The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice Of The DSO Industry – Episode 60

Kimberlee Mulkay, Sales & Customer Success Manager of Abella AR, discusses accounts receivable management for DSOs and multi-site dental groups with Bill Neumann of Group Dentistry Now. Kimberlee discusses going from paper AR collections to using a simple, but powerful text & email messaging AR platform. We also discuss:

  • DSO case studies
  • Implementation, onboarding and ongoing education
  • Metrics and reporting
  • What to expect at the Dykema DSO Conference
  • If your are headed to the Dykema DSO Conference in Denver please stop by the Abella table and get a demo from Kimberlee.

If you can’t make the conference, contact Kimberlee – [email protected] .

Visit Abella at www.AbellaAr.com

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, click here to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5-star review.

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Full Transcript:

Bill Neumann:

Welcome everyone, to the Group Dentistry Now show. I am Bill Neumann and as always, we appreciate everybody for listening in today. Without you, we wouldn’t have a show and of course, without great speakers, we also wouldn’t have a show. So we have Kimberlee Mulkay here today from Abella, which is a new product, a new platform that will be really launched. It’s out already, but we’re going to highlight it and showcase it at the Dykema DSO event that will be in Denver next week, depending on when you’re listening to this podcast. So that’s the end of July, but Kimberlee, first off, thanks for being here today.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Bill Neumann:

Yep. So you’re going to be in Denver next week at the Dykema conference. Kimberlee is the Sales and Customer Success Manager for Abella AR. So let’s talk a little bit about if somebody is going to be at the meeting next week and we hope everybody, it sounds like there’s going to be like 1200 people at this Dykema conference. So it seems like just about everybody in the DSO space is going to be there, so we’re going to assume that you’re there and we’re going to assume that you’re listening to this prior. If you’re not, you’re going to find out all about Abella on the podcast today. So talk a little bit about what Abella is.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Sure. So Abella is a fully integrated patient accounts receivable software to make it very easy for patients to pay online through their mobile device or through their email. It’s great for DSOs because it’s a completely scalable solution, where it’s really tailored to multi-level and multi location organizations, as they do their collections and want a platform to be able to scale those things and know exactly what’s going on.

Bill Neumann:

And Kimberlee, as far as Abella integration with practice management software, I know that’s one of those things, a lot of people are on different platforms. Talk about how that works.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah. So we integrate with probably about 99% of the dental softwares out there. Definitely the big ones, Dentrix, Open Dental, Eaglesoft, even some Dentrix Enterprise Open Dental Clinic version. We’re pretty much covered there. So yeah, if there’s some softwares out there that you guys are using that you have questions on, you can always reach out to us and we can verify that, but we should be good there.

Bill Neumann:

I really forgot to ask you this at the beginning. Give us a little about your background, how long you’ve been working with Abella and then what were you doing prior?

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah, so I’ve been with Abella since late 2018, and I helped launch the brand into the market. We have grown very quickly over the last couple of years. And my background is in dental sales, but also medical. I was in medical sales for about three and a half years, switched over to dental after I had my daughter and I also come from a customer service background. I worked in the hotel industry for a very long time through college. So that is also near and dear to my heart. And I feel like we bring that to the table with Abella, because our team is not only delivering a great product, but we also take very good care of our customers.

Bill Neumann:

And I think I saw in your background that you worked at the Gaylord in Grapevine, Texas.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yes, I worked at the Gaylord.

Bill Neumann:

And coincidentally, we’re going to be at the Gaylord in Denver, Colorado. So you can answer probably relatively similar, although this is a newer one than the one in Grapevine, but you probably know your way around.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah. We’ll see. I’m excited.

Bill Neumann:

It’s a pretty big venue. So it’ll definitely be exciting. Here’s a question for you. So as far as Abella as a platform, is it more of a patient financing platform? Is it accounts receivable? Give us a little bit of perspective on everything Abella does.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah. So we wanted to solve the problem in the industry about paper statements and the problem that insurance essentially creates for practices and organizations. We don’t deal with insurance. It is strictly after insurance has paid. And then you replace your paper statement process with Abella. Not only is it a scalable solution, but it’s going to help you collect more money faster. It’s going to help you reduce cost to collect. And like I said earlier, it’s a fully automated process. The only really workflow and the responsibility of each practice or billing team essentially is to have the opportunity to review the list that we’re generating through the integration of the patients that owe money, but then once they’re submitted into Abella, we automate the rest. So we follow up with the patient.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

It’s completely hands-off. We post payments back to the dental software daily. There’s other processes in place to make it very easy for the team. They’re really not doing much, but from a corporate standpoint, they’re going to be able to understand what’s going on with analytics and things like that. And as far as what the patient does, it’s completely easy for them too. They can click a couple buttons on their mobile device. They don’t have to download an app. They don’t have to create a login or any of that.

Bill Neumann:

That’s great. So as far as making things easier, it’s really what I think the consumers expect now, right. To be able to do more on their phone, to be communicated in the way that they’re used to, whether it’s via text message, your world, fortunately or unfortunately, is your phone. So it’s a great way for the practices, the DSOs to communicate with patients and the way they want to receive that communication.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah, absolutely. And during COVID, it was we had a big growth spurt because it allowed teams that were furloughed or not physically in their department to integrate with the software and still communicate to patients about their balance. And ironically enough, we didn’t see any difference in patient behavior. They still paid their bills. They still set up payment plans and we were able to collect a lot of money for organizations during COVID.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. That’s great. Let touch on some of those things that you mentioned there. So as far as DSOs go, so a multi-practice group, talk a little bit about what type of information they’re receiving, what type of reporting and what seems to be important to some of the groups that you’re working with?

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah. So I would say a big touch point is AR cleanup, right? So with acquisitions in place, buying old AR, collections falling behind, Abella is really successful in collecting on well over 90 day AR. A metric on that is that we’ve collected over 20 million in just AR cleanups. And this is like for organizations that aren’t even using Abella for current AR, this is like during a trial period that we’ve given them and things like that.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

So that’s really big. We know that 35% of patients who pay through Abella will do so before a statement could even reach their mailbox. So this is a big number. You’re not only reducing that cost to collect, like I mentioned earlier, but you are getting paid faster. You’re not having to send out repeated statements to patients because Abella’s doing that legwork for you.

Bill Neumann:

So do you see groups using Abella in place of paper statements, or in combination or does it vary?

Kimberlee Mulkay:

As a whole, most organizations will replace paper statements and no longer send them out. We do have one group that we work with that as they started using Abella, wanting to continue to send paper statements, but I felt like that was a separate use case for them. The reason being that you would essentially stop sending paper statements is not just because of cost, but also because we found that it was creating confusion from patients, because they do pay so quickly that there’s really no need for that paper statement anymore.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

You don’t want them to go ahead and opt in and pay their bill and then a couple of days later receive a paper statement, because now they’re like, “Well, I thought I paid my bill,” and things like that. So it’s creating just more headache for the practice where it’s really no longer needed.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah, that’s great. So you really think about it from you’re getting the payments much faster. There’s the cost savings as well because there’s no paper statements. You either have a third party do that, or you’re doing that in house, so that’s cut out as well.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah.

Bill Neumann:

Good. So as far as any data points that you can provide us, maybe what are you seeing on average is in collections, this cleanup that you’re talking about, give me some success stories. You must have some success stories.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah, so a metric that I love, because it’s from the fruition of when we really launched into the marketplace in 2019, is we’ve collected over $51 million in AR for organizations. So that’s a pretty big number in just such a short amount of time. And then I can touch on a case study that we’ve done for North American Dental Group. Recently, late last year, we wanted to collect on the over 90s first. So they gave us all of their outstanding AR, we uploaded about 7 million of 90 plus AR in October of 2020. And in just a couple months we collected seven million of that. So that was a big number for them. And then a couple months later in December of 2020, we then uploaded about four and a half million in over 90 that had come due. And it’s now sitting at about 1.6 million.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

So highly effective on that. And then as you move forward and they’ve rolled it out through Abella, it’s all current AR and we’re just now seeing some results for them. So I can’t really disclose that here, but that’s what a lot of organizations will do, is they will use Abella for that AR cleanup and streamline some of those processes before they’d write any balances off. And then it just replaces and upgrades that experience for not only the team who’s managing the AR balances, but for the patients as well to get paid faster.

Bill Neumann:

So yeah, those are some really amazing numbers there as far as what your capturing that I think may have North American or any group might have thought would be a write-off, right? Or at least a percentage of that.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah. We told them hey, give us your hardest AR you know, let us prove you that we’re the product that can go after that money and collect it and those numbers hold true. So I stand behind that wholeheartedly.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. That’s great. That’s exciting. So again, as far as implementation on things like this, you talked a little bit about North American Dental Group. Would this typically be rolled out regionally? For a big platform that has 300 locations plus, what do you typically see with groups like that? Are they doing picking a region in 20 offices and doing it? Are they going to go all in or combination of the two?

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah. So with any DG specifically, we did the AR cleanup first, and then they just rolled it out across the organization. That pilot essentially gave them the confidence to move forward. And we’ve worked really closely with them, specifically to do some customization on just how we’re getting the AR into the platform and things of that nature. So they rolled it out.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

I think if you have a centralized team that’s managing AR you can roll it out, you can phase them in, sure. And that’s no problem. With an organization like NB2, where it’s a DPO, it’s a little bit more segregated and doctors are more involved in the decision-making. What’s worked well for us in that type of organization is to roll it out within the region. The regional managers within that particular organization are very influential. They can have a close relationship with the doctor and they can learn about Abella. And that’s how we’ve worked with them to roll it out across their organization over time.

Bill Neumann:

So regardless of whether it’s rolled out through the whole organization or whether it’s done regionally, talk a little bit about the onboarding and training process. What’s the ramp up time and what does that look like?

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah. So it’s a really easy implementation. As far as onboarding, all that really needs to be done is to install the integration utility so that we can integrate. And if it’s on an enterprise server, then we can do all of those locations at once, and that takes about 15 minutes. Then once everything’s seamed together, everything’s good to go, we can set up training. Again, that’s up to the organization on how they want to structure that, if they want to do it regionally, or have a big group training call, things like that.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

That’s something that we certainly accommodate to based on their needs, but we also provide online training within their portal that they have access to, that they can review and get started right away. So depending on what the needs of the organization, we can accommodate to that. But it’s very easy and very quick, probably a couple of days, to really get things together, and then it’s just scheduling from there.

Bill Neumann:

That’s great. And with some of the, I think the HR struggles COVID and even pre COVID with some groups, I think he wants something it’s relatively easy to train on and get people up to speed rather quickly.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah. And a lot of the feedback that I get, just that our platform is very user friendly, it’s very easy to navigate, it’s pretty self-explanatory. So once you get in there and you earn the basics, there’s really nothing that you need at that point. So we very rarely hear from teams that need our help once they get used to the system.

Bill Neumann:

That’s great. Okay. Kimberlee, as we look forward to next week and the Dykema conference, again, 11, 1200 people there, a lot of emerging groups, a lot of the large, large DSOs, and I think everything in between, what can we expect to see if somebody wants to find out more about Abella? You’re going to have a table there, I’m sure, be doing demos. Talk to me a little bit about what they’re going to do.

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So they can certainly come by and talk to me. I will be in the booth for sure. We’re also going to be doing some free trials, of course, for people who are interested. So those details can be discussed individually with me at the booth and we can work something out there. I know I’m doing an interview with Patient Prism live, so you can stop by it to see that if you want to learn a little bit more about some more details. I know that’s going to be on Thursday, but yeah, we’re definitely going to be there and you can certainly come talk to me. I would love that.

Bill Neumann:

That sounds great. So yeah, definitely stop by and see Kimberlee Mulkay and the Abella platform. If you’re not going to be there, how do they reach you, Kimberlee?

Kimberlee Mulkay:

Yeah, they can email me. My email address is K as in Kimberley, Mulkay, my last name, so M-U-L-K-A-Y at Abella AR, A-B-E-L-L-A-A-R dot com.

Bill Neumann:

And we’ll have that email address in the show notes as well, but we hope to see everybody at the Dykema conference next week. Thank you, Kimberlee Mulkay, Sales and Customer Success Manager for Abella. We’ll see you next week. And we appreciate everybody listening in today and hope to see some of you listeners at the Dykema conference as well. And if not, we hope you’ll be listening in in the future. We appreciate your time. I’m Bill Neumann. This is Group Dentistry Now. Until next time, thank you.

 

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