Rob Bausman is owner and chief marketing officer of Dockstader Orthodontic Lab, where he has been working for 31 years.

OP: What does Dockstader offer orthodontists that other labs don’t?

Bausman: I would say service-wise, we are one of the best. We have quick turnaround and a low return rate, due to the special attention and high standards of the owners. We have also been around for 41 years and have ample amounts of expertise for recommendations on how to make any appliance that is needed for the patient.

OP: What new products and services do you have for orthodontists?

Bausman: The newest product that we make for orthodontists is an appliance called the Endsnor™. The Endsnor is a dentist-prescribed solution for snoring. It is an adjustable mandibular repositioning appliance researched and developed for patient treatment. Patients have used the Endsnor for the past 6 years, and not one [Endsnor] has been returned for lack of performance. Plain and simple, the Endsnor guarantees patient satisfaction. This is a product that can only be produced and sold by the Dockstader Full Service Dental Lab.

OP: What’s next at Dockstader Orthodontic Lab?

Bausman: Cruise With the Experts is next! This is our fifth cruise designed specifically for orthodontists (our first one went to the Mexican Riviera in 2001). The next Cruise With the Experts will be cruising through the islands of Tahiti October 21–28, 2006. While aboard the Radisson Seven Seas Paul Gauguin, doctors can earn class credits while enjoying the cruise of a lifetime.

OP: Who are the experts and what are some of the subjects they will be speaking about?

Bausman: We will have three experts on this cruise. James M. Broadbent, DDS, will  focus on case finishing, with emphasis on bracket selection and placement, fixed and SWA appliances, and archwires. Robert M. Matkovich will speak about the benefits of early treatment and will also give some tips on advanced strategic marketing. Sage L. White, DDS, will lecture on the orthodontic treatment of sleep disorders such as snorning and obstructive sleep apnea, covering everything from basic definitions, to what appliances to use, to how to deal with fees and insurance coverage. He will also discuss treating Class I crowded cases with functional and fixed appliances. For more information, orthodontists should visit http://[removed][/removed]-tahiti.html

Making it Easier to Pay and Get Paid

Craig Vallorano is senior vice president and general manager of Citi Commerce Solutions.

OP: What can your company offer an orthodontist just starting out?

Vallorano: The Citi Health Card program provides affordable payment options that allow patients to start treatments they might otherwise delay by paying for treatment over time, while ensuring that medical care providers’ total fees are paid up front. This is especially important for orthodontists just starting out, as it provides a cutting-edge method of payment for patients and ensures quick payment for the provider and their new venture.

We offer a simple processing format, high approval rates, fast credit decisions, daily and monthly settlement reporting, and Citi’s unparalleled customer service. Treatment fees are electronically deposited into the practice’s bank account in 2–3 business days. This means that providers receive payment up front and spend less time on billing.

OP: What about an orthodontist who has been in practice for 10 years?

Vallorano: A patient-financing program, such as the Citi Health Card, offers a variety of flexible payment options for patients. When financing options are available, patients usually choose more comprehensive treatments, because they can spread their payments over time. So for health care providers, the Citi Health Card program will help increase sales and generate more first-time purchases. Patients enjoy a separate credit line for health care expenses and are able to keep other credit available for personal use.

OP: What differentiates you from other companies in the field?

Vallorano: Unlike other programs, the Citi Health Card does not require an enrollment fee or the purchase of special equipment by the practice. A merchant discount rate is charged to the practice. For the patient, there is no sign-up fee or annual fee for the card.

OP: What is the financial mistake that orthodontists make the most often?

Vallorano: I wouldn’t necessarily call this a financial mistake, but orthodontists generally don’t take into consideration all of the time, costs, and risks of funding patient payments themselves. This can include such things as staff administration time, the cost to send invoices and statements, postage, collections, bad debt/write-offs, and the impact on cash flow.

OP: What’s next at Citi Commerce Solutions?

Vallorano: Citi Health Card is currently offering newly enrolled providers introductory pricing. The cost to the practice for the 12-Month, No Interest Plan has been cut nearly in half to a 4.5% merchant discount rate (MDR) for the first 90 days of enrollment to encourage providers to enroll. All sales of $500 or more qualify. At the end of the 90-day period, all 12-Month, No Interest Plan sales will return to the 8.9% MDR.