With reimbursement rates falling across the board, dealing with insurance companies has become more trouble than they are worth. Going in network isn’t the only way to fill the schedule.
In fact there are better options for increasing new patient flow and stimulating practice growth without having to increase reliance on managed care. Here are 5 reasons to reduce the insurance companies’ influence on your practice:
1 – Collections Issues
Talk about a nightmare. Most practice management consultants recommend a 95-98% collections rate. Hard enough to achieve on its own, but becoming a provide for insurance plans just makes attaining this goal nearly impossible.
2 – Loss of Control of Your Fee Structure
Having to reduce your UCRs to the insurance companies’ liking defeats the purpose of being in private practice if you can’t even set your prices.
3 – Decrease in Patient Perception of “Quality”
One of things patients hate most about going to their medical doctor is the wait. Patients with appointments often find themselves waiting up to an hour while the MD has to see 10 patients per hour just to afford his or her overhead.
Why would a dentist ever want to emulate a medical practice? If you want to project an image of quality comprehensive care, a volume-based drill and fill operation may not be the way to go.
4 – Why Offer a Permanent Discount?
What is an insurance company? Basically it’s a marketing scheme. In return for them filling your appointment book, you agree to discount your services to the people they send to you. Forever.
5 – There Are Other Options!
With an in-house dental membership plan like QDP, dentists can offer their patients an alternative to dental insurance. Patients pay the dentist an annual membership fee and in return they receive a year’s worth of preventive care. The dentist gets paid up front and the patient has one low annual fee that is often a fraction of an annual dental insurance premium. There’s no third party involvement, and dentists get to collect their own fees and stay in charge of their fee schedules.
Insurance is not the only option for dentists. Alternatives exist that actually benefit the patients and the doctors in a more effective way. Reduce your reliance on managed care and set your practice on a path to success.
Much of the focus on marketing today is on the Millennial generation (typically considered those born between 1977 and 2002). Online marketing is a hot topic, and Millennials are among the most digitally adept group there is, so it is no wonder that companies strive to capture the Millennial audience. And there is no doubt that with their size and influence, Millennials are a consumer group that dentists will need to focus on in the years ahead.
However, in terms of marketing your practice, don’t forget one very significant portion of the population: Baby Boomers. There may not be a more powerful group than the Baby Boomer generation. Inside Dentistry just released an article highlighting the importance of preparing your practice for the Boomer generation and it’s worth taking a read.
Here are a few statistics from the article worth noting:
- A Baby Boomer turns 50 every 8.5 seconds and for the next 18 years, Boomers will turn 65 at a rate of about 8000 per day.
- Boomers not only have high household incomes (on average $70,000+), they also have high accumulated wealth.
- Baby Boomers account for almost half of all consumer spending.
So what does this mean for dentists?
Baby Boomers are interested in feeling good and looking good – and that goes for their smile. They take better care of themselves than their parent’s generation and they are working far longer as well. So not only do they have the disposable income for dentistry, they also see the value.
According to the article, between 2000 and 2010, dental spending increased among Baby Boomers, where as it flat lined in all other demographics.
Also interesting to dentists: Most Boomers are used to having dental insurance as after having this benefit throughout their working years. Upon retirement, they are left without coverage. Among adults older than age 45, only 41% reported having dental insurance.
So here is a group of people who want dental care, with the means to pay for it, but who do not have dental insurance. Welcome Baby Boomers into your practice with open arms and give them a way to pay for their preventive care with discounts on restorative and cosmetic procedures! QDP can do just this for you and for your Boomer patients. Turn their value for dentistry into real growth for your practice.
I hear from many fellow dentists who feel that all dental marketing seems the same. They get frustrated when the same-old marketing techniques fail to produce any real growth, especially when the competition is offering the exact same thing. Discounted tooth whitening and a free toothbrush – does this really excite patients? Not likely.
The problem is that these types of promotions are the exact same as everyone else’s. If everyone else is doing it, then it’s impossible for your practice to stand out from the crowd. There’s nothing compelling enough to attract patients to your practice.
It’s time to change your approach to dental marketing. You don’t want incremental growth. You want double-digit growth. Make your practice original and offer patients something new.
Not every dentist offers an in-house dental membership plan, especially one that trumps insurance benefit maximums. Quality Dental Plan allows you to offer unique patient membership programs that increase practice revenue while helping patients afford the dentistry they need – without giving up all of your profits in promotional discounts or reduced fees for insurance companies. And with geographic exclusivity, you can be sure that no one else in the area is offering anything similar.
What’s more incentivizing to patients: a free toothbrush, or a way of affording a year’s worth of preventive care for the entire family? With QDP, you have a new message, a leg up and a way to break away from the pack.
It’s a different world out today for dentists, one that has probably changed since you first started practicing. Dentists are forced to grapple with the often frustrating bureaucracy that comes with dealing with dental insurance companies. Decreasing reimbursements and increasing hassles have come to make accepting dental insurance quite costly – both in time and money – for your practice.
Finally, there is a solution for dentists looking to reduce their reliance on dental insurance companies – a genuine alternative to dental insurance. A dental membership plan can yield huge dividends for the dental practice while providing dentists with the freedom to operate their practice the way they first dreamed of doing.
Here are just a few of the benefits of a dental membership plan:
- Eliminating third party influence from your practice
- Increasing practice income
- Decreasing overhead
- Set your own fees and keep 100% of the profits
- Improving treatment acceptance by providing patients with actual benefits
- Instilling patient loyalty
If you are fed up with the insurance company hassles and are ready to make a change, consider the positive impacts a dental membership plan can make in your practice, and get back to running your practice in a way that benefits you and your patients.
I first started Quality Dental Plan in order to help my fellow dentists achieve practice success and freedom from insurance companies, while giving patients a compelling reason to go to the dentist.
Fast forward five years later, and we continue to work faithfully to helping dentists across the country. It is incredibly rewarding to hear the success stories from our member dentists. Rather than hearing from me, take a look at a few of our success stories, in the words of the dentists themselves.
Finally, a plan that benefits not only patients, but also practices. This plan is so simple to integrate into your office, your patients and staff will love it. – Frank Clayton, DDS – Suwanee, GA
I love that we have an option like Quality Dental Plan to offer our patients! A lot of patients in our area have lost dental coverage. Most people feel that a lack of dental coverage is a roadblock to going to the dentist. QDP gives those patients piece of mind about returning to the dentist. It’s great for doctors because it creates value, loyalty, and a busy schedule. It’s great for patients because they can get the dentistry they need at an affordable price. Total Win-Win! – Missy Lapic, President, Next Step Dental Resource – Willoughby Hills, Ohio
We originally tried doing an in-office discount plan on our own, but it became difficult figuring out all the details that had to be covered. When Dr. Marut told me about QDP, it was like an answer to our prayers. With full support on implementation, all the “bugs” already worked out, and a plan that was simple for patients to understand (as well as for us to implement), QDP has been a huge benefit to both our patients and our practice. Quite simply, it WORKS! – Charles Payet, DDS – Charlotte, NC
I have tried many various promotional activities over the years with limited success, but I can honestly say that joining Dan Marut’s QDP has been the best thing that has happened in years. I have only been with the plan for one month and have already enrolled 23 patients. It’s really a win-win situation for both the patients and myself. – Robert Wick, DDS – Hayward, CA
We remain committed to providing a genuine solution to dentists and their patients. If you are interested in learning more, click here to find out how Quality Dental Plan is rethinking dental plans.
A staggering number of Americans, an estimated 127 million, lack dental insurance. While the recent rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased the availability and affordability of medical coverage, dental benefits continue to be viewed by the public as a luxury, instead of a necessity.
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 wondering how to afford basic preventive dental care.
Providing genuine alternatives to traditional insurance is an increasingly important issue within the dental industry, evidenced by the fact that Forbes.com recently published an article titled When You Don’t Have Dental Insurance. The article addresses the growing issue of lack of access to affordable dental care, and suggests patients look for a dentist who offers a membership program, naming QDP as a prime example. Through these innovative programs like QDP, millions of uninsured Americans can now find the necessary dental care they need at a cost they can actually afford.
Dentists realize that with a dental membership plan, they are able to provide quality dental care at an affordable price to a greater number of patients in their communities without having to surrender to the hassles of insurance companies. Dentists are happy and their patients can finally enjoy peace of mind, making QDP a true win-win scenario for both patients and dentists.
Here on the QDP blog, we talk often about how important it is for dentists to have alternatives to dental insurance. It seems there are many more pitfalls of accepting insurance than actual upsides.
Never has this rang more true than for our dentist colleagues in Arizona. Last month, dentists there received a letter stating that a dentist can only remain “Premier” if they do not have contracts with other PPOs. In other words, if they accept PPOs, they have to be a Delta PPO provider or they’ll get dropped entirely by Delta. Read more about this change here at Unlock the PPO. This could pose serious financial ramifications for the dentists there, and speaks to the need for dentists to create other sources of practice growth, separate from insurance companies. And even though this particular situation is taking place in Arizona, there’s no telling if a change like this could become a reality in other states across the country.
Dentists need to know there are genuine alternatives to going in network. Options such as Quality Dental Plan help to increase new patient flow and make dentistry more affordable to your patients without giving up control of the practice’s fees to third parties. Consider taking a more proactive and long-term approach with QDP – for the good of your patients, and your practice!
It is often said that the dental industry is recession-proof. However, I believe few of my dentist colleagues would argue that they didn’t feel the effects the “Great Recession”.
As we come out of the most recent economic downturn, now is a good time to plan ahead and put processes into place in order to protect your dental practice against future recessions. As dentists, we are well aware of the impacts oral health has on an individual’s overall health. We work to positively contribute to our communities by reaching as many patients as possible and providing them with quality dental care.
Local business owners sure felt the pinch of the recession. They incur a large expense in providing dental insurance for their employees. What if you could offer a real solution to your fellow business owners? What if you provided a dental plan at a much lower cost, but with greater benefits to their employees?
Offering a dental membership plan for your practice to local businesses often costs them less than group dental insurance and helps ensure that their employees and dependents get all of the preventive dental care they need. That means fewer absences as dental issues account for 164 million hours of missed work. And small business outreach gives dentists a chance to provide care to an even greater number of patients than before….a genuine win-win for the entire community!
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 other insurance 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.