Are you considering an in-house dental plan? Maybe you already have one up and running? The fact is, an in-house membership plan can provide a tremendous upside for dental practices. You can provide dental coverage, often at a price point similar or lower than traditional insurance providers, to your patient base. This is a great catalyst for building loyalty and stifling attrition. An in-house plan can also enhance your practice by alleviating the headache of dealing with and depending on insurance carriers.
THE NEED IS GREAT
Roughly 74 million Americans do not have dental insurance1. That’s around 23% of the population. The need for dentistry is great, however, many remain untreated and/or undertreated. As the connection between oral health and overall health becomes more and more apparent, the need for access to care will rise, too.
WHAT IS IT?
In-house membership plans are designed for those who don’t have dental insurance. The plan(s) are offered to your patients at a fixed monthly fee. Typically, a standard membership will include prophys and preventative care. In addition to the subscription fee, you can offer discounts on other services as a membership bonus. It’s not an insurance plan. You do not have to file claims and there are no payments made to providers.
BENEFITS OF AN IN-HOUSE PLAN
In-house plans can help attract new patients to your practice. Especially if the plan is cheaper than their employer option. Keeping patients is easier, too. You can discount treatment for members, which will increase case acceptance. You can build relationships that mean more referrals and a stronger connection to your community.
A plan also provides a nice, recurring revenue stream into the practice each month. When you are dependent on insurance, there are a lot of ups-and-downs and a lot of unpredictability. We’ll talk more about insurance woes later, for now, let’s focus on all the upside your patients will experience as a member.
A BETTER PATIENT EXPERIENCE
Dental insurance is complex, confusing, and often doesn’t cover all the services a patient may require. With an in-house plan, you provide value in blanket coverage and less restriction in their ability to accept treatment. You are providing quality care, with the security that you will be their dentist in perpetuity. They can get preventative care as needed and can enjoy the membership benefits of discounted treatment with no-restrictions. What’s not to love about it?
Dealing with insurance is frustrating. It’s frustrating for you. It’s frustrating for patients. The insurance company (PPO) controls your profit. They are chalked full of delays and waiting periods. Do you love submitting claims and payment processing? We’re going to assume the answer is “NO!”. These headaches and having to focus the efforts of staff in dealing with insurance can affect cash-flow. It’s not fun. We understand. An in-house plan won’t entirely alleviate these woes. Many times, a provider will handle the headache of collections for you.
Membership plans provide a stable, constant stream of income to the practice. This steady income provides security. As the practice continues to operate, your office won’t be as susceptible to changes in the economy, the ebbs, and flows of the dental calendar, or the frustration of cancellations and no-shows on your income.
Predictable, recurring revenue means your business is healthy. Strong. And that your practice’s value will be greater. Businesses with predictable, constant revenue are typically worth more. Your dental practice can be, too.
A strong revenue stream is good for your dental practice. An in-house membership plan provides a lot of great benefits and can set your practice apart from the competition. You can strengthen your profitability, attract new patients and retain existing patients more easily, and increase treatment acceptance with relative ease. Creating a better patient experience while reducing your reliance on insurance could provide tremendous upside to your dental practice.
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