadelphia area. So it’s good to have you back on the show.

Dave Monahan:

Yeah, thanks. Yeah, nice intro.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, no problem. A lot to talk about, so why don’t you first off, high level, just talk a little bit about Kleer membership plans, kind of what you’re seeing. Back probably to the original podcasts we did two years ago, membership plans were relatively new, but I think they’ve come into their own in the dental industry. And I don’t know, would you say they’re mainstream now?

Dave Monahan:

They are. Yeah. So right now, we’re approaching 5,000 dentists on our platform and you think about it. We released the platform about three years ago this month.

Bill Neumann:

Okay.

Dave Monahan:

And the growth is well over doubling every year. And we actually saw an acceleration in fourth quarter of last year of dental practices joining. And it has a lot to do with what we were talking about earlier, COVID and some of the issues around COVID and what the impact that’s had on the dental space. And in particular how can a dental practice start to take control of how they interact with their patients versus having third parties in between them and their patients? So that is, yeah, the adoption is accelerated. I think it’s become mainstream where we used to have to explain what a membership plan is now. Pretty much everybody knows what one is now. It’s the question of whether they want to implement one or not.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. And I think that one of the things that we talked about, well we’ve talked several times since we’ve done the podcast, was during COVID shut down, there were a lot of emerging groups and DSOs that partnered with you really because, well there’s a lot of uncertainty, right? So they wanted a membership program. A lot of patients maybe losing their dental insurance. So, and just also really kind of a way to offer something to patients in order to engage them and say, “Hey we are going to give you this type of plan. This is what you’re going to pay for the procedures that you’re going to have or the hygiene checkups that you’re going to have with us.”

Bill Neumann:

Talk about what you’re seeing in maybe towards the end of 2020, and then some hurdles that you see the dental industry as a whole, whether it’s group practices or just dentists in general. What are the hurdles for this year as we kind of look at what do we expect in 2021?

Dave Monahan:

Yeah, that’s a good question. And obviously COVID’s the main sort of whatever, impetus of a lot of things that are happening. But just to mention, we have over 250 group practices on our platform. So we we’ve got a lot of experience with groups and the emerging space is a big area for us. But as far as what we’re hearing from our dental practices, there’s a few things going on. To your point about COVID and the impact on the uninsured, about 50% of consumers out there now do not have dental insurance. So it increased about 10% due to COVID. That’s job losses or having to switch jobs that don’t have benefits, even some companies dropping benefits because of the cost issue. So if you think about it, one out of two people you’re going to run into don’t have a dental benefit. And we also all know that if somebody has a dental benefit, they’ll come in twice as often, they’ll accept twice the amount of treatment, right. So dental benefits really matter. So you got that one from COVID. You have an impact of the uninsured.

Dave Monahan:

The other piece you have is there’s an impact to production. So the ADA’s been tracking this closely. I keep an eye on their data, but they estimate the average practice is down about 20% from a production standpoint. And that’s because of wanting to get patient distancing obviously and all that, but you also have patient fear and a certain percentage of patients just aren’t going to come back until the vaccines are well distributed. So you’re dealing one with patient and production volume decreases. And the addition, you’re dealing with cost increases, right? So you got PPE, you have, again, patient distancing, things like that.

Dave Monahan:

So the estimate I’ve seen is an increase in costs of about 5% to 10%. So drop in production, increase in costs, right? You have more uninsured. So the net is, what we’re seeing is practices are realizing dental insurance is not the way to be sort of anchoring your practice moving forward. You need to start being more independent and start to offer care directly to patients. And that’s the dynamic we’re seeing. There’s an acceleration of practices trying to figure out how they better interact with their patients directly. And obviously, a membership plan can help with that.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And we talked a little bit about, I mentioned earlier, that thinking that membership plans are a bit more mainstream than they once were a year ago, two years ago, for sure. Do you have any sense of in the group practice space, DSOs, percentage of groups that have some type of membership plan, whether they’ve created it in house or whether they partner with somebody like Kleer? Any idea?

Dave Monahan:

It’s based on… I don’t have a whatever, statistically valid whatever research, but based on our interaction with the groups, I would say a third, maybe 33%, somewhere around there. Maybe a little higher than that. Maybe 40% will have something. And by the way, most of them are in-house. They’re typically doing it on their own. They have some type of spreadsheet or something like that. Or they have some old tool they’re using to sort of manage it. About 30% to 40%, somewhere in there.

Bill Neumann:

And then again, yeah, speculation. Right. Because I don’t think there’s any hard data on a lot of this. Because first off, we don’t even necessarily know the number of group practices or DSOs out there because it all depends on how you categorize them. But if it’s 30% or 40%, which sounds really accurate, how many of those, especially with the in-house, are actually taking full advantage of them or marketing them correctly? Because I hear a lot of, “We have it, but we don’t really do much with it.”

Dave Monahan:

Yeah, that’s typical. I’m guessing it’s at least 80%. And what we see in these plans that are out there that are in house is yeah, they were designed a long time ago. The team doesn’t really pay attention to them. They’re not designed for what they should be designed for. So typically what we see is it’s more a discount plan. So, “Hey, if you join for $90, $99, or something like that, we’ll give you a 10% discount or 15% discount, something like that.” And what you really want to do is create a environment where the patient is getting services based on their subscription. It’s classic Netflix, Amazon Prime, whatever. But you’re what you’re doing is you’re getting your patient committed to your practice and then getting services related to that so that they come in, right, for their cleanings or exams or x-rays. And as part of that, then they accept treatment.

Dave Monahan:

So we see really poorly designed membership plans when they’re done in-house and then the other part is there are very… One of the reasons the practices aren’t using them is there’s a big administrative burden to them. So somebody needs to create a spreadsheet or you print out a PDF document. Somebody needs to sign it. And then somebody needs to manage on the back end and they don’t know necessarily all patients that have it. It’s hard to manage. It’s hard to understand. And then coming from that, things like renewal rates are typically really bad. Only 30% of patients are actually renewing their membership plan because it takes somebody to go interact with the patient and figure out when you’re coming up for renewal, get them to sign off on the renewal, get them to update their credit card information. It’s a pain. Right? So that is, they’re typically poorly designed, poorly managed and they typically don’t have a lot of traction.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. And so it sounds like engagement’s a really big issue with it. Somebody signs up for it, they spend the money and then they feel like they didn’t get the value out of it. So that’s why they don’t renew or nobody asks them to renew. Well so let’s talk about, so obviously there’s an opportunity there, right? There’s an opportunity for it to be run correctly. Most likely they don’t have the staff that’s focused on it because they’re doing 10 other things. So it’s on the back burner and they forget about it. So that obviously speaks to partnering with somebody like Kleer. What other opportunities do you think are out there for 2021 really to help these DSOs, these dental groups, grow. We’re thinking production’s down by about 20% according to the ADA. So how can you get back up to make up that 20% and then some?

Dave Monahan:

Yeah, and really two pieces of that. So one is what you were mentioning, which is just put a membership plan in place. Get your existing patients who are uninsured to commit to that. And what we see when you do that is you ended up doubling production for those patients that are currently uninsured, that are coming to your practice. And a lot of the groups have called that sort of same store sales. So get your existing customers to buy more. And a membership plan will enable that to happen. And we have all the data that shows they’ll come in twice as often. They’ll buy twice as much, as with a lot any other subscription service out there. When somebody commits, they come in more often and they buy more. So that’s one thing.

Dave Monahan:

The other thing though that we see as a big opportunity is the employer market. So we did a lot of market research around the employer market and the dental benefits are really important to employees. They’re actually the third most requested benefit just behind medical insurance and 401K. So out of all of the benefits that are out there, it’s number three, which is great, right? There’s a lot of value in offering dental benefit, but only one in two small businesses actually offer dental benefits to their employees. And so you have a lot of these. And when you think about small businesses, say a hundred employees and less, and it can be any company or employer near your office, right? I mean, there’s a lot of small businesses in and around the dental offices. So there’s a big opportunity there.

Dave Monahan:

We talked to these small businesses and we asked them things like, “If you’re not offering dental benefit, why not?” Right? Or, “If you were going to offer one, what’s the value in offering the dental benefit?” And we learned a lot from that. One was the reasons they’d want to offer dental benefit. It’s actually really interesting. The number one reason is it shows that they care about their employees, right? So these are small businesses. They know each other, right. They’re family. So they want to show their employees that they care. And as part of that, they can help them improve their health. So those are the first two things they came back with and said, “Yes, I want to show that I care about my employees and I want to help them improve their health.”

Dave Monahan:

And then next below that, number three and four, was increasing productivity and also retaining their best employees. It’s a way to retain them. And I just thought it was interesting that it’s health and showing they care is more important than productivity and retention. These aren’t corporations, right? So the idea that productivity and attention are important, but not as important as feeling like an employee. The employee knows I care about them.

Dave Monahan:

And just some quick numbers on this, there’s about 10 million small businesses out there and they cover or they have access to about 70 million employees and dependents. So this is a big segment, the small business segment. So we see that as a big opportunity to start offering dental benefits to small businesses near dental practices.

Bill Neumann:

Excellent. So as far as dental benefits go and employers, what are they looking for? So if I’m an employer, what’s important to the employer as far as the dental benefits go? And it makes a lot of sense, right? I mean, they’re small. They might have 10 employees, up to a hundred employees, whatever it is. So they probably really get to know, they’re most likely community-based, they’re tight with their employees because they’re so small. So it makes a lot of sense. So another question too. Why aren’t they offering it already? Why don’t they have dental benefits? Is it access? They haven’t thought about it? They think they’re too small to be able to offer it?

Dave Monahan:

Yeah, it’s a good one and it’s sort of a mixed thing there. So why don’t they currently offer it? And what do they want if they are going to offer it, right? So the answer to that question is probably a one side thing. So what we learned again in our market research, I should have explained. What we actually did is we sat down with small businesses. We did focus groups. We’d bring 10 small business owners in, talk to them. We did a national survey of small business owners. And we also did one-on-one interviews to get some clarification. And what they came back with is they want to offer dental benefits. So from a statistics standpoint, 82% of them want to offer a dental benefit to their employees. Really high, right, 82%.

Dave Monahan:

And by the way, what’s really interesting, most people don’t expect this. The interest in blue collar small businesses was actually higher than white collar. So blue collar, 90% of them want to offer it. And the reason they want to do it is because they have trouble recruiting and retaining employees in blue collar businesses. So this was a way to help them do that.

Dave Monahan:

So anyway, so lots of interests, but the reason they don’t currently offer dental benefits and the reason they would, or whatever the things they’re looking for, first was just flexibility in how they contribute to the plan. So dental insurance right now will have minimum participation requirements, minimum amounts that you need to contribute. A typical one is 50% of employees need to sign up or you can’t offer the dental benefit. So one is they want more flexibility in how they fund the plan. And some would say, “Hey, I want to offer a plan, but I don’t want to contribute to it.” And that could be fine, right? So they could be a marketing arm for a dental practice to market to their employees. So flexibility in how they fund it.

Dave Monahan:

Number two is simplicity. They don’t want to deal with documents and getting approvals and waiting periods. They just want to be able to sign up, right. And just be done with it. The small businesses are very busy, as we all know, right. Running a dental practice, I mean, you think about that, you’re full-time, right. You don’t want to have to manage something else. So keeping it simple.

Dave Monahan:

Another one that surprised us is they want it to be efficient. They don’t want to waste money somewhere in the process. And they feel like dental insurance, there’s waste. And surprisingly, they understood a lot of the waste that happens there. So they’re doing a lot. Small businesses are doing a lot more direct with their service providers and product providers that they work with. So they want direct relationship if they can get it.

Dave Monahan:

And then lastly, and this was actually funny because you think about it. This one’s important, but it’s not huge on their radar, but they also want it to be compliant. They want to make sure from a legal perspective that the benefit is compliant with state and federal laws.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So let’s talk about DSOs, kind of back to the groups. So what’s the benefit of acquiring employees as new patients versus just going after individual new patients from a patient acquisition standpoint?

Dave Monahan:

Yeah, the first one is a simple, easy one, right. Everybody would get it, is cut out the middleman, right? So we get rid of the dental insurer. You got rid of all that waste, all those hassles, right. For both you and, by the way, for the employer as well. So why have that in between you and the employer?

Dave Monahan:

And the other thing is, as part of that, you’re being paid directly, right, by the employer and employee. There’s not this waste. It’s not this reimbursement process you’ve got to go through, right. It’s all being paid direct. So you get rid of all that administrative hassle and costs within offering dental benefits to an employer. You can create a reliable subscription revenue business. So when employers commit to something like a dental benefit, if you deliver well and employees get value out of it, they’re going to stay with you and they’re going to continue to pay you recurring subscription revenue that’ll just build over time as you get more employers and more employees from those employers into your dental practice.

Dave Monahan:

And then obviously I talked about this before, when a patient is on a dental benefit, they’re going to come in two to three times more often. They’re going to accept about twice the amount of treatment. So that is, you’re just going to see patients more. And these patients are going to be very valuable patients for you because they’re going to be committed to dentistry and coming in and getting treatment done.

Dave Monahan:

And then the one that you mentioned earlier is just being part of your community and business community. A lot of the practices we see in the groups, they do a lot with the chambers of commerce and things like that. And this is a way to make your dental practice stand out. And we’re actually working with dental practices right now who will go to chambers of commerce and present their plan and the dental benefit to the local employers inside the chamber. And it just makes them feel good. They’ll get obviously some signups, but just as importantly, they feel good that they’re offering a service to the businesses in their area that they know.

Bill Neumann:

Really, there’s a lot of potential here because it’s not just the small businesses that aren’t offering dental insurance, right. They don’t have anything and they just want to offer something. So a membership plan makes sense, but it could be an employer that has dental insurance and maybe isn’t really happy with the current situation or wants to offer something in addition to that, that might be just more interesting for the employee. Kind of cut out that middleman, as you said. So it’s really a couple different opportunities.

Dave Monahan:

Yeah. It’s funny, Bill. So as part of our market research, we actually were asking the small businesses different naming conventions for this, what we’re talking about, offering dental benefits directly from a dental practice to an employer. And by far the most popular name for this was direct care. It’s direct.

Bill Neumann:

Okay.

Dave Monahan:

You’re presenting this to an employer. You want to say, “This is direct with me. I’m the person in charge of this. If you got a question, there’s an issue, right? You come to me.” They love that. They love the idea that somebody down the street or somebody local to them and then somebody who’s going to take responsibility rather than deal with the mess of dental insurance. And how do you go through that and try to get something fixed? So, yeah, the direct thing is really important to these small businesses. Even if their on dental insurance, they have dental insurance and you’re talking to them, say it’s a direct care model and we’re going to cut out the waste, make it more efficient. I’m responsible for the care. I’m going to provide quality care to your employees. That makes small businesses feel really good.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. That does make a lot more sense. So we talked about it really from the practice perspective. Let’s get back kind of to the employers and the employees, right. Because there’s a lot of benefits there as well. And you touched on some of those. Let’s talk about maybe cost savings. So what is it for the employer? And let’s get a little bit more deeper into that.

Dave Monahan:

Yeah. So just on average in the US, if an employer is going to join dental insurance or offer dental insurance, the typical premium plus deductibles… Deductibles are the hidden costs, right? So they’ll say their premium is, let’s say $40 a month, but you got a $50 or a hundred dollar deductible. You might as well just add that to the premium, right?

Bill Neumann:

Right.

Dave Monahan:

So the average in the US is about $520 a year when you add up the premiums and deductibles that an employer pays into. Or sometimes they’ll split it, whatever, but the deductible for the employer and employees are about $520. The average on our platform for a membership plan across the US is $350. So right off the bat, within a subscription model, you’re offering directly to an employer. They can save 30% to 40% depending on where they fall, sort of in the range of premiums in their area and how you price the membership plan.

Dave Monahan:

And when you think about that, what does that get the employer? It gets them the preventative care, right? So they get their cleanings or exams or x-rays. No different, membership plan versus insurance, exactly the same, right. But much, much cheaper under the membership plan model.

Dave Monahan:

And then typically on our platform, when practices are offering a membership plan, they will typically discount their UCR by about 20%. And it’s across the board. There’s no waiting periods, right? There’s no copays. There’s none of this sort of extra administrative sort of layer. It’s very simple, right? If you’ve got to get treatment done, you get a 20% discount. That ranges. We have some practices at 10%, some at 30%, but in a range. But the net is in addition to that a lower “premium” or subscription. They also get these discounts off of treatment across the board, with no waiting periods and no limitations, no exclusions, right. And all that stuff. So it just makes it really easy for people to understand these plans and commit to them and get cared on, but get a discount straight off of treatment.

Dave Monahan:

So the net is, yeah, the employer saves money. The employee saves money and you get rid of all those hassles and the administrative piece of a plan. You don’t have any waiting periods. The employees can get care right away. So there’s a lot of benefits to the membership plan over a typical insurance.

Bill Neumann:

Absolutely. So, I mean, we talked about the opportunity really being in 2021 to focus on the employers, right. So let’s ask the question. I mean, what’s Kleer doing about that? I mean, do you have a solution? You haven’t in the past, right?

Dave Monahan:

Yeah, we haven’t. So we have, let me use the term, rigged our current platform in order to make it work in the past for employers. We’ve had some dental practices offering things, but it’s just not set up all that well. So what we recently announced is what we’re calling Kleer Employer Care that is going to be released in April of this year. And we’re well down the path of developing this product and we’re actually testing parts of it right now.

Dave Monahan:

But so just think about at a high level, what we’ve been talking about, you get rid of the middleman, right? So you’re going to offer an employer a membership plan, what we’re just calling an employer benefit plan, right, to local employers. And you can use the Kleer platform to do that and we make it really, really easy. One for the dental practice and the group to set up this employer benefit plan, and for an employer to join and offer it to their employees.

Dave Monahan:

So just sort of breaking it down, on the Kleer platform currently you can create a, what we call, consumer membership plan. So those are membership plans that currently practices are offering to patients that come into their practice, right? It’s a one-on-one relationship with the practice and the patient. In April, we’re going to release an employer plan, which is just going to be a parallel plan. It can be the same as your consumer plan, or if you want to change it, you can.

Dave Monahan:

So what we’re seeing with practices is they might give a little bit more of a discount because you’re getting volumes of patients, right, so the employers. They might lower the subscription price, things like that, but you can keep it the same if you want. We even have practices that are offering things like toothbrushes to employers. If an employee joins, they’ll get a toothbrush in addition to the care they’re going to get through the plan. But you can customize it however you want.

Dave Monahan:

And so once you’ve done that, it’s real simple. Then you can offer it to an employer or any employer. And we’re going to have capability where you can invite employers to join your membership plan. When an employer gets an invite, they just click a link, really simple. They’ll see your membership plan. They’ll see your care plans. They’ll decide how much they want to contribute and they can contribute anything they want. So they can contribute $50 per employee. They can contribute $100, $200, whatever they decide is their budget. So think about that flexibility, simplicity, right, that I talked about that the employer wants. It is really, really simple for them to do that.

Dave Monahan:

And once they do that and they enter what contribution amount they want, it nets out your subscription price, net of the employer contribution. So the employee, when they go to join, is going to see the net. So if your membership plan is $350 a year and the employer’s giving $200, the net will be the employee would see $150. When you think about it, $150 divided by 12, it’s nothing right for the employee to join.

Bill Neumann:

Right.

Dave Monahan:

Again, no hassles, no waiting periods, anything like that, it’s really, really simple. And by the way, just coming back to the contribution in our market research, the average small business said they’re going to contribute anywhere between $200 and $300. That was their number. So you think about it, that covers almost the whole subscription on the average with an average practice. And so once the employer joins, decides their contribution amount, then they invite the employees. The employees can join from any device. They’ll get a text or an email, depending on what the employer decides. They hit a link. They see the net that they’d have to contribute to the plan. They’ll see the plan itself. They just enter their information and then they just have to pay the difference with the employers providing and what the cost of the plan is. It’s that simple.

Dave Monahan:

And we basically manage the whole thing and we made it compliant with HIPAA, [Orissa 00:26:16], Cobra and something called Direct Primary Care. So we did a big legal review to make sure that this thing’s going to be compliant. So that is really easy for a dental practice to set it up, for an employer to join and an employee to join. And on the Kleer platform, we have capabilities for group practices where you can see how is the plan doing for each practice, how’s it doing in aggregate. You can break it down into, let’s say regions, things like that. But it’s a lot of capabilities for you to track how these plans are doing.

Bill Neumann:

That’s great. And it seems to me that DSOs and groups, because they have a bigger support staff, would be able to actually, they’re focused on patient acquisition. I mean, there’s seem to be set up really well to market this to employers in areas, I mean, they’re involved with local community get togethers and where other employers are, right. So they’re an employer, right. They’re individual practices. And they’re at a local community event and all the other local businesses are there too. So it seems to me to be really good opportunity to connect with some of these other small businesses and talk about the membership plans that they can offer.

Dave Monahan:

Yeah, absolutely. We’re seeing a ton of interest from the groups on our platform wanting to offer this as soon as it’s available. You’re absolutely right. Everything you just talked about is the reasons for that. So yeah, we’re looking forward to a really good uptick and uptake of the solution from the group practice space.

Bill Neumann:

Well, great. So how can groups find out more about this? Where can they access information? I know you said it’s not really available until April, but you have some information. They can get prepared and start to figure out how to market. And it seems to me, the time spent marketing to an employer, they have 50 employees versus trying to get those individual patients, right, those 50 patients. Just the cost benefit would be incredible.

Dave Monahan:

Yeah. So if you just go up to Kleer.com, there’s two things. One is you can set up a demo if you want. It’s a live demo with somebody. You can ask questions on obviously the product, all that stuff. You also, up on our website, you’ll see there’s a little banner up on a top of our, sort of the middle, I guess, of the homepage. You’ll see as soon as you log in or pull up our website where it actually will take you to Kleer Employer Care and we have a page up there that explains some of the details around the product and some of the features that are going to be available and things like that. For example, we’ll provide marketing materials to the practices to offer out to the employer. So you’ll see details there, but the net is, if you want to see more and get more detailed, the demo is probably the best thing to do.

Bill Neumann:

Okay. And we’ll make sure in the show notes we have a link to the demo. And also the article and video, we’ll put the link up as well. So you’ll be set. You should be able to find it.

Bill Neumann:

Before we sign off, any predictions on how the year’s going to unfold? I’m glad I didn’t make you do a prediction last year. Maybe I did, I don’t know. But what do you think with 2021? And maybe we’ll just kind of focus on the dental industry. But what do you think in the emerging group, DSO space? Do you think we’re going to kind of capture those 20%, bring that production back up? And just what’s your thoughts in general?

Dave Monahan:

So, yeah. For me the two biggest issues are that production piece. And also what we’re hearing from our practices is being able to hire, right? The right people to bring into the practice. They lost a lot of employees and team members due to COVID. So that is, I think, I mean, and it’s probably a typical type of prediction. I think we got a six to eight month process here before we really get through COVID. So I don’t want to be a bearer of bad news, but I think it’s going be tough, at least probably until about the fall, would be my guess given how slow the vaccine is going sort of distributed. So I think that is, we just got to keep our head down, get through, let’s say August, September, somewhere around there. And then I think we’ll see the light and I think we’re going to grow pretty quickly from there out. I don’t want us to jump the gun, right. I do think we have a little bit of a slog here for a little bit longer.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. And I think that makes sense. And I think that’s why it’s kind of important to think a lot differently. I mean, there’s the opportunity to do that. And it’s not just about doing the same old thing and waiting for things to get back to normal. It’s like, okay we either don’t have a membership plan or we do, but this employer opportunity makes a lot of sense. So let’s turn some of our marketing efforts towards the employers. Let’s double down on the membership plans that we maybe have had, but haven’t really utilized to the fullest extent and take advantage of some other things. And then on the recruitment side of things, that makes sense. The hygienist, the assistants, the dentists, how do we keep the folks we have happy? And then how do we find new talent out there and make sure they stick with us, but yeah.

Dave Monahan:

And Bill, on that opportunity front you’re absolute, right. You can sort of be a woe is me, right? That’s one option. The other option is go find opportunity. And one thing you mentioned, I worked at Microsoft. One thing we used to focus on all the time is what we call latent opportunity. So there’s active opportunity and latent opportunity. Latent opportunity is 80% of all opportunity out there. Only about 20% is active. Active is, “I have it on my mind. I’m going and searching for a solution.” 80% is, “It’s sitting in the background. I know I need to do it, but I don’t take action on it.” Right. That’s where you want to focus especially when things are a little tougher.

Dave Monahan:

And where is latent opportunity? One is it’s sitting in your practice. So these patients that are currently coming in, they would do more production or they’d commit to more care if they had a dental benefit plan. We know that. There’s a direct correlation there. If they have dental benefit plan, they’ll come more often, they’ll get more treatment done because they’d have coverage and they’re going to commit to treatment underneath that coverage.

Dave Monahan:

And then the other piece is we know these employers want to offer care to their employees. It’s another latent opportunity, right. So go get that one. And there’s others. I’m just mentioning, obviously the two we talked about, but think about latent opportunity in your practice. That’s where opportunity sits, typically.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. Great. Well we’ll end this podcast on focusing in 2021 on latent opportunity and make sure you check out Kleer’s employer care section of their website and get a demo. And I totally agree. And I think that the folks that succeeded in 2020 were the ones that were focused on latent opportunity, and those are going to be the DSOs, the emerging groups, the solos that are focused on that again in 2021. So again, hey, so now we’ve got the trifecta here, right? The hat trick with three podcasts now with Dave. And thanks for the update. And I’m excited to see this Kleer employer care launch and help a lot of emerging groups succeed in 2021 and DSOs. Thanks again for joining us, Dave.

Dave Monahan:

Thanks for having me, Bill.

Bill Neumann:

And thanks everybody for watching and listening to The Group Dentistry Now Show. I’m Bill Neumann, until next time.

 

 

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