00:00:07:20 – 00:00:45:23
Welcome to Shorr Solutions: The Podcast. I’m one of the hosts. Mara Shorr, I’m a partner in the medical practice management company. Yes, Shorr Solutions. Who’s the other host, you may ask? Easy answer. That would be my father, our founding partner. Jay Shorr. Together, we now have an amazing team and clients across the country. Listen as we chat, converse, strategize and commiserate over life in the aesthetic medical industry.
It’s time for you to listen, learn, and be inspired as we help you kick start your practice. Because who doesn’t want a little more help? Welcome to Shorr Solutions: The Podcast.
00:00:55:05 – 00:01:43:08
Welcome back to another episode of Shore Solutions, the podcast. So on this episode of the podcast, you have me Mara Shorr, one of the partners here at Shorr Solutions.
And with me I have Dr. Jonathan Kaplan. And although Dr. Kaplan is just an incredible wealth of knowledge, he is a board certified plastic surgeon based out in the Bay Area in California. We are going to be mostly talking today about his role as founder of Build My Health. You may have known them as build my bod as they have been well-established in the industry, but they are now going through a rebrand.
And we were just talking that basically that the name is catching up with all the amazing things that they’ve been doing for so long. So welcome, Dr. Kaplan.
00:01:43:10 – 00:01:45:18
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Thanks so much for having me. Great intro.
00:01:45:20 – 00:02:13:19
Yeah, there we go. Right. It’s it’s like we’ve met before or just over the past decade. Well, we actually were chatting before, and there’s a couple of things that we’re really going to focus on today. Can you give us for anybody that may not be familiar, can you give us the 30 seconds or so elevator pitch about what exactly Build My Health is so that as we’re talking about it, people have a better understanding of exactly what we’re talking about.
00:02:13:21 – 00:04:01:24
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Absolutely. So, again, I’m a board certified plastic surgeon from Louisiana. And I had this idea back when I first started practice in Louisiana that patients were always calling, asking about pricing. And back then, I did cosmetics and reconstructive procedures. So people were calling about their out-of-pocket cost after their insurance was applied to their reconstructive procedures. But they’re also asking about their out-of-pocket costs for cosmetic procedures.
And I said, you know, there had to be a solution online where people could go check pricing ahead of time. There was not a solution. So we developed our own platform called Build My Bod at the time, which was focused mostly on aesthetics, or at least in the plastic surgery industry. And now we’ve expanded out to not just plastics but derm, bariatric surgery, hospitals, surgery centers, aesthetic cash pay services, but also reconstructive medically necessary services.
And so consumers are able to use our price estimators and our chat bot, which we embed on a doctor’s website. So when I go to that doctor’s website or surgery centers website, they can check their pricing for the services they need, specifically their cash price, or they can check, put in their insurance information and see what their out-of-pocket expense will be.
After the insurance applies, you know, the coinsurance, the deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and things like that. So now we’re just all about price transparency. But the key differentiator is that when the consumer checks pricing, they have to first put in their contact information. So the doctor’s surgery center, hospital, radiology facility, whoever generates a lead in return so they can find out who that consumer is and then follow up with them and say, hey, how can we help?
You want to come in for a consultation? What additional questions you have. And so the consumer gets what they want out of pocket cost to them, which is what they’re most concerned about. And the provider gets follow up information for a lead to check in to see how they can help.
00:04:02:01 – 00:04:44:00
And anyone that’s ever listened to this podcast before knows we are all about follow up. We are all about legion, we are all about how to really maximize that patient experience. So this is… we’ve honestly been fans here as resolutions of both Dr. Kaplan and Build My Health for quite some time. We have several clients using your platforms.
And so one of the things I wanted to chat with you about, knowing that with Build My Bod, you have really you’re able to see these really great big, beautiful, robust, overarching themes because you have data from practices across the United States. So and are there is there data in Canada as well, or is it just.
00:04:44:00 – 00:05:44:24
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
You have doctors in Canada. We definitely have data from there as well. And and that’s the thing is, I mean, people would say, oh, well, I’ll just list my prices on my website as a static web page, and that’s one thing you can do. But if you do that, you’re not going to capture any leads in the process.
So that’s one of the things our price estimate does that allows the consumer to check pricing, but only after they put in their contact information, like I said. But the other differentiator is that because we have all of these doctors who are uploading their pricing to our database, there’s so much data that the doctors now have access to or the med spa has access to, so they can log in to the provider portal and they can look at the procedures they’ve uploaded, you know, breast aug, injectables, whatever.
And they can see how their prices compare across the country, across the region. The state 50 mile radius, zip code. So they can just decide, you know, well, I don’t necessarily want to be the least expensive. And so they can adjust their pricing so that they know where they fit within that competitive landscape. And so that’s one of the huge things about being a part of this, is that we all get to share in all this great data.
00:05:45:01 – 00:06:33:03
So let’s dig a little deeper when it comes to the data, what are you seeing? We are, so when we’re recording this are about halfway through October, so we are into Q4 at this point, obviously. But let’s talk about Q4. What are you seeing as far as trends are concerned and that, because somebody that is focused on what’s going on in their practice or in their city and their zip code, they may not know what is going on.
One zip code over, they may not know, Are my competitors experiencing the same, you know, the same burst of patients, the same surge? Are they experiencing the slow time? Are they experiencing more injectables, surgical versus non-surgical, etc.? So what’s going on in different parts of the country? What can you give us from an insider’s perspective when it comes to…
00:06:33:03 – 00:06:38:13
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
That’s the thing, is that, yeah, even if you reached out to those other doctors, they are those other practices. They wouldn’t tell you the truth anyway.
00:06:38:15 – 00:06:41:22
That’s very true. Yes. Everyone is wonderful all the time.
00:06:41:24 – 00:08:33:00
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Exactly. Exactly. Except me. You know, everybody feels like it’s always they are doing well. But anyway, so when when somebody logs in, they can see the trend over the last 12 months for themselves and for their whole network. And so because all these different doctors we have over 250 doctors or practices or facilities using our platform now so you can see the number of leads coming in.
And and so I focus on leads, but obviously the other big benefit of allowing the consumer to check pricing on your website is that it also helps weed out price shoppers and weed in serious patients. But from a lead perspective, you can see how many leads are coming in each month across the entire network. So you can see that everything was going up and up and up and up on that line graph.
When you look at the provider portal during, you know, February, March, April, May, June, July of 2021, and then you can see that everybody started to slow down and the number of leads that were generating in August and September and now things are picking back up towards the end of September, beginning of October. So that’s really the other benefit is that misery loves company sometimes you can see that it’s not just you that’s maybe generating fewer leads and maybe you’re still busy operating.
But those are patients you booked a month ago so you can and you may be you’re feeling, oh, there’s fewer consults, but you can look at all the data in the back end of the platform and see that everybody is really experiencing that on average. And you can see that the leads are going down. But then they’re starting to go back up.
So Q4, like it does in most years, is going to continue to improve because everybody’s going back and getting scheduled for surgery because they want to get procedures done. Thanksgiving, Christmas. That used to be more true because people were, you know, off during Thanksgiving and Christmas. They had time off. And now more people are working from home. But we’re still seeing that people are choosing to get those procedures during Thanksgiving and Christmas, even though they’re working from home. And it’s not a matter of really taken off of work.
00:08:33:02 – 00:09:28:04
What’s interesting is that you mentioned, obviously, one of the other things we’re talking about, as you were mentioning, a shift in trends, right? So not just not necessarily the shift in trends in our industry and the aesthetic cosmetic and plastic surgery space, but just how shifts and trends that are going on in the rest of the world are affecting what’s going on in practices.
So one of the things that we were talking about was obviously we can’t ignore the elephant in the room of the Delta variant, and so there is Delta variant. And how are you seeing that affect practices at this point, knowing that it’s not it’s not brand new anymore. So we have a little bit of a better grasp. And then also, you had mentioned travel and and you know, people are able to travel again.
So we have that. How are you finding those two things are affecting your practice/ the trends that you’re seeing, your Build My Bod.
00:09:28:06 – 00:11:14:23
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
So through the data that we can see, we can again see that the trends of the lead generation, people being interested in cosmetic services specifically to this podcast, that that is trending down in August and September, just that snapshot. Now as far as what’s causing that, that maybe varies from community to community, but what we saw here in August and September when everybody was going back to school and people were truly going back to school this year.
So that’s always a slow down every year. But then, yes, people were maybe spending more money that they had the pent up demand for travel. They were able to travel some more. It was travel more easily. So that was people spending more money on travel versus cosmetic services. And then also the Delta variant people like at least around here, were getting very nervous about that.
Things really shut down. And by the way, this I’ve talked to like radio station that I advertise with, I talked to the radio station. They saw a significant downturn in ad dollars being spent in August and September also. One of the things they mentioned, and this doesn’t mean what I say it really depends on the community, is that they thought that people were focused on the governor’s recall of Governor Newsom and that whether he was going to be thrown out of office, that they were going to get a Republican that they didn’t like.
So they were thinking that that might affect it. So that’s one thing that the data doesn’t show us is why things are… there’s a downturn, because, again, that can change from a community standard, from one community to the other. But the data is real and things definitely slowed down in those months. And people don’t need to feel like, Oh, it was only me.
It was it was most people. And again, even if you were busy operating in those months of September, of August, September, like we were, those weren’t necessarily the new patients those people had already paid. Now, if those people were paying again the day of surgery, then it would be a problem. But they had already paid weeks, months beforehand.
00:11:15:00 – 00:12:25:18
Now, one thing that you and I were were also talking about is that and you told me that I have a permission to talk about this, So I’m going to go ahead and bring this up. It’s that in your practice. So because again, you are a practicing surgeon, right? Day in day out, that although, yes, you are a founder and you have Build My Health, you are a surgeon first, I think that’s probably pretty fair to say, right?
You’re in the operating room. This is your baby. So within your practice, you have made the decision that not only at a state level, all of your team members, your staff are you know, there was a mandatory vaccination. So for COVID 19, but you’ve recently made the decision to have it that all of your patients need to be vaccinated as well.
Can you tell me about why not just me, but everybody else, why you made that decision? And how has that affected your practice? And then my follow up question is also then going to be have you seen any of your colleagues do that? And what sort of feedback have you gotten even from people in different states?
00:12:25:20 – 00:16:35:07
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Well, here in San Francisco, in the Bay Area, right about the end of July, beginning of August, we made the decision to require all of our patients, new patients, existing patients that are coming back for new treatments like Botox patients, surgical patients that we required them all to be vaccinated. And soon after, in the Barrier Bay area restaurants, if you wanted to go inside. Bars, if you wanted to go inside, they were requiring vaccination to it couldn’t even be a negative test.
So while this may be like crazy thing to do in other states within the Bay Area, we were pretty well insulated to that. A lot of other entities, a lot of other businesses were doing that as well. We happened to maybe do it first, but we let patients know via an email newsletter and we got some interesting feedback.
The reason, couple of reasons we did it. One is that, you know, before surgery, remember, we have an hour, an office operating room here in our office, we don’t, I don’t go to a surgery center so I have less control over if if I was going to a surgery center to operate, I’d have less control over what they did, their policies.
But here in our office, we have our own operating room and, you know, we were requiring patients to get COVID tests before they came in, and it had to be within a certain number of days. And it was really a hassle to make sure they got it done to get get a COVID test in the community, to make sure they got it done within a certain number of days, you know, soon, like not two weeks before surgery.
And it really became a hassle. And the fact that the Delta variant was starting to raise its head back in July, I was like, you know what? We just need to require vaccination. It’s way easier. Patients can just send us their QR code that they got from the state of California, and there’s not this follow up to see if they got their test, if they got it soon enough.
If we’re going to get the results before their operation, if we’re going to have to postpone their operation. So a lot of it was very practical that getting the vaccination card was way easier. And so we did that. And again, I don’t know if that caused certain patients not… I know it caused some patients not to come see us, but I don’t know if it was like an overwhelming amount because, again, things were slowing down from the back to school and people going to travel.
00:14:27:06 – 00:14:47:17
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
But we did send out a survey about three weeks ago now and we got it and we sent it out to our database about 15,000 people and got a little over about 185 responses. And over 80% of the people are vaccinated, under 20% are unvaccinated. And that was what the survey was about, as you know, if you’re vaccinated or not.
And if you’re not vaccinated, why not? And it was interesting, some of the feedback people gave us is that they weren’t vaccinated because they weren’t sure about the they were worried about the side effects or they hadn’t been enough data. And then the other thing as we asked them is if you were not vaccinated, what would incentivize you to get vaccinated?
And some of the things were that if they if they had to be vaccinated to go see their doctor or their plastic surgeon, they would do it, or if they were traveling or if they were going to a concert, they’d get vaccinated. So that was interesting. But then we did have some patients who would say, Oh, well, I’m switching providers because you required me to be vaccinated.
I’m not going to be vaccinated. And I’m going to go to somebody else for my Botox. And whatever your reasons for being vaccinated or not, it’s just really ironic to me that people would refuse to get vaccinated so that they could go get poison injected into their face, which is, you know, what we all know is botulinum toxin.
It’s a poison. It’s obviously well controlled. And we use it all the time. But very ironic that people would feel like that. They were showing me by saying, I’m not going to come to you for my Botox, I’m going to go someplace else but remain unvaccinated. I feel like the data is out there that you are less likely to go to the hospital.
But anyway, that was the reason we decided to require vaccination in our office. Somebody was like wondering, are you getting paid to require vaccination? Like, I guess they thought maybe we were being sponsored by Pfizer by requiring people to be vaccinated to come in. So it’s very interesting feedback from the survey. At the end of the day, you know, people think that we’re imposing our will on them, but, you know, we’re not requiring you to go get vaccinated.
You just you don’t have to go get vaccinated. You just go to see another doctor. But we feel more comfortable knowing that the patients coming in are vaccinated. So it’s safer for our other patients. It’s safer for our staff and safer for our staff’s family.
00:16:35:09 – 00:16:57:08
You know, and as a side note, just a question. Are you fielding questions and sort of acting as a counselor or. You know, I wouldn’t say coach, certainly. But are you acting as a counselor if somebody does have questions about the vaccine and its safety, as are you getting questions about that? Because you are a doctor first and foremost?
00:16:57:10 – 00:17:38:02
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Yeah, No, I was I’m on the radio once a week here in town with 99 seven now. And so we do sometimes, aside from answering questions about cosmetic services, we answer questions about COVID, about the vaccine, and with these survey results actually, we made a five part video that was like tik-tok friendly or Instagram reels friendly, and we took some of the data from the survey and I answered some of the questions about people’s concerns about the vaccine.
So you’re exactly right. We definitely did that. We took that information from the survey, made those videos, and the videos weren’t made to be conducted, adding if you were unvaccinated, you know, like that was dumb of you. We just answered the questions as scientifically as possible.
00:17:38:04 – 00:18:46:02
Yeah. That the frequently asked questions that you’re, you know, for the TikTok videos. Let’s start wrapping up and is there anything else and thank you so much for for taking the time to chat today both about Build My Health and then looking at all sorts of other trends. I know that there are… there’s so much going on in the world.
And not only do I love as a consultant, which is our our first and foremost, our bread and butter, that’s that is, you know, what we do, We don’t get paid to be podcasters. So with that, we love not only the Build My Health software for what it’s able to do for our clients, what it’s able to do for patients and with the price transparency component, but also knowing all the other features that are involved and being able to really aid our clients and looking at the trends.
And thank you so much for coming on today and adding just a little bit more depth to what’s going on and and helping to really give our listeners that really that insider scoop on what’s going on and some trends.
00:18:46:04 – 00:19:58:21
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
My pleasure. I think that, you know, in the past price transparency was this thing that all health care providers shied away from. But now government is requiring hospitals to show pricing as of January 1st of 2021 is that’s just going have a trickle down effect. Consumers are going to start to be able to get access to pricing.
And so I feel like people should find a way on their terms to provide pricing to their patients through their website and not just aesthetics. As I’ve mentioned before, you know, this is for insurance based services too, that, you know, if there’s the doctors out there that own a surgery center are part owners of a surgery center, that they can now show consumer pricing with not just their their fee, the professional fee, but also the facility fee and linking those two things together.
So if somebody is interested in, you know, a breast procedure that the consumer can find out the ASE fee and the surgeon’s fee, rather than just getting one or the other, which would be an incomplete picture. So it’s really great now that the data is out there, the software is available to make this accessible to the consumer.
And in turn generating a lead for the provider. It’s a great time to be alive. There’s a lot of great innovation and technology out there to make the providers and the consumers lives a little bit easier.
00:19:58:23 – 00:20:33:17
I agree. And if any of you listening, if you are curious about more information, I recommend number one check out. We do have previous podcasts and videos that we have done with Dr. Kaplan that he gives a really great in-depth history into not just Build My Health, formerly known as Build My Bod, but also how his rise in becoming the surgeon that he is today, why he chose to buy an existing practice instead of opening something up from scratch.
I mean, there’s so much more that we’ve talked about in the past, which is why we haven’t touched on those things today.
00:20:33:23 – 00:20:36:19
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Think I’m like an onion? Lots of layers.
00:20:36:21 – 00:20:51:16
You are. And I’m glad that you haven’t made me cry. So we’re good to go. So but if somebody not just wants to listen to the podcast, watch the videos, will say, Doctor Kaplan, where can they find you?
00:20:51:18 – 00:21:28:09
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Yeah. So they can definitely email me Jonathan@buildmybod, Still Build my bod, dot com, buildmybod.com. And they can check out those videos that I was referring to. As far as educating on the vaccine based on our survey results, they can check out our Instagram page reels in the feed @Realdrbae, bae not bay. Since I’m a plastic surgeon in the San Francisco Bay Area and they can also they can email me, they can check out our social media. And it’s very easy to reach out, just direct message or email. You can find me any time.
00:21:28:11 – 00:21:36:00
Perfect. And if you notice that you actually gave your actual email address so people can actually email you.
00:21:36:00 – 00:21:39:18
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
That’s not info@buildmybod, just email me directly. It’s fine.
00:21:39:21 – 00:21:55:23
We we do the same thing and anybody that’s ever asked for our contact information on our business cards, it’s honestly it’s our cell phones. It’s my… You know, I’m not saying you need to give your cell phone, but for me, it’s my cell phone. It’s my email. And I know people that say, Oh, no, I’m not going to… you can’t contact me. Why?
00:21:56:00 – 00:22:18:13
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Right! now, I call my patients the evening after their operation, and I call them from our my Google voice cell phone number. And so that way they have the number. I always tell them I was like, I’d rather you call me, text me or send me a photo, rather than going online reading some bad information or calling friends or family or, God forbid, going to the ER. Just reach out to me first. Way easier for both of us.
00:22:18:15 – 00:22:30:13
Oh, I love that. That’s so true. Well, thank you so much for joining me for another episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast and can’t wait to we’re in same time, same place all over again.
00:22:30:15 – 00:22:32:15
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Absolutely. Always a pleasure. Great seeing you, Mara.
00:22:40:20 – 00:25:37:01
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So that wraps up today’s episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast. If we mentioned any quote, links in our show notes, be sure to check them out for the easiest way to discover your best solutions you can find them. Yeah. In our show notes.
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