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.
We talk a lot on the blog about the benefits of an in-house dental membership plan (see here, here and here). If you’ve made the decision to go ahead and implement such a program, congratulations! It’s a meaningful first step to take on a path to practice growth and freedom from third party hassles.
While you are determining critical components of the plan such as fees and software integration, don’t forget to also consider how you will spread the word about this new plan to patients. Having an “if you build it, they will come” mentality might work in the movies, but it doesn’t bode well in dental practices!
The good news is that marketing an in-house dental membership plan doesn’t have to be difficult or even expensive. Dental consultant and industry guru Mayer A. Levitt, DMD recently wrote a blog with terrific advice for dentists looking to promote their plan.
A select few membership plans (such as QDP) offer a host of marketing templates to member dentists; however most plans come with little to no comprehensive marketing support. Regardless if the plan you choose to for your practice offers marketing solutions or not, and especially for those developing their own plan, Mayer’s advice is particularly helpful for dentists across the board.
Whether you are building your own dental membership plan from scratch or implementing a proven system, marketing will play a big role in spreading the word about this new patient opportunity. Don’t let it fall to the wayside; make sure the plan is set for success from the very beginning!
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.
Members-only stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club have revolutionized the retail industry in recent years. Professors from Harvard and Columbia Business Schools recently conducted a study to find out exactly what consumers find so appealing about these types of stores. The study indicated that it’s more than just low prices; it’s the presence of membership fees alone that lead shoppers to often buy more goods than they can fit in their car. They believed that the rise in widespread popularity of stores like these demonstrates that consumers:
- Equate membership plans with savings
- Consider these retailers more exclusive
- Perceive added value in members-only stores
So how does the study impact dentists? Our dental patients are consumers too! Just as a Costco membership taps into proven buyer behavior, a dental membership plan in your practice can help build value, foster loyalty and increase case acceptance leading to meaningful practice growth. Implementing an in-house dental membership plan signals to patients that your dentistry is valuable, a value they know they will not get at any other practice, leading to increased patient loyalty. And because of the money they are able to save on preventive care, they will now be able to afford more treatment, increasing case acceptance.
A Costco-style dental membership plan can grow your practice by reinforcing the value of your services while making sure your care remains affordable and accessible to your patients. Now that is buyer behavior worth tapping into!
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.
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.
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.