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In-house discount plan or membership program has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of attracting new patients, enhancing profitability, and increasing case acceptance. It helps dental practices build loyalty among new and old patients by offering special discounts to plan members and providing excellent yet affordable dental care services to individuals who do not have dental insurance.
Although considered as a win-win strategy, there are still many practices who find it insufficient and ineffective. If you are one of those practices with a failed in-house discount plan or membership program, you might have committed any of the following mistakes:
You haven't done enough research
In order for any marketing strategy to work, a thorough research is needed. In case of an in-house membership program, you have to make sure that it meets the in-house discount plan regulations of the state where your dental practice is located. Each of the states in the U.S. imposes its own rules, regulations, and requirements pertaining to in-house discount plans and you should base your program on these facts. In some states, you need to prepare your in-house dental plans and marketing materials and submit it to the insurance commissioner for approval.
Apart from that, you also have to review your contracts with the insurance companies you are affiliated with to make sure that you are not violating anything.
You haven't hired an attorney to review your program
You have to seek help from someone professional in dental state laws like a lawyer or attorney to make sure that you will not have any legal problems associated with your dental plan in the future. You need to have your marketing plan, in-house membership program and insurance contracts reviewed by a lawyer.
Limiting marketing scope
Limiting marketing scope to the existing patient base only is one of the common mistakes committed by many dental practices. Don't do the same mistake if you want a successful in-house membership program. Expand your marketing scope by reaching out to potential customers in your zip code through direct mail, email, social media, and your website.
Most of the local small businesses do not have comprehensive dental and health benefits for their employees. It is a wise idea to also target them in your marketing scope.
Taking fee balancing out of the equation
Do not take fee balancing out of the equation as it is critical to determining the pricing of your in-house discount program. Start off by balancing your current fees. This will help make sure that your patients can enjoy great savings and at the same time you can gain a profit that's higher than what you typically earn from dental insurance affiliates.
Insufficient team training
It is not enough to have your team know about your in-house membership program. You need to train them thoroughly not only regarding your different payment options but also about your services. For instance, a patient without a dental insurance want to avail of preventive care services but he has concerns regarding the cost. Instead of canceling the appointment, you can suggest your in-house discount program and persuade him by explaining how preventive care can help him avoid the more costly restorative care.
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