Regular dental visits are key to maintaining overall health and wellness. Well aware of this reality, patients are still not visiting their dental provider as regularly as they should be. The number one reason patients avoid the dentist is fear of cost.[i] If your patients continue to avoid keeping up with their oral health because they are fearful of financial obligations, your organization is at risk and will continue to leave money on the table.
One of your DSO’s top priorities should be to increase patient visits. A new concept for the dental industry, and a proven way to achieve this, is by nurturing existing relationships with uninsured patients. This can be accomplished by designing and launching a membership plan. Membership plans cover all preventive care and offer discounts on additional procedures. Tapping into this audience and providing them with the simple, affordable dental care coverage they need, creates unlimited potential to boost revenue and overall profitability.
DSOs offering membership plans benefit directly by gaining a steady stream of recurring revenue through direct patient subscription fees, which are designed, managed, and controlled by the DSO. Encouraging uninsured patients to enroll in a dental membership plan will give them peace of mind and help alleviate many of the concerns that stop them from making appointments, keeping appointments, and accepting additional treatment. It will position your DSO on the right path to success, improving both its financial health and overall patient loyalty.
You can make more money and deliver this type of convenience through Kleer. Kleer is an advanced, cloud-based platform that enables large group practices and DSOs to easily manage their own, customizable membership plan subscription service and offer it directly to their uninsured patients.
Here are the top five reasons why membership plans are key to boosting your DSO profitability:
1) Membership plans help increase revenue and improve financial performance.
From 1990 to 2015, the dental industry grew 70 percent, yet dentists’ earnings remained flat.[ii] The reality is alarming. Having done extensive market research, I have determined the reason for this phenomenon is due to what I call the “reimbursement crisis.”
Dentists are struggling to get paid fairly for their services and to collect what they are owed. A membership plan is a perfect solution to solving this problem because it places control back in the hands of dentists.
By utilizing membership plans, DSOs can offer their uninsured patients access to simple, affordable, dental coverage. At the same time, they create a reliable and repeatable stream of revenue for the organization. Whether patients are paying for plans on a monthly or annual basis, the DSOs will be collecting and keeping all of the patient payments. The DSO is essentially in the driver’s seat; they have full control over the design protocol and can price the plan being offered based on the unique needs of their organization and patients.
Additional advantages include: subscription payments that are collected upfront, additional procedural fees that are collected at the time of treatment, and yearly memberships that are renewed automatically. This places more cash directly back into the DSO’s pocket, eliminating the cost, time, and hassles that are spent on collections.
2) Membership plans increase the value of uninsured patients.
Membership plans provide current uninsured patients with a promise of ongoing, affordable, comprehensive dental care that is a budget-friendly alternative to paying for dental services out-of-pocket. Considering they are joining other types of membership or subscription-based plans outside the dental and healthcare space, the membership model is very logical and familiar to them. Dental patients want simplicity, cost transparency, and control, which a membership plan provides. With the comfort that a membership plan offers, patients will be more committed to their future oral health and your DSO as their primary dental care provider.
3) Membership plans can boost patient satisfaction and loyalty.
As I stated above, many of your uninsured patients are most likely not scheduling regular visits with your office, nor accepting additional treatment due to financial worries. These patients feel exposed and are worried that they cannot afford treatment. The fact is, 89 percent of uninsured consumers have some level of interest in getting dental coverage,[iii] they just do not know how to satisfy this void without breaking the bank. By removing this obstacle and alleviating this fear, patient satisfaction increases and patient loyalty is created. Having access to necessary dental care, but without all the stress, increases patient confidence in the oral health decisions they are making for themselves and for their families.
4) Membership plans are also known to increase production.
Membership plans are known to naturally create a “membership club effect,” resulting in higher recall and treatment acceptance from uninsured patients. Looking at data from practices that already utilize Kleer, membership plan patients visit two to three times more frequently, and accept 50-75% more treatment options than uninsured patients who are not enrolled in a plan. They accept nearly the same treatment as insured patients, but generate 30-50% more revenue. So why is this? For the first time, patients feel in control. With a membership plan, they know exactly what they are getting when they sign up. They choose the care plan that is right for them and have full visibility into the price of services. Furthermore, because they are paying for this service on a monthly or yearly basis, they are more compelled to take full advantage of the plan by visiting regularly and accepting the recommended treatment plans.
5) The Kleer platform makes membership plans easy for your DSO and your patients.
Creating a membership plan takes 15 minutes or less. Your DSO will be able to start adding new members immediately. The Dentist Portal is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and provides everything you need to manage your membership plan. You will be able to track revenue and payment, invite patients to join, make changes to your plan, implement marketing tools, and get training. Kleer also provides all the tools you will need to launch, manage and promote your membership plan.
On the patient side, patients can sign up in less than five minutes. Should issues arise, they can access their plan information at any time, on any device, and have a direct line to an expert, customer support team. Additional features they will enjoy include integrated, electronic payment processing, subscription auto-renewal, and HIPPA compliance. Did I mention implementation is free?
The time to start is now. To boost profitability and to ensure future practice growth, think Kleer Membership Plans. Membership plans are a proven, straightforward solution to repeatable revenue generation, and they also have the power to make dental care more affordable and accessible to your uninsured patients. It really is a win-win.
Dave Monahan is CEO of Kleer, an advanced, cloud-based platform that enables dentists to easily design and manage their own membership plan and offer it directly to patients.
Monahan’s advocation for subscription-based dental care led to the founding of Kleer in 2016 and phenomenal growth in Kleer dental practices and membership since its pilot launch in September 2017.
To see how Kleer works, click HERE
For further questions about the reimbursement crisis and Kleer Dental Membership Plans, reach out to: [email protected]
[i] Source: Finch Brands, Dental Market Insights Report, October 2018
[ii] ADA Health Policy Institute, #’s in 1,000s
[iii] Source: Finch Brands 2016 Consumer Research Report