Access to quality dental services, or lack thereof, has been one of the biggest barriers to good oral health for millions of Americans over the last 20 years. By joining a dental membership program, you can stabilize your practice financially while becoming part of the solution to the current dental health crisis.
While there is no denying that the momentum is shifting, oral care services are still among the least accessible to the public. According to a report by the National Institute of Health, most of the advancements in public dental health since the year 2000 have benefited individuals living in households that are 200% above the federal poverty line.
Dental office membership plans or programs pose an elegant solution that already grants access to quality care to millions of Americans.
Let’s go over the advantages of dental care membership programs for your practice and for the community.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Membership Programs?
In technical terms, dental membership plans are subscription programs where members pay a monthly or yearly fee to access quality oral care. As with dental insurance plans, members can choose from a wide range of membership plans, all of which have unique features and benefits.
With that said, the vast majority of programs provide membership plan patients with access to basic dental care at reduced prices or at no cost. Dental office membership plans also give patients access to advanced treatments for complex conditions, like gum disease and tooth decay, at a discounted rate.
Other advantages of joining a dental membership plan network include:
1. Avoid Heavy Reliance on Dental Insurance
It’s no secret that insurance providers have a negative impact on the dental industry. Delayed or declined claims and limited dental coverage reduces access to quality dental care. This, in turn, lowers patient loyalty and gives dental care professionals a bad reputation.
By joining a dental plan network, you reduce dependence on insurance companies and eliminate the need for time-consuming paperwork simultaneously.
2. Boost Your Practice’s Overall Value
The concept of a predictable cash flow was only applied to large corporations up until a few years ago. Having a predictable cash flow increases the value of any business including your dental practice and joining a dentist subscription program can help you do exactly that.
Dental membership plans allow you to create a predictable business model because it’s subscription-based. The key is to join a program that gives access to great dental services and has fair prices for members.
3. Increase the Number of Recurring Patients
As with any self-employed professional, dentists strive to build a large base of recurring customers. Through the right program, dental practitioners can collect a large base of local recurring customers.
This is possible because dental care plans are renewed on a monthly or yearly basis. As long as the auto-renewals are active, you’ll have a revolving door for recurring patients without having to worry about case acceptance or type of coverage.
4. Stabilize Demand Spikes
All dental practices experience demand spikes. The problem is that, unlike other industries, the fluctuations in the dentistry industry are much harder to predict. Seasonality definitely plays a role, but understanding the patterns that conventional existing patients follow is extremely difficult.
Dental care membership programs can partially stabilize these demand spikes. Program members pay a monthly fee to access oral services, so they are more likely to book appointments at your dental practice regularly.
This gives them the opportunity to address and identify potential issues early on through additional dental services.
5. Receive Automatic Payments
One of the biggest advantages of this subscription model is that it revolves around automatic payments. Rather than waiting for clients to make transfers or deposits, dental membership programs are automatically charged until members cancel their subscriptions.
This is one of the reasons why dental programs are known for improving cash flow. The best part is that members see the automatic payments as a benefit because they don’t have to think about spending time making payments in order to have access to great dentists.
6. Sell More Services to Patients
Dental services are not among the most affordable types of healthcare. Most people want to take full advantage of their plans’ collective coverage, so they are more open to purchasing additional services and addressing long-standing dental issues. This, in turn, means that you’ll be able to sell more services to your patients.
7. Reduce the Impact of Economic Recessions
Industries that rely on high-cost, one-and-done services are usually the first to suffer during an economic recession.
Unfortunately, the oral care industry follows a similar model due to the presence of insurance providers who focus more on revenue than on patient experience or public health.
If more oral care professionals start offering dental subscription programs, this can become a different story very quickly.
This is because dental membership plans create a win-win scenario. Dentists are able to provide high-quality care at affordable prices. Patients, meanwhile, gain access to these services without having to pay a small fortune, which increases the general population’s interest in oral care.
8. Build Stronger Relationships with Your Patients
Dental care providers have long been cornerstones of their local communities. When dental practices offer care programs, their communities usually respond by taking advantage of the services and increasing word-of-mouth referrals. This relationship is extremely conducive to building a strong relationship with your patients and creating a great experience for every individual you provide services to.
9. Create a Seamless Experience for Your Patients
The vast majority of oral care professionals focus on delivering great dental services, but this doesn’t necessarily create a smooth experience for patients. Moreover, patients usually have a worse experience when going through an insurance company, and most dental offices don’t take steps to improve these scenarios.
By joining a successful membership program, you can ensure that your patients receive the best care and that they have a seamless experience every time they walk into your reception.