Big data isn’t just for big dental practices or big Dental Service Organizations. All practices can benefit from harnessing the power of the patient data they have immediately available to them. But, it can be difficult, time-consuming, and often require piecing together a solution from multiple vendor partner offerings. That is, until now. I’ve had the pleasure to meet Patrick Malloy, Co-Founder of ClariCare. And now I’d like to introduce him and his company to you. So, here’s 5 Questions With ClariCare.
Michael Dunn: Tell us about ClariCare. What product(s)/service(s) do you offer?
Patrick Malloy: ClariCare is a software platform that integrates with your Practice Management System. We provide tools and insights to help your practice run more effectively and efficiently, to fill your schedule, and delight your patients.
There are four main components to the ClariCare platform. Our Practice Fitness Report is our analytics suite – we identify and organize your patient data, in easy, actionable ways – and we also have an Enterprise version (coming soon!) meant for DSOs. Our Huddle app is your daily productivity tool; we put all your patient and practice information at your fingertips, ensuring a structured approach to maximize productivity & efficiency. Harvester is your safety net for managing patients that slip through the cracks, an app that builds smart reactivation campaigns – focused on recall AND restorative, with other high value “buckets” of patients as well. Soon to be released, Presenter will bridge the patient engagement gap; it’s an innovative treatment plan presentation tool, providing true clinical and financial transparency, with a patient portal for remote access.
As a business, we have two core hypotheses: 1) case acceptance really suffers in the industry; and 2) this accumulated, diagnosed dentistry creates, what we call, the million dollar filing cabinet…and offices don’t have automated systems to capture these revenue opportunities. We can boost case acceptance through our patient engagement platform, and we can help you not only understand where the patients fall through the cracks, but to get them back on the books.
MD: How did you start ClariCare? What was your “a-ha” moment?
PM: My partner, Dr. Carrie Pumphrey, owns her own dental practice. She, along with husband George, have managed her practice successfully over the past 15 years – very proactive with consulting services, conferences on best practices, etc. However, she had a real problem with her inability to connect with patients in a meaningful way. She just knew too many treatment plans were going “in one ear, and out the other”. And this meant quite a bit of revenue slipped through the cracks – because she had no good way to keep on top of these patients. The three of us had been friends for nearly 10 years – my work, prior to ClariCare, was in the broader healthcare space. I worked with health IT companies that would focus on high cost, high-risk patients, giving payers and providers tools to efficiently engage and manage these disease states. Knowing that hospital systems were aggressively pursuing patient engagement strategies, Carrie wanted to bring that same level of provider-patient connectivity to dentistry. We started kicking around ideas, and really began to open our eyes to the massive opportunity to introduce elegant, enterprise technology, specific to the needs of a dentist.
MD: What makes ClariCare unique compared to similar products/services?
PM: Before answering this – I want to emphasize that we know doctors are doing much of this stuff today. They are tracking patients, they have appointment reminder systems, they have systems to call patients who miss appointments, and they’re doing their best to understand analytics.
But, we are able to differentiate in two key ways. First, we’re aggregating these disconnected services, where doctors are often juggling 3 or 4 different vendors, into a single system once we’re fully developed. We can work with other platforms, but we believe the power of the platform really is enhanced when everything is synched up. Second, we have some really unique features that we don’t see elsewhere in the market, especially as it relates to our Presenter app. Your readers will have to give us a ring to see how we’re different! We’re excited to win your business, and we’re confident we’ll deliver value.
MD: What trends do you think will have the biggest impact on the dental industry in the next 5 – 10 years?
PM: Four trends immediately come to mind…
1. Patients want access. We’re betting consumers will be more central in dentistry. You can do so much from a mobile device – access to real-time, on demand information – everything from ordering a pizza to checking the stock market. Patients will come to expect that same level of transparency for their oral health – “what are my benefits?”, “what are my treatment plans?”, “what do my kids need to get done?” – and ClariCare will help provide that.
2. Enterprise software will continue to disrupt the space. The dental space, for two main reasons, just hasn’t been attractive to the large enterprise software companies in the past: 1) fragmented market; 2) lacked the purchasing power. We’re already seeing DSOs grow, and I don’t expect that trend to slow – and they have purchasing power. They need modern tools to effectively create economies of scale, and we can help with that. When talking to doctors, especially some of the established DSOs, I hear quite a bit that they have self-built systems. I don’t understand that mindset – why would you hire a part-time software development firm, have them build a “Version 1”, that will be outdated by the time is gets to market? And, that system won’t have the benefit of input from customers of all types and sizes in the market? That’s what we do – we’re a company built by a dentist, for dentists. Your colleagues, from all across the country, inform our product – small practices, large practices, independent, DSOs. And the benefit isn’t limited to DSOs – if you’re an independent practice competing in your local market, or have built up a group practice of a half-dozen offices in your area, our tools will help you maximize your revenue potential.
3. Independent dentists will need access to tools to stay competitive. The reality is most of these doctors are not trained as CEOs – that’s not a criticism, that’s a reality. ClariCare can help grow their practices, can help them maximize their team, can help them compete in the markets against stiffer competition. I heard a great line recently about pricing introductory products. $1,000 per month is a lot of money to a dentist, even if the entire team is using it. But, $12,000 per year is dirt-cheap for anything that solves a true problem. Now, our price point is below $1,000, but still, we know any amount of money we ask our customers to pay is a lot of money. I know you’ll see value, I know our product can become entrenched in how your team operates, and I’m confident you’ll see a great ROI.
4. Dental becomes more tied to the broader healthcare space. Folks in the dental space have long understood the link between oral health and one’s broader overall health. I think patients are now recognizing that, and I think the large hospital systems (especially the integrated delivery networks that are both payer and provider) will come to place more of an emphasis on dentistry. This could translate to many dramatic shifts: continued and expanded access to dental care; deeper relationships between dental providers and large healthcare networks that are focused on value-based care delivery; and potentially new payment models in dentistry that are not solely focused on fee-for-service.
MD: What’s next for you and ClariCare? What can we look forward to next?
PM: We will be releasing our full product line before the end of the year, Presenter and Enterprise Analytics still to come. We see a lot of areas of opportunity. I think the challenge is to stay focused and not bite off too much. But, I think you’ll continue to see advancements in our product line that specifically service larger group practices that are managing (often) disparate offices across the country. I think you’ll see us push workflow to tablets and mobile devices – which coincides with better remote access to value-add features for providers. And if any of the readers have specific problems, please reach out to us, we love the interaction, we can quickly iterate software development, and we love new challenges.
Thanks to Patrick Malloy and ClariCare for spending some time with me. And as always, thank you for reading.