Making the Contactless Connection at Your Dental Practice

modern practice podcast

Rectangle Health sponsored a podcast hosted by AADOM Radio, “Making the Contactless Connection at Your Dental Practice,” featuring Ryan Merriman. Learn how convenient, consumer-friendly payment options make capturing payments more manageable for both the practice and the patient.


John Stamper 00:00

We know that making things contactless in your practice is beneficial from a safety perspective. But you are going to hear on AADOM Radio today that there are so many other advantages of some of these newer technologies in an effort to be able to serve your patients better. Stay tuned.

Welcome everybody, to AAdom Radio, the podcast for dental managers.

I’m your host, John Stamper and thanks for joining us. Today’s episode of Adam Radio is brought to you by rectangle health. And our guest today is Ryan Merriman, who has been a practice management consultant with Rectangle Health for the past two years, helping to make workflows and processes simpler and more efficient for healthcare providers and practices. Now Ryan takes a consultative approach as he knows firsthand how important efficiencies and automation are to running the dental office. He enjoys making a positive contribution to the lives office management staff and helping practices realize more revenue as they implement solutions that make their day to day life easier. Ryan and his family are natives of and based in Oklahoma. Adam radio and rectangle health are excited to bring to you today Ryan merman.

What’s going on everybody? I am your host, John Stamper. Welcome to another episode here on Adam Radio. So in this post pandemic world, we have had so many great episodes talking about so many of the newer technologies out there and today is going to be the same. I am very excited for our guest and for one main reason. So were just talking before we got started and as you all know, as office managers out there, it’s always very valuable when we have somebody here on the podcast that knows and understands what you deal with on a daily basis. And so that’s what we’re going to have today. So I am very honored and excited to have with us Ryan Merriman who is a practice management consultant from Rectangle Health. And today’s podcast is making the contactless connection at your dental practice.

Ryan, how are you doing, man?

Ryan Merriman 02:07

I’m very well, sir. How are you?

John Stamper 02:10

I’m doing awesome. And before we get started, I’m sure everybody’s going to be wondering now, so what does that mean? John, we have to know Ryan’s story. So this whole thing of him understanding what goes on in a dental practice from an office manager’s perspective. So before we get started, I’d love to have you share.

How Rectangle Health Can Help

Ryan Merriman 02:28

Absolutely. So, yeah, one of the biggest benefits of what I get to do and being a practice management consultant is my father in law actually owned his own dental practice for 30 years and my mother in law was the office manager. So I know how important, what our office managers go through, the tasks that they have to accomplish every day to keep that office running. They are the engine that keeps the office running. And the beautiful thing about Rectangle is we give them tools to increase efficiency to make their lives easier and at the end of the day, increase the doctor patient relationship as well.

John Stamper 03:14

Yeah, I love that. And I think as we’re talking, everybody, the title of this podcast is Contactless. And as so many of you heard me say over these last twelve months, we’ve had people come on and talk about that and help you guys come up with ideas and tools of how to make things safe and frictionless in your practice. What I think is so cool about what Ryan is going to talk about today is that it’s more than that, right? These tools not only help with creating that contactless environment so that your patients feel safe, but there is so much more. And when I say the word revenue cycle management, I’m sure many of you understand the importance of that.

You understand how important cash is, and particularly with what we all went through last year on how can we find ways to be able to make sure that we’re speeding up that cash and utilizing a lot of these tools. So that’s what Ryan’s going to talk about today and he’s got a lot of ideas around this. And one of the first questions that I want to ask you, Ryan, we’re just going to get right into it and there’s a lot of details you’re going to talk about it, but why are people coming to Rectangle Health?

Ryan Merriman 04:21

Well, that is a great question. The main thing about Rectangle Health and what we do is we are exclusive to healthcare. So our system there’s a couple of very important things. One, we are a HIPAA and PCI compliant, cloud based encrypted vault. So when we’re talking about HIPAA and patient information and credit card data, there’s a lot of red tape, quarterly scans that are mandatory. There’s a lot of things that happen because of that. And the way our system is built, because that data is truncated, tokenized, and stored in a safe environment, we can do some pretty amazing things. We kind of have a three tiered approach, or what I call the efficiency fishing net, basically. And that starts with a precare of patient registration. So patient registration is a rectangle’s answer to the CDC and Ada regulations. With this current environment we’re in.

Kind of like what were talking about earlier is a lot of my clients, a lot of my practices I work with, they’re spending tons of money, tons of time wiping down clipboards, sanitizing pins, having patients wait out in the parking lot, maybe even they’re scheduling less patients, so there’s not six people sitting in the waiting room. So all of that is hurdles that they’re having to jump through. And with Rectangle, we built patient registration, which is a pretty beautiful thing. So it’s an email that we can send to our patients. We can also text this to our patients if they’re sitting in the parking lot and they can actually fill out their current health history. Information. They can fill out their current insurance information. They can actually take a photo of their current insurance card.

But the most beneficial thing is, because we are in that HIPAA PCI encrypted world, is your patients can even vault their own preferred method of payment on file. So essentially what’s happening with a lot of my clients is office managers are sending these links out via text or email the night before or the day of. And once completed, they can actually text the patient, be here by 230, come to operatory three. The patient can walk in. They’ll get treated as they’re walking out. You could say, hey, John, would you like to pay with the card you put on file ending in 2247? You could say, Absolutely, Ryan, thank you so much. I can charge that card on file, email you a receipt, and you never had to stop at the front desk. So the efficiency there is invaluable.

John Stamper 07:10

So when you first told me that, which I’m so glad that you mentioned the HIPAA piece, because that was the first thing that I thought about as a consumer. And let’s call it like it is, patients are consumers, especially in the world that we live in now. Patients come in, they want a dental practice to have all of the technologies that they’re used to when they shop online and do all these different things. But to your point, Ryan, without that security blanket or that confidence that technology exists, it can be a little bit challenging, I’m sure, not only for the practice to want to make sure that security is there, but also from the patient. So I think that is super helpful.

And I would imagine and I’m curious as we kind of go through this podcast to hear some stories of the people you guys are helping on what that’s meaning for speeding things up for the ease on the patient side as well as for the practice.

Ryan Merriman 07:53

Absolutely. Yeah. It’s a constant battle with the PCI DSS compliance. And that’s kind of the beauty with rectangles is because that data, whether it’s manually entered, taken over your website, swiped, chipped, dipped, no matter how that credit card data is processed, it’s immediately stored and truncated in that HIPAA encrypted world. So all the risk that most of my clients are trying to protect, it just doesn’t exist anymore. And that’s why we can kind of open those doors to all these capabilities. And like you said, give patients that consumer retail or whatever, if you’re going to your local gym, right, cards on file, you can set up a recurring payment plan, pay monthly. We give our clients that same user friendly experience.

John Stamper 08:51

Yeah, that’s awesome. All right, so were also talking about a couple of other really cool features and tools that you guys have put together in an effort to be able to build efficiency in the practice. And I cannot wait for you to share a little bit about this. I think you called it pre authorized health care or some sort of authorization threshold when it comes to insurance. Love to have you talk about that.

Integrate with Your Dental EMR

Ryan Merriman 09:13

Absolutely. Like I said, we already talked about Precare. The point of care is really the brain of our system, which is Practice Management Bridge, and that is a proprietary patented technology for rectangle. That is what allows us to do all these things like card on file, recurring payment plans, authorization of amounts not covered by insurance. But another thing that we didn’t really talk about is this also allows us to post or integrate an interface to any EMR, windows based EMR out there. So whether your office managers, whether they’re working with Eaglesoft, Open, Dental, Dentrix, we can work with all of them and save a ton of time with a lot of manual posting. One of the biggest benefits with our system, kind of going back to your question was, we lobbied to the bank card industry for healthcare professionals.

It’s kind of a fun story. 20 years ago, we actually have what is basically an addendum or a writer to the current agreement for the ability for pre authorized healthcare transactions. And it has three different authorizations, one card on file. So immediately when we’re talking about a card on file, whether that be their Dentrix ID, their Eaglesoft ID, without sounding corny, it’s a lot like checking out an Amazon. We can literally have a card on file, type in that patient’s Dentrix or Eaglesoft ID, charge that card on file, and email a receipt. It’s a huge benefit for phone payments, which is a big thing that all of our healthcare offices are doing, especially in dental. It’s a big thing for the busy parent that might have forgot their wallet instead of them having to run home or give you an IOU.

We can say, don’t worry. John, would you like to pay with the card you have on file ending in 2297? Right. The second option, which I think is hands down the most beneficial, is we have the ability to authorize a threshold for amounts not covered by insurance. And this is a direct effect on AR and billing. Right. So what a lot of my offices are doing before they come to rectangle is they’re obviously estimating to the best of their abilities what insurance is going to cover. But I think if we ask our office managers, and if we’re being really honest, insurance usually covers what they say they’re going to cover around 50% of the time.

So what ends up happening is that patient is treated right, services are rendered, and now, 30, 60, 90 days later, we’re spending the office manager’s time, we’re spending money to chase down amounts not covered by insurance. Right. Post adjudication. A lot of your office managers, they’ll know that those statements are not free. They’re around $4 in administrative time, cost stamps. A lot of my offices as well. They’ll have kind of a policy. We’re going to have a three statement policy. But the reality is, sometimes we’re spending $15 or $12 in statements to collect $12. So what we can do now is, with our system, we can compliantly charge our vault a card on file for amounts not covered by insurance not to exceed X. The beauty is, you can make that threshold per patient, right?

For instance, myself, my cards on file at my dentist office for amounts not covered by insurance, not to exceed $100. Meaning if insurance comes back and I owe you $50, don’t send me a bill, charge my card, please, and email me a receipt. So if you can quantify that, if we make an office policy of if 80% of our statements are under $100, what could that mean in billing cost in AR? That can equate to if you’re sending out 200 statements a month, we could be talking about 500, $600 in statements. And then, of course, if you quantify that to AR, we could be talking about $5,000 in AR. And I’ve seen both sides of it, right? I’ve seen my offices that they made a policy to do it one one, and they dropped their AR fairly well.

There are offices that said, hey, we’re going to make it $50, and it knocked out 20%, 30% of their bills. And then I have some offices that just made kind of a changing of the tithe with their offices. And they said, hey, we’re going to keep a card on file for X because X is 80% of the bills we’re sending out. And they literally don’t send out bills. They don’t have AR. I know that sounds crazy in healthcare, but it’s a lot like checking into a nice hotel, right? We talked about this earlier. The first thing they do is get a card on file. Now, they’re not saying they’re going to charge your card willy nilly, and neither is the dental practice. But you can pay cash or check.

But if you get room service and break the TV, they’re not going to send you a bill, right? They’re going to send you a receipt. And that’s kind of the mentality that we’re giving our clients the ability to change, right? So we’re flipping the dynamic of treat them and bill them later. And we’re giving our clients the ability to pre authorize a threshold should insurance drop the ball. Because the bottom line is, services have been rendered. We can’t get the doctor’s time back. We can’t repo a crown. That’s one of my father in law’s favorite statements. I can’t repo a crown. Ryan right. So the last thing we want to do is spend your valuable time, my office manager’s valuable time, and especially the practices, money, chasing down amounts owed to the practice.

John Stamper 15:40

So two interesting things that I wanted to get your thoughts on, and number one, these technologies and the work that you guys have been doing at Rectangle Health were certainly going on before the pandemic, right? I mean, these were things you guys have been passionate about and the like or what have you. And so one of the things that we’ve learned from a lot of our audience is that during the pandemic last year, many of them had time to learn more about all the features of these great technologies. And so I know a lot of companies out there had been educating practices on what was available and so on and so forth, and some of the practices took heed of that, and some of them got really busy, and they’re like, I’ll get back to want to get back to it.

That’s the first thing. The second thing is, as we all know, cash flow is always important. But when you talk to an office manager and you share with them these little things, you’re talking about like $100 here or $5,000 here. That makes a big difference. What’s interesting, as you know, Ryan, is that in the day to day running of a practice with all these things going on, those little tiny things add up, right? And so I think what you guys have done by combining this technology, the security, and then of course, this focus on revenue cycle management and cash flow, I would have to think, even just in the last 90 days, that you guys have a whole host of stories of customers you guys are working with, where there’s all these AHA moments, right?

Like, oh, my gosh, I never realized this was here, or I knew it was there. How cool is this? So I love to do this on these podcasts because there are real life happenings that you guys are dealing with on a daily basis with customers that you’re serving that I would love for the office managers to hear about how awesome committing to a lot of these technologies really are.

Digital Payment Options Increase Patient Interaction

Ryan Merriman 17:18

Well, I’m glad you said that, because that kind of brings me to the third phishing, like I said, the efficiency net, which is our postcare. So that is balance collect. And the cool thing about what we do is we build the practice their own custom encrypted link, right? We put this link on their website where patients can go to their websites now and pay. Once a payment is made, it generates a beautiful PDF Dba white label to that practice. The patient can print that out, have it for their records. As soon as that happens, the office is notified of that payment. They can click on that transaction and post it right into their EMR. That same link can be texted as well. And that’s where we really change the game with Balance, Collect or our postcare.

We’ve done studies with Becker’s Hospital, and there’s a 90% open rate with a Text-to-Pay. There’s a 70% open rate with a web payment, right, for web payments or going to the website, and there’s only a 20% collection rate with paper billing. So what we’re noticing and getting back to your story is, I worked with a practice recently, and my office manager was telling me, oh, well, I don’t really text much, and I don’t know if our clients are going to do it. And I said, how about this? If you don’t see that investment, come back, call me, and you can go back to doing what you’re doing. Well, two weeks later, she calls me and she goes, Ryan, I just want to tell you something. I sent out twelve text messages, and nine people paid me $800.

She goes, that would have taken me three months without this system. She said, thank you, thank you. So that’s what I mean when you quantify 90% text, right? 70% web payment, and then in this day and age, especially in this current environment, the reality is no one is going to their mailbox going to whip out a check and send it back to you in a timely manner, right? Like I said, I’m 38. I told you my cards on file at Netflix. Grubhub. Uber. Amazon. I pay all my bills via text or via website. And having that ability to literally text someone, your balance is X and then have them pay you. And guess what, John, that link doesn’t cost you anything, right?

John Stamper 20:01


Considering the ROI of Patient Billing

Ryan Merriman 20:01

A statement cost $4 and seven days to get there. A link doesn’t cost a practice anything. And the efficiency on that payment is light years difference. One of the other great stories that I heard is, I have a practice I work with. They have five locations, and they’d never had web payments before, and they were stressing over ROI on AR, and what were they going to do, right? They needed to keep people coming in, but they’re billing as much as they’re pulling out. Once they had that web pay and Text-to-Pay, the doctor wanted it. The payment notifications linked directly to his email. And I told him, I said, you don’t want to do that with five locations, I’m telling you. And he said, no, I want it coming to me.

He called me one weekend and he said, Ryan, I just want to tell you thank you. He goes, I got paid $1,300 this weekend, but my email would not stop dinging. He’s like ding. $10 here, $12 here. And I said, hey, I did my job. That’s the beauty of what we can do. And that’s another thing too, John, is with the pre care, with the digital registration, we’re saving time and money, right? We’re creating efficiency. We’re creating a contactless world with Practice Management Bridge. At Point of Care, we’re giving them an integration to post payments automatically so your staff doesn’t have to manually enter all day. We have that capability for card on file, and then, of course, bounce Collect, which is the postcare that’s a web payment Text-to-Pay. We can even copy paste that into an email.

That is the rectangle health solution. Everyone that I don’t work with, they’re all doing these things with five different vendors, right? They’re hiring somebody for this, they’re hiring somebody for that. They’re hiring somebody for web pay. They’re hiring another company for Text-to-Pay. So at the end of the day, these smart office managers are figuring out what they need to do, but they’re paying five to six different vendors. Where rectangle health. That’s how we’re built, right? You get all of this for one solution.

John Stamper 22:24

I love that. And thanks for sharing that story, right? I mean, I know a lot of times we’ll have our listeners, and rightfully so, right? I mean, I’m biased. Our office managers that listen to this are very smart, and they take a lot of pride in their practice and knowing the business side. And so a lot of times there’s questions of ROI. But the reason why I asked that question is because they know. I mean, hearing you share that, hearing those simple examples of that doctor making $1,300 or some of these practices, getting that right away, that’s ROI everybody, right? I mean, it’s like when you incorporate these technologies with what you’re dealing with in regards to your patients and some of the challenges they have, and speeding things up and really putting a focus on revenue cycle management, that’s where it’s at.

And as a matter of fact, on the flip side, Ryan, I’m trying to undo my card on Amazon because for some reason, my kids, they just keep buying all these shows, you know what I mean? Because my card is connected to Amazon. That’s the other side of this. But of course, if you’re a practice owner, you want that, right? In my case, it’s like, wait a minute, where’s this 799 here? What is this? But you’re right. That’s the world that we now live in. There is a level of comfort to know in the practice. That security piece is there. And so, such a great story. Well, all right, let’s kind of wrap this up. I mean, any final thoughts of kind of how all this ties together in regards to the great tools you guys have brought about?

And then I would love to have you share with everybody where they can learn more about Rectangle Health, how they can take advantage of these services, all that great stuff.

Ryan Merriman 23:56

Absolutely. I guess. Final statement here. We have a mission statement of, you know, making my office manager’s lives easier. That that’s I could go all day, talk about, you know, talk about what we do, you know, the compliance stuff, the encryption, the card on file. But at the end of the day, my goal as a practice management consultant is to make your lives easier, to give you tools to help increase efficiency. That’s the beauty with people that already have these things. Down. And like you said, very smart office managers out there. These are just extra tools to maybe increase a couple of things here and there. And that’s the other beauty, is my system. Like I said, it all comes with these tools. What you want to use and what you don’t is completely up to you.

I have demographics that don’t keep cards on file because their patients don’t want to. I have demographics that everybody has a card on file. People don’t even bring their wallet. Another great thing about our system, which I kind of wanted touch on before we left, is our point of sale system is also EMV. It’s swipe, but it’s also contactless. So there’s been a huge uptick in that web Pay I mean, sorry, the Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Tap to Pay, right?

John Stamper 25:31


Ryan Merriman 25:32

It also has a digital signature pad. So I’m sure somebody out there is going to laugh, but when I say no more shoeboxes with receipts in it, everything that’s my mother in law’s office manager joke, she said, oh, gosh, that shoebox, I always had to pull it out at the end of the day. That’s another big thing. And then the other thing that we didn’t really get touch on, point of Care, before I go, is the last option of that pre offer is the recurring payment. So that allows us to actually set up a recurring payment plan. Let’s say somebody owes you $1,200, right? Maybe insurance totally dropped the ball. They didn’t meet their deductible.

Instead of using Care credit and charging that practice 8% to 10%, we can now compliantly set up that payment for $400 on the 22nd for the next three months, and it will run automatically. Right. There’s a lot office managers out there. They’re having to remember, oh, my gosh, I got to call John on the 20th and run that card. Well, maybe John doesn’t answer. Maybe John’s driving. Right? So with our system, I know it sounds corny, but we have that set it and forget it system where you can literally take that payment, break it out however the patient needs, it runs automatically, and the beauty is it turns itself off when it’s done. So I wanted to throw that one out there because that is a huge benefit that we didn’t talk about.

And then as far as our company and how we work, obviously we have a live demo built into our system on our website,, going there and requesting a demo. We have representatives all across the country, and with a simple click of a button, you can schedule a demo. We coordinate that with your office, and we actually walk you through the entire system right there on a screen share. So it’s a beautiful kind of hybrid. I know were talking about that earlier. Obviously, if we have a representative and you’re comfortable, love to come in person and meet with our office managers, and the other great thing is I always like to say this, we’re practice management consultants. We are not salesmen, we are not sales reps.

We will find the pain point, we will find what will help the practice and that’s what we’ll focus on.

Boost Revenue Cycle Management with Rectangle Health

John Stamper 28:06

I love that. And I would have to think when it comes to revenue cycle management, that as you know from your experience, sometimes it’s one or two little tweaks, right. Could make a huge difference in cash flow coming in and creating a new process that makes it easy for the practice from the patient. So this is exciting and I think we talk about this all the time on these podcasts that this gap between companies and practices, especially in this technology space, is closing every year. Because I think that the more time that you spend with the practices, the more you guys realize what they’re going through and the challenges that they have, you’re able to kind of create solutions for that. So it really sounds like you guys have found a great fit.

I’m excited about what you’re doing and can’t thank you enough for coming on today. And I think, as you mentioned, everybody is where you can go and learn more about all of these great features that Ryan talked about. I know you mentioned the demo. I’m actually on the site right now, went on there. I can see the information right here pretty easy in regards to getting that all set up, so you guys want to make sure you check it out. And again, Ryan, I want to thank you a lot for coming on today and hopefully we’re getting to a point where we’re going to be able to see people in person soon, maybe at eight I’m conference, so who knows.

Ryan Merriman 29:27

Amen, brother. All right.

John Stamper 29:31

And then as far as any other information to share other than the website, any other contact information specifically for Adam that you’re going to want to pass out or they can just have them go to

Ryan Merriman 29:42

Yeah, will direct it to our company and that way the representative in that territory will be able to address that prospect in that area. And then, of course, we work with Adam on a national level with our local chapters, so there’s plenty of ways to reach out. I would leave my email, but that wouldn’t be fair. Everybody would be exactly.

John Stamper 30:12

Well, if you could set up some of this technology and make sure that all of your colleagues could get those texts, then it would be fair. But yeah, for the sake of keeping it easy, just go to And again, Ryan, thank you so much for your time. I know the Adam team really appreciates all of you guys and your support of Adam. And not only that, but being here on Adam radio and educating on all of the office managers out there on what’s available and more importantly, making things easier. For them and for their patients. So really appreciate your time today.

Ryan Merriman 30:41

Thank you, John. I appreciate it as well. All right, you got it.

John Stamper 30:44

Take care.

Ryan Merriman 30:45

Okay, bye.

John Stamper 30:48

That’s a wrap. Thanks for listening to another episode here on Aadom Radio. Would love to have you subscribe on itunes, Spotify, Google Play, whichever is your listening device of choice. Be sure to go out there, subscribe to the podcast, and each time we download or bring to you another episode, it will come through right to your device. Also, want to let you know, conference is coming fast. We cannot wait to see everybody in person, so be sure to go out to Aadom conference. That’s

You’ve got a whole list of all the great speakers that are going to be there. And let’s just face it, the networking is going to be amazing this year. People just cannot wait to see each other. And as always, great companies and sponsors to showcase their products and services. So be sure to go out to And until next time, talk to you soon.

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