What’s the hardest thing about implementing sleep dentistry into your practice? Is it something clinical, or is it getting paid? If you’re like most dentists, you’ve known how to treat sleep apnea patients since your junior year of dental school. So, chances are, your issue isn’t on the clinical side of things.
Implementing sleep dentistry in your practice takes more than just getting the clinical skills. It’s also about knowing how to get paid through medical insurance—and that’s the big difference between those who do a few cases every month to the ones who do dozens.
For this week’s episode of the Nifty Thrifty Dentists podcast, Dr. Avi Weisfogel—Founder of IAOS—joined me via FB Live to talk about their upcoming courses and how you can effectively implement Sleep Dentistry in your practice.
IAOS is an organization that helps dentists build businesses to successfully diagnose and treat sleep apnea. Over 200 dentists across the country have successfully deployed the IAOS model to create stand-alone sleep businesses to run alongside or in the place of their dental practice.
Getting paid through medical insurance can be difficult to navigate for any dental practice—even with the help of outside companies whose sole purpose is helping dentists deal with patient billing. But when it comes to sleep apnea, insurance companies make it extra difficult for practice owners to make money.
Avi knows how to navigate the process behind the scenes to prevent your claims from getting rejected. It’s not easy—it’s a nuanced process—but the dividends you’ll reap and the impact you’ll make are worth it. In fact, it has something to do with starting a seperate sleep business.
Sleep dentistry can be a good way to earn passive income as well—take it from a fellow dentist Avi helped to “live the dream.” He has a practice in Manhattan but lives in Ohio; he only comes in for two Mondays each month to see five to seven patients a day—everything else is done via telemed.
Let’s back up for a second, though, and talk a bit about Avi’s story. I’ll tell you how he transitioned from being a normal dentist to becoming the sleep dentistry guru he is today.
Avi got into sleep dentistry right out of school. After graduating from NYU in 1998, he saw his first sleep patient three days into his year-long residency. That was but a year later when Avi was more of an amateur; all his knowledge came from attending a weekend-long course that wasn’t too different from the courses offered today (and you know how I’ve been left feeling about those).
However, that same patient soon came back, happy to tell Avi that he had changed her life. From there, Avi understood the power of sleep dentistry. Eager to explore how he could make a difference in the world of sleep, he spent countless hours trying to implement OSA treatment within his practices using traditionally-taught methods.
But in using these methods typically taught at sleep courses, Avi failed to make it a meaningful part of his practice. Unfortunately, not many patients were coming in for sleep dentistry: Avi’s next sleep apnea patient came eight months later and the next came another year after that.
When Avi had his practice and advertised for sleep apnea treatment, he got maybe one or two to come in. Even then, he’d first have to send those patients to a physician.
Thus, early on, Avi learned that implementing sleep apnea treatment into a dental practice can be a headache unless you know how to control the whole process.
After over 10 years of trial and error, he acquired Healthy Heart Sleep, a DME company with no relationship to his dental practice. Through this company, he was able to work with doctors from across the US to help them establish diagnostic programs within their medical practices and direct the recommended treatment paths for each patient.
By 2013, Avi began to help other dentists by sharing this unique method so they could build similarly-designed businesses. As a result, IAOS was born in 2016. Nowadays, Avi offers courses for sleep dentistry designed to blow the other guys out of the water. I can vouch firsthand that Avi is the real deal when it comes to helping dentists effectively navigate the complex process of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.
Avi is currently offering a program for practice owners interested in sleep apnea. In this weekend course, you’d get an idea of what you’re getting into, learn about what’s possible, and find out whether it makes sense for you to put in the effort to pursue the full program.
If you choose to stay along for the ride, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to “create” patients, know where sleep apnea patients come from (referrals, current patients, etc.), and more.
Even better: Avi is offering free courses—in Vegas—for anyone who wants to dip their toe in the water and see if they’d like to take some of his other sleep dentistry courses.
If you have any questions, you can email [email protected] and Avi’s colleague will answer as soon as possible. But the best way to get in touch with Avi is to meet him in person by joining him at one of his free courses in Las Vegas
What’s a “Step 27,” according to Avi?
When Avi took his first sleep dentistry course back in 1999, how were they strictly science-based (and why was that problematic)?
What tricks did Avi learn about billing and marketing after taking some of those same early sleep dentistry courses?
How were those same sleep dentistry courses all teaching the same thing?
How many of Avi’s IAOS members only perform sleep dentistry at their dental practice?
Hint: around half!
Why are you “not going to get very far” and limiting your success by limiting sleep apnea to an extra procedure you offer? Why must you go “all in” rather than put sleep dentistry as just another item on your list of services?
How did Avi become “the dentist for the J&J executives,” and what does puke have to do with it?
Why should you do sleep dentistry as a separate business, according to Avi?
Why are dentists having so much trouble implementing Sleep Apnea treatment within their practices? What are the big problems that Avi sees?
What’s the problem with most online courses that teach about sleep apnea treatment?
How do you get sleep apnea patients to come to your office? And, once they do, how do you get paid for them?
How can implementing sleep dentistry change the trajectory of your entire practice?
What courses does Avi offer?
On average, how many patients do IAOS members land per month?
How many patients a month do you need to make sleep dentistry a profitable endeavor?
Hint: no more than 2!
How long does it take before you start to make a profit? How long will you need to be laying out cash before the money starts adding up?
What’s the benchmark for success when it comes to bringing in sleep apnea patients?
Hint: around 20!
How many patients do the top performers of IAOS bring in every month?
Hint: more than 200!
- Free courses—in Vegas
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