What is a Dental Membership Plan?
A dental membership program is a type of subscription service offered by dental practices to patients. The program typically provides patients with access to a set of dental services at a reduced rate in exchange for a monthly or annual fee. The program is designed to provide patients with an affordable and convenient way to receive regular dental care, while also helping dental practices to generate a stable stream of income. The details of the program will vary depending on the practice, but some common benefits of a dental membership program might include regular cleanings and checkups, discounts on dental procedures, and access to emergency dental care.
Example: A dental membership program is similar to Amazon Prime, a Costco membership, and a gym membership in that it provides customers with access to a set of services or products in exchange for a regular subscription fee.
The main difference is the type of services or products that are offered. A dental membership program provides patients with access to dental services, while Amazon Prime offers access to a variety of services, including free shipping, streaming video, and other perks. A Costco membership provides access to discounted prices on a wide range of products, while a gym membership provides access to fitness facilities and equipment. All of these programs are designed to provide customers with access to a set of services or products at a reduced cost.
Why Your Practice Needs a Dental Membership Program?
A dental practice might choose to offer a dental membership program for a number of reasons. One of the primary reasons is to provide patients with an affordable and convenient way to receive regular dental care. By offering a set of services at a reduced rate in exchange for a monthly or annual subscription fee, the practice can help patients to save money on dental care and encourage them to visit the practice more frequently. This can be beneficial for the practice, as regular visits can help to identify and treat potential dental problems before they become more serious, which can save the patient money in the long run. Additionally, a dental membership program can help to generate a stable recurring revenue stream for the practice, as patients will be required to pay a regular fee to maintain their membership. This can provide the practice with a predictable source of revenue that can help to support the practice’s operations. Membership patients also spend 3X – 4X more compared to non-member patients. This suggest that members buy/spend more on dental care which helps your practice improve case acceptance.
Why Your Practice Needs Recurring Revenue
Predictable recurring revenue is important for a dental office for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that it provides the practice with a stable source of income that can help to support its operations. In the dental industry, it is common for patients to only visit the practice when they have a specific dental problem or need to undergo a specific procedure. This can lead to fluctuations in revenue, as the practice may experience slow periods when few patients are visiting and busy periods when many patients are seeking treatment. By offering a dental membership program, the practice can generate a predictable stream of recurring revenue from patients who are enrolled in the program. This can help to smooth out fluctuations in revenue and provide the practice with a more stable financial foundation. Additionally, predictable recurring revenue can help the practice to plan for the future and make more accurate financial projections. This can be beneficial for the practice in terms of budgeting, staffing, and other important decisions.
How recurring revenue increases your practice value
Recurring revenue can help to increase the valuation of a dental practice in several ways. First, it can provide the practice with a stable source of income that can help to support its operations and ensure its long-term viability. This can be attractive to potential buyers, as it can provide them with confidence that the practice will be able to generate consistent revenue in the future. Additionally, predictable recurring revenue can help to reduce the risk associated with purchasing the practice. This can make the practice more attractive to potential buyers, as it can provide them with a higher level of certainty about the financial performance of the practice. Additionally, recurring revenue can be a valuable source of income for the practice itself, as it can help to support the practice’s operations and enable the practice to invest in new technologies and services that can help to drive growth. All of these factors can contribute to an increase in the valuation of the practice, making it more attractive to potential buyers.
How to set up your membership plan
To set up the pricing for a dental membership program using local demographics and the median income of local residents, you can follow these steps:
- Research the median income of the local population. You can use data from the US Census Bureau or other sources to determine the median income of the area where your practice is located. Most successful practices price between .34% to .56% of the median income. In larger populations you may be able to charge closer to 1% of the median income.
- Determine the average cost of dental care in your area. You can use data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics or other sources to determine the average cost of dental services in your area.
- Use this information to set a price for your dental membership program. You can set the price at a level that is affordable for most local residents, based on their median income and the average cost of dental care in the area.
- Consider offering multiple membership levels or options, with varying levels of access to services and different pricing levels. This can help to make your program more accessible to a wider range of patients and allow you to cater to patients with different needs and budgets.
- Consider offering discounts or promotions to help attract new members and encourage existing members to renew their subscriptions. This can help to generate interest in your program and drive enrollment.
- Monitor the performance of your program and adjust the pricing as needed based on factors such as demand, competition, and the overall economic environment. Regularly reviewing and updating your pricing can help to ensure that your program remains competitive and relevant to your patients.
Types of Membership Plans
There are several different types of dental membership plans that a dental practice can offer to patients. Some examples of these plans include:
- Preventative Maintenance Plan: This type of plan provides patients with access to a set of preventative dental services, such as regular cleanings and checkups, at a reduced rate. The goal of this plan is to help patients maintain good oral health and prevent the development of more serious dental problems.
- Perio Plan: This type of plan is designed for patients with periodontal (gum) disease. It typically includes a set of services, such as deep cleanings and specialized treatments, to help patients manage their condition and prevent the progression of gum disease.
- Unlimited Whitening Plan: This type of plan provides patients with unlimited access to teeth whitening services at a reduced rate. The plan is designed to help patients maintain a bright, white smile without incurring the cost of regular teeth whitening treatments.
- Discount Only Plan: This type of plan provides patients with a discount on all dental services, but does not include any specific services as part of the plan. The plan is designed for patients who want to save money on dental care but do not need access to specific services.
Each of these types of dental membership plans has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the right plan for a particular patient will depend on their individual needs and preferences. A dental practice might choose to offer one or more of these types of plans, depending on the services it offers and the demographics of its patient base.
Promote your plan to existing patients
There are several ways that a dental practice can promote its membership plan to
uninsured patients, inactive patients, and out of network patients using text blasts, email blasts, and other forms of communication. Some ideas for promoting the plan to these groups of patients include:
- Send targeted text blasts and email blasts to uninsured patients, inactive patients, and out of network patients. These messages can provide information about the benefits of the membership plan and how it can help these patients to save money on dental care.
- Use social media to promote the membership plan. You can create posts on your practice’s social media accounts that highlight the benefits of the plan and encourage patients to sign up. You can also use social media advertising to reach a wider audience and target specific groups of patients, such as uninsured patients or out of network patients.
- Use in-office signage and marketing materials to promote the membership plan. You can create posters, brochures, and other materials that provide information about the plan and its benefits, and display them in your practice’s waiting room and other areas where patients can see them.
- Offer promotions or discounts to encourage patients to sign up for the membership plan. You can offer a discount on the enrollment fee or a free service, such as a teeth cleaning, to patients who sign up for the plan. This can help to generate interest in the plan and encourage more patients to enroll.
- Provide information about the membership plan on your practice’s website. You can create a dedicated page on your website that provides detailed information about the plan and its benefits, and make it easy for patients to sign up online.
By using a combination of these tactics, a dental practice can effectively promote its membership plan to uninsured patients, inactive patients, and out of network patients, and encourage them to sign up for the plan.
External Marketing Strategies
Attracting 55 and up communities
To attract 55 and up communities to sign up for a dental membership plan, your dental practice can follow these steps:
- Research the needs and preferences of the 55 and up community in your area. This can help you to understand what types of dental services and benefits are likely to be of interest to this group of patients.
- Design your membership plan to meet the needs of the 55 and up community. This might include offering services such as denture fittings, gum disease treatment, and teeth whitening, which are commonly needed by older adults. You can also offer additional benefits, such as emergency dental care and discounts on other services, that are likely to be appealing to this age group.
- Promote your membership plan specifically to the 55 and up community. You can use targeted advertising, such as social media ads, to reach this age group and provide them with information about the benefits of your plan. You can also use in-office signage and marketing materials that are specifically designed to appeal to older adults.
- Offer promotions and discounts to encourage members of the 55 and up community to sign up for your plan. You can offer a discounted enrollment fee or a free service, such as a teeth cleaning, to patients who sign up for your plan. This can help to generate interest in your plan and encourage more patients to enroll.
- Provide information and assistance to help members of the 55 and up community sign up for your plan. You can provide information about the plan and its benefits on your practice’s website and make it easy for patients to sign up online. You can also offer assistance in-office to help patients understand the plan and enroll.
By using these tactics, a dental practice can effectively attract members of the 55 and up community to sign up for its dental membership plan.
Attracting Small business owners
There are a few different ways that your dental practice can attract small business owners and their employees to sign up for a dental membership plan. Here are a few ideas:
- Offer a discount on the membership fee for small businesses that sign up multiple employees at once. This can make the membership more affordable for small business owners, which may encourage them to sign up.
- Offer a free electric tooth brushes and whitening for employees who sign up for the membership. This can help employees see the value of the membership and encourage them to join.
- Partner with local businesses to offer the membership as a benefit for their employees. This can make the membership more visible and accessible to potential members.
- Partner with other health care providers to send referrals for your membership plan.
- Create a referral program that rewards current members for referring their colleagues to the membership. This can help spread the word about the membership and encourage more people to sign up.
- Offer additional benefits and services for members, such as access to a digital consults or discounts on other dental services. This can make the membership more appealing and valuable to potential members.
In general, it’s important to make the membership as attractive and accessible as possible in order to encourage small business owners and their employees to sign up.
How to approach a business owner about your membership plan;
Using Direct Mail to Grow your membership Plan
Direct mail marketing can be an effective way for your dental practice to promote a dental membership plan and sign up hundreds to thousands of patients. By creating a targeted and compelling direct mail campaign, you can reach a large number of potential patients and encourage them to join the membership plan.
One way to use direct mail marketing to promote a dental membership plan is to create a mailing list of potential members. This list can be compiled from your practice’s existing patient database, as well as from local business directories and other sources. Once the list is created, you can then send out a direct mail piece that promotes the membership plan and highlights its benefits.
The direct mail piece should be designed to grab the recipient’s attention and encourage them to take action. It should include information about your membership plan, such as the cost, the services included, and any special offers or discounts that are available. The piece should also include a clear call to action, such as a coupon or special offer that the recipient can redeem to sign up for the membership.
In addition to the direct mail piece, your practice can also include a follow-up component to the campaign. This could involve sending a second mailing or email to remind recipients about the membership plan and encourage them to sign up. Your practice can also include a referral program as part of the campaign, offering rewards or incentives to current members who refer their friends and colleagues to the membership plan.
Overall, using direct mail marketing to promote your dental membership plan can be a highly effective way to sign up hundreds of new patients. By creating a targeted mailing list, designing a compelling direct mail piece, and implementing a follow-up campaign, dental practices can effectively promote their membership plan and encourage new members to join.
Drop The PPOs!
One way for your dental practice to become more profitable and convert insured patients to members is to cut out PPO contracts and focus on offering a dental membership program. PPO contracts can often be costly and time-consuming for your dental practice, and can limit the amount of control and autonomy the practice has over its services and pricing. In fact, the average practice writes off $300,000 per year because they are in contract with PPOs.
By cutting out PPO contracts, a dental practice can have more control over its services and pricing, which can help to increase profitability.
A dental practice can cut out dental insurance contracts by transitioning to a cash-based or direct-pay model. This means that the practice would no longer accept dental insurance and patients would pay for services directly at the time of treatment. There are several benefits to this approach for both the practice and the patients:
- Increased control: Without the need to adhere to insurance company rules and reimbursement schedules, the practice has more control over its operations and can offer more personalized treatment plans.
- Reduced administrative burden: Eliminating insurance contracts can reduce the amount of paperwork and administrative tasks required to run the practice.
- Increased transparency: Patients will know exactly what they are paying for and how much they are paying, which can lead to increased trust in the practice.
- Reduced costs: Without the need to bill insurance companies, the practice may be able to reduce its overhead costs. This could allow the practice to offer more competitive pricing to patients.
To make the transition to a cash-based model, the practice may need to consider offering financing options or membership payment plans to patients to make it more accessible. The practice should also be prepared to educate patients on the benefits of this model and how it can lead to better dental care in the long run.
Paying out of pocket for dental services can be more beneficial to patients in some cases because it can lead to:
- More personalized treatment: Without the need to adhere to insurance company guidelines, the dental practice has more flexibility to offer personalized treatment plans that are tailored to the patient’s specific needs.
- Reduced costs: In some cases, paying out of pocket for dental services can be less expensive than using insurance. This is because insurance companies often have high deductibles and co-payments, and they may not cover certain procedures or treatments.
- Increased transparency: When patients pay out of pocket, they know exactly what they are paying for and how much they are paying. This can lead to increased trust in the practice and a better understanding of the costs associated with their dental care.
- Fewer administrative hassles: Working with dental insurance can be time-consuming and burdensome for both the practice and the patient. Paying out of pocket eliminates the need to deal with insurance paperwork and claim submissions.
It’s important to note that paying out of pocket may not be feasible for all patients, and it’s important to carefully consider the costs and benefits before making a decision. In some cases, dental insurance may still be the most practical and cost-effective option.
Offering a membership plan can benefit out-of-network patients by providing them with access to discounted dental services. A membership plan is a type of alternative payment model that allows patients to pay a set fee on a regular basis (such as monthly or annually) in exchange for a certain level of dental care.