Meeting Patient Expectations: Quality Dentistry at an Affordable Price

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.

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Becoming Your Patients’ Oral Health Consultant

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 consultant giving them all the more reason to keep coming back to you.

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Create a Winning Solution for Your Dental Practice

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?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you have issues with case acceptance?

A: Usually.

Q: Does the blame fall on you when the insurance company won’t accept your treatment plan?

A: Always.

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.

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Dental Practice Marketing: The Power of Outsourcing

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.

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Examining Your Fee Schedule: Why It’s Time for a Closer Look

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.

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From the Relentless Dentist: Dr. Dan Marut’s Bold Biography

http://relentlessdentist.com/dr-dan-maruts-bold-biography/

Quotes & Notes:

“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.”

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Patient Discounts: Are They Worth It?

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?

Click here to find out how much your new patient discount is actually costing you.

A special discount doesn’t seem so special when everyone is offering the same one. And if it is costing you money, it’s time for a new solution.

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Trade Journal Articles

Dental Economics magazineFinding your fee schedule sweet spot

by Naomi Cooper With Special Guest Dan Marut, DMD

Dentistry has often been called a recession-proof business. After all, people always need dentistry, even when money is tight, right? The problem is that most Americans don’t budget for dentistry, and when they find themselves watching their wallets, their twice-yearly dental exams are easy to postpone… Read More >>

dental-economics2Budgeting for dentistry: Five tips to help patients afford the treatment they need

by Naomi Cooper with Dan Marut, DMD

It’s tax time, and many of us have been thinking about our budgets for the past year. Where did all the money go? Why don’t I have anything left in my savings account? Your patients are no different. So is it really any surprise that they never seem to have enough money for dentistry? Read More >>

The Profitable Dentist magazineAssault on Private Practice

by Michael David McGuire

Private practice dentists are having to deal with challenges like never before!. Read the PDF document >>

 

The Progressive Dentist Magazine

An Alternative to Dental Insurance

by Dan Marut, DMD

Do you or your team ever get questions like, “Can you recommend dental insurance to me? Have you heard patients say, “If I had insurance I would have come in earlier and had this work done” Now there is a solution to handle these concerns – Quality Dental PlanRead More >>

The Progressive Dentist MagazineStepping Up for New Dentists

by Dan Marut, DMD

If you could tell yourself something 10 years ago that you know now, what would you say? Read More >>

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Quality Dental Plan Launches Enhanced Public Relations Efforts; Garners Prominent Local Media Attention for Member Dental Practices

                                                                  

Quality Dental Plan Launches Enhanced Public Relations Efforts; Garners Prominent Local Media Attention for Member Dental Practices

 

PORTLAND, Oregon (October 24, 2012) – Quality Dental Plan (QDP), the leading in-house dental membership plan in the nation, announced the recent launch of increased public relations efforts to gain attention for its member dentists in local and national media outlets by leveraging the current emphasis on health care reform in the mainstream news media and the recent report by the U.S. Senate bringing to light that approximately 130-million Americans don’t have dental insurance.

“Quality Dental Plan and its member dentists help dental patients save thousands of dollars per year on dental care, even if they don’t have insurance. In these tough economic times, and with health care reform in the headlines because of the upcoming presidential election, QDP presents as a particularly compelling option for Americans when it comes to dental care,” says QDP Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dan Marut, DMD. “We’ve found that talking about the savings offered by Quality Dental Plan member dentists is a message that television, radio and print news outlets across the nation really see as newsworthy. As a result, we’ve stepped up our media relations efforts to take advantage of this unprecedented interest in the program from reporters and editors in cities both large and small.”

As a result of this public relations push, Quality Dental Plan has garnered coverage for its members nationwide. With recent stories on Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA NBC affiliate KNDU 25/KNDO 23, in The Peninsula Gateway on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula and on Shoreline/Lake Forest Patch in California, as well as in Southern California’s Inland Empire’s Press Enterprise, Quality Dental Plan’s message to the media is simple; QDP is an innovative program that provides a true synergy for patients and dentists in private practice.

With Quality Dental Plan, patients gain access to care via value-oriented dental services while dentists can simultaneously offer a valuable community service while increasing new patient flow – without increasing their reliance on managed care. As a result, QDP delivers unprecedented savings to patients who become members of the program while putting independent dentists who offer the program in their practices back in charge of their own fees.

“What makes Quality Dental Plan unique is that the program truly allows me to offer real savings directly to my patients because I’ve eliminated the middleman, says Dr. Kevin Fryer, DDS of Willoughby Hills, OH. “All of the expenses and hassles associated with insurance companies, from delayed reimbursement to having treatment dictated by insurance coverage, are a thing of the past in my practice now that my patients can choose QDP.”

Quality Dental Plan also offers a host of resources for its member dentists beyond public relations exposure. From live 24/7 customer service to detailed checklists and instructions for implementation of QDP in the practice, monthly webinars, video tutorials and unlimited team member training  and support, QDP provides a turnkey solution for dentists looking to implement an in-house patient savings program. QDP also supplies members with customizable marketing materials for both traditional and online marketing, including logos, web copy, email marketing campaigns, patient videos for the practice website, print ad templates, TV and radio advertising scripts, postcards, brochures, posters, on hold messages, yellow pages ads, membership cards and more.

About Quality Dental Plan

Quality Dental Plan (QDP), which is praised by members, top practice management consultants and in the press, offers its innovative in-house dental membership program in dental practices nationwide. QDP was developed to address the lack of traditional dental insurance benefits for millions of Americans, to help independent dentists attract more new patients in their communities and to help increase production and case acceptance in their practices. QDP works with local dental offices across the country to create a customized, sustainable approach to increasing access and delivering high-quality dental care to those who would normally put off dental treatment due to a lack of benefits. For more information please visit www.QDPdentist.com, read the company’s blog at www.qdpdentist.com/blog, follow QDP on Twitter at @QDP_Dental_Plan, or “Like” QDP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/qualitydentalplan.

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