While we here at DentalHQ would argue that dental membership plans are a revolutionary solution for dental practices and their patients, we also know that embarking on the process is a big decision.
If you’ve been considering it, you’re probably going back and forth about whether it’s the right move for you. Meanwhile, those who already have a plan in their practice could be unsure how to best utilize their new resource. Or, maybe you feel your dental membership plan could be working harder for you, but aren’t sure how.
Well, if any of that sounds like you, today is your lucky day. We’ve got you covered with advice for every stage in the dental membership plan process.
IF YOU’RE NOT CONVINCED THAT DENTAL MEMBERSHIP PLANS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU:
It shouldn’t surprise you to hear our opinion: membership plans are absolutely right for you. We recommend diving into the research and imagining how in-house membership plans could benefit your specific practice. We have written blog posts that could help you better understand the inner workings of dental membership plans, but here’s a brief rundown on why they offer such positive possibilities.
First of all, membership plans give your uninsured patients the ability to better afford their visits. By offering the ability to pay a smaller amount every month instead of a giant bill at the time of service (or worse, a surprise in the mail), you empower them to take control of their health and finances in tandem. Which leads us to…
Second, dental membership plans help to attract new patients. Those in need of dental care who thought they couldn’t afford it are likely to feel differently once you explain how they can pay over time. Also, many without dental insurance feel that they NEED dental insurance. But they don’t. Membership plans give uninsured patients a similar feel – paying monthly, like they do for Netflix – without insurance getting in the way. It takes a lot of the financial stress out of the equation.
And third, a membership plan gives your practice a steady income stream and saves your team time. Your practice will have stable revenue every month, no matter what schedule your patients are on. When payments and appointments live separate lives, you win. You no longer rely on your patients’ schedules to predict income, and payment is automatic. This invites you to focus on your patient’s needs—not their payment status—once they’re in the chair. It also saves your office managers time at the beginning and end of visits, and because it will mean that they don’t have to hunt down payment or insurance claims for those patients.
Dental membership plans really are a financial win-win for all. Not to mention, patients who are essentially on a subscription will be more likely to make and keep their preventive care appointments because they want to get their money’s worth. Patients without insurance tend to come see you less frequently—maybe every nine months or twelve, if at all. Put them on a membership plan, and they will also feel a sense of loyalty and ease of repetition, bringing them to a six month recall schedule.
Just like that, better dental health is on the horizon.
IF YOU’VE JUST ESTABLISHED A DENTAL MEMBERSHIP PLAN:
Go you! But, you haven’t summited the mountain yet.
The next bit of dental membership plan advice involves how to get into first gear. Team member training and smart marketing are necessary partners of a successful dental membership plan. Without attending to these two points, you can’t make the most of your new program.
Make sure you have scheduled sessions to talk, explore, and learn with your team. If you implement a software platform like DentalHQ, you might have someone from that company on hand to host trainings like this (we certainly do; wink wink). If you’re running your plan on your own, establish a point person and work with them to develop an educational plan.
In the same vein, you should talk to your team about marketing tactics and timing, especially as they relate to your new dental membership plans. We recommend hosting a second meeting for this and picking some brains—from office managers to hygienists—in advance so that you understand your practice’s patient demographics, revenue challenges, received complaints, etc.
If you aren’t sure what kinds of touch points you should be focused on in regard to marketing, we’ve got you covered. Check out this handy dental membership plan marketing checklist.
If you’re administering your own plan, or using a platform that isn’t DentalHQ, let’s talk. We can help you figure out how to make the most of your uninsured patients with a plan that works for you.
IF YOU’RE CURRENTLY RUNNING YOUR OWN DENTAL MEMBERSHIP PLAN, BUT YOUR OFFICE IS FEELING OVERWHELMED AND YOU AREN’T SEEING THE UPTICK IN NEW PATIENTS YOU EXPECTED:
Our third bit of advice assumes you understand the benefit of dental membership plans, and have one in your practice, but you’re just not seeing the results. That marketing checklist is a useful resource, but there’s a lot more to it. There are a ton of ways you can market your practice; opportunities abound, but it also means that your office managers might have trouble squeezing everything in.
The last thing you want is a stressed-out team and a program that hasn’t panned out the way you thought, right? But that might be what you’ll get if you run your own dental membership plan. This exact problem is what inspired our founder, real-life dentist Dr. Brett Wells, to create DentalHQ in the first place. He saw the potential in-house membership plans offered, but also recognized how intense the task of self-administering them was becoming for his team.
While dental membership plans do inherently save your team time in the form of reduced communications and shorter payment processes, they still entail work: getting patient information into portals, keeping track of active and inactive memberships, scheduling automatic payments, etc. But here at DentalHQ, we take care of all of that and even provide some marketing resources built into our platform.
If you aren’t seeing the results you expected, or your team seems a little frazzled by their new responsibilities, it might be time to consider signing up with a third-party software platform. We happen to know a good one.
Maybe you are using a third-party platform but still feel the program isn’t reaching its full potential. Again, we’ve got you covered: DentalHQ has taken on plenty of practices who tried other third-party platforms before coming to us. It may be reasonable to assume that we’re all the same, but … we aren’t. DentalHQ is the only one built by an actual dentist, and we do things quite differently from others in our field—including full plan customization, transparent pricing, and features that enable you to connect to community groups and local businesses.
Whether you’re still mulling the idea over, working toward optimizing your dental membership plan, or hoping to take it to the next level, we hope this advice offered some helpful insight. If it did and you’d like to learn even more about DentalHQ, schedule a no-obligation demo today.