Provide patients with the care they expect without the hassles of dental insurance
Traditional insurance really serves five basic patient needs listed below. Offering an alternative financing plan, such as QDP, to your patients will keep your patients feeling as though their needs are covered, and will keep you from being inundated by the hassles that come with traditional dental insurance.
Here are the 5 basic patient needs, and how QDP addresses each:
All consumers are concerned about value. They’ve learned to equate insurance with lower out-of-pocket expense. Fortunately, a prepaid dental savings plan delivers additional value by eliminating monthly premiums, deductibles and co-pays for preventive care. And for patients who don’t currently have dental insurance, it provides an economical way to get care they otherwise couldn’t afford.
Patients believe that the same rules apply to dental practices as medical offices – which often aren’t “accepting new patients” and where the cost of the appointment alone is astronomical without insurance. So it’s no surprise that patients often wonder if they can be seen in a dental practice if they don’t have insurance. When you offer an in-house dental savings plan like Quality Dental Plan in your practice, patients know they “belong” – whether they have dental insurance or not.
Membership Has Its Privileges
It’s also important to note that patients are also retail consumers. And they’ve learned from various other industries – from American Express to Costco – that “members” are treated better, given preferred savings and ensured better customer service and a higher level of attention. Offering them QDP membership satisfies that ingrained belief that “joining” unlocks a higher level of service and an exclusive set of benefits.
Patients want peace of mind, which means knowing in advance what their out of pocket costs for dental care will be. Insurance gives them the illusion of predictability; they can add up the costs of their premiums each month or at the end of the year. A structured dental savings plan helps patients without insurance feel financially protected in much the same way, while giving the dental practice an annual predictable revenue stream. Offering a savings plan is potentially even better than traditional insurance because patients know exactly what they’ll pay for preventive care for the whole year – and receive unlimited savings for any additional care – rather than having to content with an annual benefit maximum.
Finally, an established plan offers credibility. Right or wrong, patients are used to third party involvement when it comes to big expenses (insurance, financing, etc). Having a nationally branded savings plan like Quality Dental Plan in place in the dental practice gives the sense that this is a “real” program with tangible benefits and a non-negotiable price. It also keeps everyone involved in the transaction from feeling like the dentist is bargaining with patients or negotiating on fees.
At the end of the day, a dentist’s top concerns must be the health of his or her patients and the success of the practice. And while dental insurance has traditionally played a large role in meeting those goals, it’s no longer the only answer. In this economic environment, now is precisely the time to reconsider the definition of “dental plan” in your office and to continually find newer and better ways to make dentistry accessible and affordable for all while holding true to the mission of your practice.