We are in the midst of a massive healthcare transition. For decades, access to effective and affordable healthcare was predicated on employment status or government-provided services, something that’s now out of reach for millions of people.
For starters, more than twelve million Americans have lost access to employer-sponsored health insurance during the pandemic, depressing healthcare outcomes and harming people experiencing job disruption or entering the rapidly expanding gig and freelance economy. These professionals frequently struggle to attain comparable health coverage to their corporate counterparts. Similarly, nearly half of Medicare beneficiaries lack dental coverage, and despite recent efforts to enhance this benefit, improvement certainly isn’t on the horizon.
In other words, we need a better solution.
Membership plans powered by subscription-based payments offer an alternative to employer-sponsored or government-provided health plans, allowing dental service organizations (DSOs) a direct-to-consumer coverage option that meets patients and practices needs.
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons now is the time to add membership dentistry to your practice.
#1 Increase Practice Revenue
Implementing membership plans doesn’ mean turning away traditionally insured dental consumers. Instead, a subscription-based membership program augments those efforts, providing an additional avenue for attracting or retaining dental consumers.
For example, DSOs offering membership programs can offer services to people experiencing job disruption, entering the freelance economy, or navigating limited Medicare benefits. This is a meaningful differentiator, separating practices operating exclusively on an insurance model and those with more flexible options.
At the same time, subscription models often provide DSOs with a higher percentage of revenue than traditional insurance plans while creating direct relationships between patients and providers, reducing patient churn and creating a growth-oriented, sustainable operational model.
#2 Enhance Patient Engagement
Today’s dental consumers have more options than ever before, making patient engagement a top priority for many DSOs. As a result, one survey found that 52 percent of CIOs identified patient engagement technology as a top priority in the past year.
With Membersy Connect, DSOs can easily promote membership and facilitate subscription payments, allowing practices to meet their patients wherever they are – online, in-person, and anything in-between. In addition, DSOs have access to a modern eCommerce website, self-service portal, and SEO-friendly landing pages – all hosted by membersy.
#3 Make Price Transparency Possible
Soaring healthcare costs have made price transparency an increasingly common consumer expectation and regulatory requirement. A groundbreaking federal law brought cost clarity to hospitals, creating new consumer protections that, while slow to be implemented, certainly reflect an escalating trend toward more transparency.
When DSOs offer dental consumers a membership program, they provide the cost up-front, connecting services and expenses like never before. Improving price transparency can help support practice growth. As one industry professional notes, “Diversifying who you do business with can help grow a dental practice too. Diversifying supplier options has a few great benefits to dental practices, but first and foremost is transparency.”
Membership plans embody the ethos of price transparency, positioning DSOs to cater to shifting consumer demands and regulatory expectations.
#4 Improve Care Outcomes
Too often, people without dental coverage forgo biannual checkups and decline more urgent treatment needs. The consequences can be devastating. People without adequate dental coverage are more likely to require drastic dental procedures, like dentures and extractions. They’re also less likely to seek treatment for gum disease and other serious oral health concerns. Patients avoid dental care to their own detriment as oral health neglect contributes to everything from increased rates of heart disease to diabetes.
Membership plans make quality dental care accessible to more people, improving care outcomes for once-uncovered patients while enhancing coverage opportunities for existing dental consumers.
#5 Adapt to Changing Times
Direct to consumer products have revived once stagnant industries. For example, as an analysis of shifting healthcare trends identified, “a trusted clinician relationship remains paramount” is the most important factor in “an ideal health care experience.” Membership plans help produce flourishing patient communities where dental consumers achieve the outcomes that matter most.
As the dental industry rebounds from the ongoing pandemic, there is an opportunity for DSOs to adapt their operational models to meet the moment, offering services on consumers’ terms. To learn more about how membersy can help your DSOs implement membership programs that drive subscription-based revenue in 2022, visit https://membersy.wpengine.com/.