It is possible for dentists to overcome the hurdle of dental insurance in their practices.
As a health care provider, it’s frustrating not to be able to help people because of perceived affordability issues. Most dental patients are effectively trained to understand their dental insurance based on the comprehensive/catastrophic medical insurance model, where there may be a small copay or deductible, but beyond that, everything within reason is “covered.” Many patients don’t realize that in contrast, dental insurance is neither comprehensive nor catastrophic, but rather a defined benefit program with high administrative costs and bureaucracy. And because dental insurance maximums are so low, having hardly changed in the past 20-30 years, insurance ends up effectively limiting treatment rather than facilitating it.
What you may not know is that your patients are confused by the difference between medical and dental insurance. The medical insurance model has taught them to believe that if insurance doesn’t cover it, it must be unnecessary, discretionary, experimental or exploitative. And they’re secretly resentful that they’ve paid high dental insurance premiums and still have to fork out additional out of pocket costs; it just doesn’t seem fair compared to how their medical insurance works.
Patient Benefits Lead to Dentist Benefits
I created Quality Dental Plan to help patients get past that hurdle – and to allow them to feel as if they truly “belong” in your practice. QDP is a dental savings plan within your practice that incentivizes preventive care. It allows you to help patients say yes by giving them “benefits” that are available exclusively within your practice, regardless of whether they have insurance. Beyond that, patients have the freedom to choose a provider of your caliber rather than be forced to select from the insurance provider list, and QDP helps your patients know up front what their out of pocket costs for preventive dental care will be.
The most important thing to remember is that Quality Dental Plan isn’t dental insurance. Rather, patients pay a simple, set annual enrollment fee directly to their local dentist, bypassing the third party entirely. In return, they receive a preventive dental care package for the whole year at that dental practice. There’s also a further savings for additional family members, and patients also save on any treatments (restorative, cosmetic, implants), with no limit, and no deductible.
Regain Control of Your Practice
Meanwhile, QDP member dentists remain in control of their own practices, choosing their own QDP enrollment fees, setting their own fee schedules, and keeping 100 percent of what they collect.
Another exciting part of the program is the host of positive changes that tend to happen after a dental practice begins offering QDP to their patients. Word of mouth referrals increase, case acceptance goes up, recall intervals begin to tighten up and revenue increases. Collections increase because more services are paid for in advance. Predictable, recurring annual revenue is created so cash flow improves. Patient loyalty is fostered, and both referrals and long-term patient value increase dramatically as a sense of belonging and value are created in the practice.
At the end of the day, an in-office dental savings plan has huge benefits to a practice. QDP is a turnkey solution that doctors can offer to patients as an alternative to dental insurance. Patients see real value in the program, and dentists can remain independent and thriving without being chained to traditional dental insurance hassles.