DECA Dental Group is a Texas-based dental services provider that is dedicated to providing top-quality dental care to its patients. In order to further strengthen the commitment to providing affordable and accessible dental care, DECA Dental Group partnered with Kleer to modernize and enhance their existing membership plan solution, while continuing to provide an alternative to traditional insurance plans.
Here are some valuable highlights from a recent webinar with Brandon Dowdy-Ernst of DECA Dental Group and Valeri Calvalcante of Kleer, showcasing the resounding success of the partnership.
This content has been edited for clarity.
Enrollment vs. Sales
Brandon: “Sales in general gets a bad rap. When people hear the word sell, they often think of the used car salesman and a bad experience. We try to combat that immediately by discussing membership enrollment rather than program “sales”. Enrolling patients in a benefits-driven plan builds a foundation of trust and opens up the flow of dialogue. The psychology of this allows our staff to become partners with patients’ oral healthcare and helps combat resistance to treatment.”
Valeri: “On average, patients complete 2-3X more hygiene reappointments because membership usage equals value. When patients commit, they want to utilize what’s included in the plan. As a result, patients accept more care, as 75% of treatment originates in hygiene. It’s quite a simple idea, but the more commitment you have, the more facetime your team has with patients, providing the opportunity to present more care and increase the rate of acceptance based on some of the savings a membership plan provides.”
Brandon: “Our Ideal Dental locations have increased plan enrollments by an average of 30% more per month than any other legacy plan offering. As our guests utilize their membership plan benefits, practices can see the impact — whether by having more same-day treatment opportunities or adding more major treatment to the schedule. We champion that along the way to foster a continued level of team buy-in.”
Building a Foundation of Trust
Valeri: “Membership plans help patients feel good about improving their oral health. We call it the membership club effect. Patients feel financially savvy because prices are transparent, and they have the peace of mind that coverage provides, in addition to having greater trust in their dentist for removing barriers to treatment.”
Brandon: “Most often, if you’re building good and trusting patient relationships, they will be very happy you have an affordable membership program in place. We know that subscription models inside any business are key to creating stickiness with consumers. Sometimes patients’ life circumstances change — layoffs, marriage, kids — so having this plan offering helps to bring them back.”
Valeri: “Bringing visibility to how many enrollments per practice, looking at cancellations, renewal rates, and long-term retention are key factors to help a plan grow and be successful over time. As we look at specific results, at Kleer we bring to life how much collections, production, and treatment acceptance you see as a result of patients joining a membership plan that can’t be attained, managed or even measured without that infrastructure.”
Brandon: “Internally at DECA, we can see what utilization is happening based on the number of plan enrollments, which has been impactful. Without it, patients will have walked out the door without getting any treatment or walked out getting the minimum amount of care because it’s what they could afford. Our membership program has helped elevate our results. It’s a great insight and something we continue to track.”
Preparing to Launch
Brandon: “At the enterprise level, running a membership program like this requires a squeaky-clean rollout. When we launched with Kleer, we conducted 14 training calls that practices could sign up for over two weeks to ensure our teams understood how to sign patients up, collect payment information, and navigate the Kleer platform. There’s accountability in shared responsibility. Therefore, the whole team owns the plan — our team talks about it even with PPO patients because, more than likely, PPO patients know someone without coverage or are unsatisfied with their current benefits.”
A Kleer Path to Elevating Your Group
At Kleer, we’ve seen the greatest results come from groups and DSOs that embrace membership plans as part of their culture, which is precisely what DECA has done. They actively work alongside the Kleer Success Team to create the momentum and consistency that gives patients confidence in their decision to join.
Kleer is an ally to the dental industry and an advocate for patients who want simple, affordable oral care. To learn more about how Kleer can help your group launch and manage a successful membership plan, schedule your 1:1 consultation or download our guide to Group Practice Success.