…it still felt good being back, serving and working with friends and family, making dentistry fun and… breathing freely though both sides.
So a few days ago they pulled something called a “rocket balloon” straight outa my nose over at Kaiser.
And after six days of ballooning around the streets of Pasadena, what a relief and a pleasure it was rolling up those Canali sleeves and providing dental care. Say what you will about dentistry; I’m here to tell ya there are way worse work locations than the oral cavity (I can think of two just a little to the north.)
Every day, I get to help friends and family smile expressively, choose their ideal food truck, and maybe live a decade or so longer. I work with people I love, don’t have to lift heavy objects, and spend most of my day at the office looking like my USC football Trojans just won another national championship. The Kaiser ENT doc I saw started his day by pulling what looked like a small rat out of my left nostril. I rest my case.
But sometimes reality can travel faster than a speeding bullet.
I started thinking small rat myself when I pulled into our parking lot and saw the same 2-month old NOW LEASING banner strung out across the front of our building. And after emailing my lawyer, I’ll admit to having had impure thoughts about the property agent who brought to mind another acrobatic use for the presidential word, “Covfefe.”
I love my team like the children I wish I had: because they’re all self-sufficient grown-ups. So why can’t they have perfect immune systems and even better flu resistance and never ever have a sick day…like today? Then, in mid-whine, I remembered I was the one who wound up on the disabled list because of what might have been (in my mind) the greatest nosebleed in the history of East and/or West Las Tunas Drive.
With a few minutes between the morning huddle and patient #1, I checked my emails and texts. For about a year now, I’ve been helping thirty or so other dentists who, like me, love providing Invisalign care. And I’m also in communication with maybe fifty or so California DDS-types in an effort to set up Invisalign study club training. And in most of the United States, Puerto Rico, and all of Canada, organizing courses with Invisalign seems easier than leading a group in silent prayer and way easier than pulling a rocket balloon out of a human nostril…but not around here. Ugh, the beauty of corporate America.
So I flipped off the banner and corporate America and settled in for the first day back. At about 10:30AM, Scheduler Denise reported the first dental insurance complaint of the day. The patient was screaming bait and switch; she couldn’t believe she had a balance.
Denise went over the bill and explained the patient hadn’t met her deductible and Delta had paid for a Mercury/Silver material (we haven’t used in 25-years) instead of the resin material for which we have an accepted fee that was submitted. “I’m not paying 85-bucks; I already paid!” Denise responded that an agreement had been signed and payment was her responsibility; we were on her side in maximizing her benefits. “But I didn’t read the agreement; I just signed it!” Denise: “Doc, there’s no way she’s getting $85 back. And…she’s threatening to give us a bad review on Yelp!” And I have to admit, this kind of stuff used to really bother me…until they pulled that balloon outa my nose.
And yeah, what a day! I also had the chance to chat with my friends at Yelp regarding their top secret algorithm. Seems like, in my case; the algorithm works in very mysterious ways…and beyond.
So I pay Yelp $800 a month to post an ad that features several of our many 5-star reviews; the investment has been good for our practice. Then during one week, shortly before the Wednesday Bloody Wednesday affair, Yelp dropped twenty-one 5-star reviews and retained the three poor reviews coming from experiences like the 10:30AM special. Our lifetime 5-star status dropped to 4.5 in one week with the addition of one 5-star review. The secret algorithm machine now has us with 47 posted reviews and 49 filtered-out 5-star reviews.
But it still felt good being back, serving and working with friends and family, making dentistry fun and… breathing freely though both sides.
And it felt good and it was fun firing Yelp. I suggested it was probably time for the algorithm to take a good look into the mirror for a self-review…or maybe it could just go and Covfefe itself.