Did you know that up to 60% of Americans do not have dental insurance? In fact, cost is the #1 reason most people put off dental treatment. When looking to grow your practice, think about how you can reach this segment of the population. How can you best reach those who believe they cannot afford dentistry because of a lack of “coverage”?
By offering an in-house membership program like QDP to patients in your community, you are able to provide them with the benefits they are looking for without hacking away at your profits. Finally, patients have a dentist who welcomes them into the practice despite a lack of dental insurance, and you can attract fee-for-service patients. Patients know that with QDP, they – and their entire family – are able to get quality dental care at a reasonable cost because there’s no insurance middleman.
When someone joins your practice as a QDP member, they are able to access savings and benefits in your practice by paying you directly and in advance – they think of it like a club membership for dentistry! And you know you are giving them what they are really looking for – the ultimate patient benefit: peace of mind. Find out more here.
It seems like more and more people are becoming insurance driven these days! I’m sure you and your team have heard patients and prospective patients express most of these concerns: “Do you offer dental insurance?” “If I had dental insurance I would get that crown done.” “If I had dental insurance I would have come in sooner.” “Can you do anything for me? I don’t have dental benefits.” In my experience, these and many otherinsurance and cost concerns are voiced by dental patients every day in practices across the country. The reality is that this kind of insurance mentality has become the new normal.
Now imagine if you could offer patients an alternative to dental insurance. Imagine if you could customize a dental plan which provided this large segment of the population with benefits created by you — all in a sustainable way for your practice? As a dentist, I believe that you deserve to be in complete control of the doctor-patient relationship, without 3rd party interference.
At QDP, we take a fresh approach and re-engineer the traditional insurance “benefit” model. Through our in-house dental membership/loyalty program, we are dedicated to creating sustainability in your practice and offering a lasting solution to the hassles of the insurance–driven marketplace.
Contact us to find out how you can resolve the insurance conundrum in your dental practice.
With the recent rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance is on the tops of many Americans’ minds, and that includes dental insurance. However, according to the American Dental Association, the ACA is only estimated to cover dental care for about 26 million Americans – mostly children and Medicare recipients – leaving the rest of the uninsured population searching for coverage.
Sure, there are alternatives to insurance such as dental HMO’s and so-called discount plans, but they stop short of actually providing real benefits to Americans. Many don’t provide coverage for comprehensive treatment and restrict patients from choosing their own dentist.
What if you could offer your patients a genuine alternative to dental insurance? One that would incentivize patients to seek the treatment they need, at a cost they could afford? An in-house dental savings plan benefits patients by showing them they actually can afford quality oral healthcare without the hassles of insurance. You can finally meet patient expectations – without sacrificing the welfare of your practice.
As dentists, we need to look at our business through the eyes of our patients. And patients, particularly those who have been avoiding the dentist, don’t see dentistry the same way we do.
They see us dentists as cold and uncaring, and they see our practices as sterile. Even if this isn’t actually true, it is the way many patients perceive us, and our practices, to be.
So how can we change patients’ thought processes? Through improved communication. Take the time to get to know the patients so that you are able to build a long-term relationship. Avoid clinical language. When recommending treatment, clearly explain their options as well as your reasons as to why you recommend the course of treatment.
Speaking with patients, instead of at them, will help to foster loyalty and will help them to see you as more than just another dentist, but also as their trusted oral health consultantgiving them all the more reason to keep coming back to you.
What if we could be successful by decreasing our dependence on insurance?
One of my friends from dental school called me shortly after he’d set up his practice to talk insurance with me. He was frustrated with how much time and money he was giving the insurance companies, and knowing that I had scrapped the insurance model and started offering my own pricing, programs, and savings plans, he was curious if he could pull it off as well.
We began to sift through what he liked about accepting dental insurance and what he didn’t. I decided to ask my friend a few simple questions…
Q: What is the upside of offering insurance?
A: I’m able to accept patients who have dental insurance, which increases practice revenue.
Q: Does it cost you a lot for the patient to use insurance?
Q: Do you have issues with case acceptance?
Q: Does the blame fall on you when the insurance company won’t accept your treatment plan?
Q: Does insurance cover all of your patient’s treatment?
A: No. Only a small percentage, really.
As a system, traditional dental insurance is very flawed. When you really break down the way insurance forces you to do business, you see that the only people it’s really benefitting are the insurance companies. It costs you time and resources, and since so many dentists accept it, the benefit is very modest. It allows you to fit in with the dentists in your area, not stand out.
That’s why my friend called me. Because I was able to eliminate the third parties and put the “private” back in private practice, creating a winning solution for my patients and my practice.
You’re an amazing dentist. When it comes to providing your patients with top-notch dental care, you are the expert. And except for when it comes to specialized procedures outside your area of expertise, there’s no need for you to seek outside help.
But we went to dental school, not business school. We shouldn’t expect to be experts at dental practice marketing. Maybe we recognize the need for marketing but do we really know how to increase revenue and build patient loyalty? And do we actually have the time and/or interest to do so?
Marketing and practice management are highly refined skills. They’re careers in and of themselves. While you may have a slight understanding of them, you’re not an expert. And why should you be? You went to school to be a dentist, right?
There’s no better way to catapult your business ahead than to find a partner that can provide the capabilities needed to enhance your practice. No need to spend your time reinventing the wheel. Where does your satisfaction come from: treating patients or researching consumer behavior? Do what you enjoy.
When was the last time you examined your fee schedule? Chances are, it has been awhile. Your fee schedule is an important component of your business plan, and the start of a new year is the perfect time to make adjustments to get your practice off to a strong start.
The problem is that without regularly looking at your fees, it’s impossible for you to make effective decisions regarding your business. The key is finding the fee schedule sweet spot that enables you remain viable without running the risk of your services becoming undervalued. You also can’t provide your patients with benefits such as cash, senior or advance payment discounts, Comprehensive Finance, Care Credit or Whitening for Life. Patient benefits continue to be one of your best tools for building patient loyalty and setting yourself apart from your competitors.
Without increasing your fees, you may not be able to stay competitive; you can’t afford to continue to update your practice with the latest technology, or to get all of the necessary continuing education to hone your clinical skills. Operating a successful practice depends on implementing these kinds of patient incentives in a way that boosts your bottom line rather than destroying it. And the key to doing this lies in setting appropriate fees. Take the time this January to evaluate your fee schedule and make 2014 your most profitable year yet.
“What can we give our patients? What does the consumer want? . . . We found they were looking for peace of mind.”
“The whole basis of Quality Dental Plan is to keep the relationship between the dental office and the patient . . . The way it should be, no third party involvement.”
“When you have a middleman that comes in between a transaction, that middleman needs to make some sort of profit.”
“Firm in policy. Flexible in procedure.”
“Becoming a strong leader frees up time to do the things you enjoy most by allowing you to delegate what you enjoy least.”
“What can you delegate effectively to your team to allow you to do more dentistry?”
“When you have a lot of different details of running a practice pulling you in a lot of different directions . . .are you really giving all of yourself to those patients?”
“If you are going to do something, it’s worth doing best.” – Dan’s dad
“You aren’t always going to be the best one out there, but you can always give it your best.” – Dan’s mom
“Go out there and look around. Explore. See what the world has to offer. Find out who you are.”
“In dental business, it’s understanding the game. What are the rules?”
“In our life we encounter lots of failures and challenges. How we respond to those really shapes who we are.”
“You get knocked down. You have to pick yourself up again. I put my time and energy into something that was going to make an impact on the world.”
“Go out and donate some time in the world. Use your skill to give back to the community. You really start to realize what you do have and what you can do with those skills.”
“Know yourself and why you do the things you do.”
“Once you make the decision to do something . . . you need to make it as important as breathing. Everyday you wake up, that needs to be on the forefront of your mind.”
“Be relentless. Pursue those goals and dreams.”
Year’s End. It’s about this time every year when we often start reflecting back over the past 12 months. For dental practice owners, it is a constructive habit to take the time to think about what processes worked well in the practice, and to identify where things might be done better.
Take your practice’s marketing, for example. New patient discounts are a popular promotion to increase new patient flow, but are these promotions really worth it?