GET THE FACTS: Dental Membership Plans

By Megan Lohman October 3, 2023 3 min read

Co-founder and co-CEO of Plan Forward, Megan Lohman, answers some of the most common questions about Dental Membership Plans. She gets into the good stuff; revenue, retention and achieving your goals, READ ON!

How can a dental membership plan impact revenue, treatment plans and acceptance?

“When we launched the membership plan in our practice, we wanted to provide a good option for our uninsured patients and give them peace of mind. It was important that they knew what they were paying for and what they were getting. But there were so many residual benefits that happened from a business perspective. We expected patients to come in regularly for their cleanings because they were paying for them. You know, we kind of expected them to be good recall hygiene patients, and they were.”

“But what we didn’t expect was how much easier treatment planning would be. And how much more treatment acceptance we would have simply because we removed the question, ‘does my insurance cover this?’ Or, we kind of lowered the fear of, ‘of my gosh I need treatment, what’s this going to cost?’ Treatment planning was easier, treatment acceptance went up and the revenue that we started to generate on a monthly basis really started to be significant. So it becomes this independent revenue stream that is not controlled by a third party. It was within our control and it grew and so it really became a significant revenue source!”

How does a dental membership plan improve patient retention?

“Every practice works so hard to treat patients, give them a good experience and to retain them. And so often when benefits change, there is this thought and this fear both from the patient and doctor’s perspective, that the patient is going to leave the practice.”  

“Once your patient opts in and joins your membership plan, they are loyal to your business and your team. And there are so many times when maybe they’ve been on the plan for a year or two and they might even have an option through their employer to join that insurance plan, and they waive it. Because they’re content, they feel like they’re getting a great value and getting great care. And we have that relationship. It just improves loyalty really among all else.”

What goals can a dental membership plan help my practice achieve?

“When we are talking with people, many practices focus on how many new patients they get a month. But it doesn’t matter how many new patients you’re getting a month if you’re not retaining them. The other ones are really trying to retain those long time patients that finally reach retirement and lose their benefits or those going through life changes. Unexpected things happen, whether it’s divorce or a job loss or you’re 26 and now you’re off your parents insurance. Things happen where suddenly your benefits change so member plans help you retain patients.”

“I think that’s a really common goal that a membership can help you achieve. Another thing is it really helps, is to increase your treatment acceptance and it drives the value or the spend per patient as well. So your profitability increases and it reduces that dependence on insurance companies and PPOs.”

Megan’s Final Thoughts

“Truly the best thing is to have the patients pay the dentist directly, for exactly what they need. You know their preventive care better than anyone else. And give them a courtesy discount if they do need other treatment, really as a thank you. Membership patients are extremely loyal to the practice, they are grateful for the option. Let us help you, help more patients. We’re passionate about helping providers with practice care so they can focus on patient care. Schedule a demo below and Let’s Plan Forward. “

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