How Can I Increase Patient Retention?

By Megan Lohman October 3, 2023 3 min read

How Can I Increase Patient Retention? Be honest, you’ve asked yourself this question at least a hundred times. And let’s be really honest, in 2020 you probably asked yourself that ten thousand times. You’re not alone! Many dentists are struggling with how to retain their patients through life events like losing a job. Last year, when the coronavirus forced thousands of businesses to close indefinitely, millions of people suddenly found themselves without dental coverage. Some dentists were prepared with an easy solution and it paid off: Dental Membership Plans.

Image result for netflix dentist

What is a Dental Membership Plan?

Essentially it’s subscription dentistry. That might sound weird but it actually makes a ton of sense! Think about Amazon Prime and Netflix, they’re also subscription services and I bet you use at least one if not both. With Netflix you pay a monthly fee for access to their content. It’s crystal clear what the consumer is paying for. Dental membership plans are the same thing but for preventative care. Patients pay a monthly fee for a set list of services like cleanings and x-rays.

Can you give me an example of what that looks like?

Why yes I can! I am so glad you asked. A dental membership plan might look something like this:

Adult Monthly Fee: $29
Preventative Care Services:
2 Exams, 2 Cleanings, 2 Set of bitewing x-rays, 2 Fluoride treatment and 1 Emergency visit.
15% discount on additional treatment.

Ok, great but really spell it out for me… How do dental membership plans increase patient retention

  1. Your Patients Like You! They don’t want to leave, they want to stay with a dentist that knows them. With a team that knows them. They are comfortable with you already and trust you. All your patient really wants is quality dental care that they can afford and understand. Look at that! You’re already half way there.

  2. Please refer back to that previous point – they can afford. Now think back to Netflix and Amazon and consider the appeal. Both companies provide services for a set price. How much of those services the consumer uses is up to them. But I know that I personally buy everything through Amazon because of that two day shipping. I’m paying for it and I want to get my monies worth.

    The same is true for dental membership patients. Once they are a member they come in for all their appointments because they are already paying for them. This is a huge value to them and thus a savings as well. In their mind they would have had to pay a lot more for the services they are now receiving. And part of that notion is my next point.

  3. Remove cost confusion. One of the biggest issues for patients and the practice is the confusion surrounding insurance. What is or isn’t covered, how much is their deductible, prior authorizations, and of course, limitations in coverage. How many times have you had an insurance company deny treatment that you KNOW your patient needs? As a result they don’t accept, you miss out on the revenue and worse, your patient still hasn’t received the care they needed.

    Dental membership patients don’t have deductibles or prior authorizations. There are no limitations to coverage because the price and services are very explicit. And best of all? There is no one to tell you that your patient can’t get the treatment they need. You and your patient are the only two people making treatment decisions. And as a result? Membership patients accept treatment at a much higher rate, resulting in an average of 3x more spend for membership patients.

Your patients are going to go through life changes.

It’s a hassle and very confusing combing through insurance plans trying to decipher benefits and compare plan options. When you have a membership plan that is simple and transparent, in a nice package for them with a pretty red bow (figuratively speaking!), it’s their answer! They accept your plan and stop looking. You solve their problem, and they remain your patient.

So now do you see how dental membership plans are a great way to increase patient retention?

And I didn’t even have a chance to tell you about the all business benefits, the time savings for your team and the successes that other dentists have had! But that’s for another blog 😉

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