Bad News = Opportunity… Part 2

OK… So, by now most of us have witnessed the full-on panic in America.  It’s crazy.  If I’m honest, I will say that I don’t suffer fools well.  I admit that I am contemptuous of those who adopt the “herd mentality.”  And, man are we seeing that!

Like many practices, mine has seen a lot of cancellations or simply delaying scheduling planned treatment.  Next week’s schedule is full of holes.  Big holes.  What to do?

First, I sent out a mass email to my patients to allay their concerns as it pertains to Coronavirus and dental treatment.  You can see that email here.   I also posted it on my practice Facebook page and my practice blog. 

Then it occurred to me that I might incentivize scheduling next week.  So, I sent out another email yesterday:

Corona Update #2 and Special Offer!

Hello again from Dr. Mike with another Corona update…

Our dental office is probably the cleanest, safest place you can be.  Plus, we don’t have a waiting room full of sick people.  No crowds here!

We’ve got some appointments available next week, March 16 – 19.  If you have pending treatment, we would like to extend a 15% savings to you, if you schedule during next week only (March 16 – 19).  If you are already scheduled, and keep your appointment, we will offer the same savings.  If you are a member of our in-house savings plan, we will offer either your applicable PBSS savings or 15%, whichever is greater.  Act quickly, as I think the schedule will fill up very soon!  Now is a great opportunity to take care of yourself and save some money.  One week only, limited availability.

Besides sterilizing everything that isn’t disposable, we pretty much “hose down” all other contact surfaces (even the front desk and counter) with a hospital-grade disinfectant that effectively kills Coronavirus.  It also kills MRSA (“mersa”), HIV, and even Hepatitis C, which is considered one of the most difficult pathogens.  It’s good stuff!  It works, even for things far worse than Corona.  We do this every day.  This is known as “universal precautions.” 

Call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX.  We are closed for the weekend, but Jo-Ann will check messages and get back to you.

You can download your own copy of this letter here.  Feel free to edit and use as you wish!

I am not usually one to “discount” my fees.  I am a completely “fee for service” practice (no HMOs or PPOs).  But, I’d rather do that than sit on my hands worrying about my continuing overhead while the chairs are empty.  I’m also trying to keep the mood “light,” during this crazy time.  I have no idea if this will work!  😀 

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15 Responses to Bad News = Opportunity… Part 2

  1. Brian K. Van Netta, DDS says:

    Hi Mike. It’s crazy up here in Michigan as well. Just went to our local Kroger supermarket with my daughter and many of the shelves were bare. No paper products to be had at all. It was funny to see what product categories appeared to be hoarded. But as a dentist, I was disappointed to see that the oral care isle was completely fully stocked and looked untouched! I sort of figured that if people were going to stay shuttered in, sitting on their mountain of hoarded toilet paper, then at least they could be doing a bit more brushing and flossing! Well, at least we can dream, eh?

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      I guess they’re not scared of running out of toothpaste or floss! 🙁

      So many don’t use it anyway.

  2. Sue says:

    Mike, You might be able to lure them
    by throwing in a roll
    of toilet paper with your offer.

  3. Sue says:

    Last week, I took my elderly father to the same dental office that he has visited over the last 60 years or so. (A couple of his fillings had fallen out). While I was parking the car, apparently the front desk told him they did not accept his “type of insurance.” So my dad told them that as soon as his daughter (me) comes in, he will be going to a dental office closer to home that accepts his insurance. The reply? “Oh, I guess we do accept that insurance.”

    I have no idea what kind of coverage he has but he said he’s paying an extra 50 bucks a month to have it. He’s intelligent and lucid, so I didn’t try to talk him out of it. (ie paying hundreds for dental insurance)

    Anyway, I’m glad he got in before all of the “lockdown stuff” started!

    It is crazy. I have to admit it is getting a little to me (anxiety-wise). Our niece (and her mother) work in a small law practice. Yesterday, word came that a co-worker tested positive.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      What “lockdown” stuff? Nobody is under “lockdown.”

      • Sue says:

        Oops, I should have written “lockout stuff.” : Closure of university lecture halls, museums, churches, concert halls, local ski areas,, no inessential visitors allowed in nursing and group homes. I’m sure there is more than this but I have not kept up with the latest. (That’s just a short list from this morning’s local news).

  4. Sue says:

    Typo (visitors not allowed )

  5. Mike, thanks for your last post. I used a modified version of it and it was well received by my patients for being aware yet level-headed. I’m not yet ready to discount my fees; let me know if your offer works!

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Thanks, Michael! People everywhere (including some of our colleagues) are in full freak-out mode, and it’s just crazy. I’m saddened to see that even intelligent people can be REALLY stupid and gullible!

    • The Dental Warrior says:

  6. Sue says:

    People can live without teeth but not without lungs. Unfortunately for the dental offices, business will likely suffer during this stretch. On the bright side, when this subsides you will be booked way out.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Fortunately, this week and next are pretty booked out. I wasn’t sure how today was going to go. No cancellations! And, several patients told me that they appreciated my email. They said it made them feel better. So, there ya go! 🙂

  7. Sue says:

    Good to hear. It is really nice to hear some positive news. Please keep us posted on how next week goes. Thanks

    Around here everything is closing and we are being told to put as much (of our ‘regular activities’ ) “on hold.” as we are able.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Well, last I checked… I’m an adult. My patients are adults. We are Free Americans. Furthermore, I’m a trained doctor, who they trust. Neither of us needs someone else to tell us what to do. We don’t take our advice from government lackeys looking to score political points. We can make educated decisions rather than abide hysteria. And, so we have. Your mileage may vary.

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