Vinh: I graduated UCLA in 2003 and started working for a private practice in Culver City for about a year until I moved to San Diego and associated for the next four years. During this period I started a new practice from scratch with my brother. So for a while my brother and I were both associating part-time while working part-time in our practice.
Quang: I went to dental school at Detroit Mercy and graduated in 2002. After graduating I went straight back to California, got my license and worked as an associate for the next 5 years, starting a practice with my brother in 2006.
Why did you become MGE Clients?
Quang: Before coming to MGE, we just followed the principles we picked up while in dental school: “If you open your office and do excellent dentistry, patients will come.” And for the first couple years, we were growing and it seemed to work. By 2008-9 the office stopped growing, and despite anything we tried, it wouldn’t grow. Hoping to become busier, we began to take on all kinds of insurance plans. We became busier, so costs went up but profitability didn’t. At that point, we thought it might be our location, so we opened a second office from scratch in what we felt was a better location. Unfortunately, that didn’t solve our problems.
At the end of 2010, we decided to try MGE. Vinh attended a free MGE seminar “The Art of Scheduling Productively,” and then we attended the MGE New Patient Workshop in California.
What did you get out of the MGE New Patient Workshop?
Vinh: It was fascinating. For one, our marketing is far more diversified. What I mean by that is that we aren’t just sending out a flyer or postcard. There’s a lot of things we learned that at first may seem obvious but they’re the things you wouldn’t normally think of. Altogether it made quite a difference. Using what we got out of the workshop enabled us to drop all the capitation plans, Medicare and most of our PPO plans. Now both offices are becoming primarily fee-for-service practices.
Quang: At first I didn’t make any effort to implement anything from the seminar, but Vinh tried it out in the first location and it totally worked. So we applied it to both practices. We started targeting a specific audience with our advertising and the results were pretty shocking. MGE even showed us how to answer the phones correctly so the percentage of phone calls that turned into new patients greatly increased. All in all, even with dropping plans, we’ve gone from an average of 15-20 new patients a month to a current average of around 78!
We were both so impressed that we signed up for the MGE Communication & Sales Seminars down in Florida.
What did you think about the MGE Communication and Sales Seminars?
Vinh: They were great! It produced a remarkable change in the practice and ourselves. After doing that seminar we became completely comfortable presenting cases of any size – regardless of cost. Our collection rate doubled after just the first seminar. It was a life-changing experience. Patient acceptance of comprehensive care is far greater than it was before and we do the dentistry we want, the way we want. It’s made dentistry fun again and we’re helping more patients.
What results have you seen on the MGE Power Program?
Quang: The MGE Power Program has re-formed and reorganized our business. We’re better organized and more efficient, which leads to increased profitability and a happier staff.
We achieved that continual growth we’d been looking for, with production and collections steadily rising from $60,000 per month (when we started with MGE in 2011) to $160,000 per month now!
We now have two hygienists, whereas before we had none. I used to have to do all the hygiene myself. The cancellation and no-show rate was a major problem, but is now more or less a non-issue. It seems now that the only time anyone cancels is when they have a serious emergency.
It’s helped me structure the practice so I can practice dentistry the way I’d like to. Every day, I go to work and it’s not stressful anymore—it’s fun! That’s how I imagined dentistry to be when I decided to get into the profession. It’s also helped me at home. Work no longer “comes home” so it’s better for my family (my wife, kids and me). I’m also proud of being able to provide a work environment where my staff can grow and love coming to work. And we’re even looking to hire an associate now.
What are your plans for the future?
Vinh: The way things are going, we plan on opening a third office. And when that’s all in order, opening a fourth. Then, work less, do the fun part of dentistry and travel. And of course spend more time with the family.
If another dentist were to ask you about our program, what advice would you give them?
Vinh: I would highly recommend it. Just close their eyes and take the leap, because everybody goes through that barrier—so just do it and follow what’s already been proven to work.
Quang: I would tell them sign up for it and go through the program quickly; it will help you tremendously. I have two other friends who have done it so far.
Whatever system I learned, MGE showed us how to implement it and actually get results. They are the guys who walk the walk. If you actually run the practice the way the program shows you, you are bound to succeed. If it works for me, it’ll probably work for anybody.