What Every Dentist Should Know
The tides of dentistry are changing as more and more practices are deciding to drop Delta Dental, one of the nation’s largest insurance providers. Call it a mass exodus. The ADA Health Policy Institute revealed that 1 in 6 dentists have dropped an insurance to go towards private pay and, as a result, have lost an average of 17% of their patients on a plan. Join us as we discuss with Kayvan Mott from DocSites what every dentist should know before dropping Delta Dental.
Why Drop Insurance?
The answer is simple–to increase profitability. The amount of money it takes to run a practice is not lost on anyone who’s attempted it, and the insurance reimbursements aren’t covering the costs of running a high-quality practice. When you start calculating the number of hours providers spend trying to get reimbursed, the scales quickly tilt against your favor.
• Increase profits
• See fewer patients
• Don't have to verify insurance
• May lose patients
• Additional marketing expenses
Planning To Ditch Insurance
Before making this transition, you need to have a plan in place. Regardless of your plans, you may lose some patients, but there are things you can do today to make your transition more smooth.
Whether you’re going full fee-for-service or opting for an in-house plan, you have to communicate clearly with your patients. Your website is prime real estate for getting information into their hands.
Explain to your patients why you’re making the transition, using language they will understand, highlighting the ways it benefits them instead of you.
Optimize your existing pages to capture searches that may still be related to insurance. You aren’t being deceitful because your website clearly communicates your services and fees and may acquire patients you otherwise would not have.
Think about the journey a patient takes to find a new dentist–how do they get to you? More often than not, they’re asking friends and family and then taking to Google. It doesn’t matter how many reviews you have, if your goal is to bring in more patients, you need to double them. Improve your reviews by asking patients to leave video reviews!
We can’t all be extroverts, so if you’re not comfortable asking your patients yourself, delegate that task to someone who is! Then provide training on how and when to approach the patient based on the natural timeline and protocol steps of their visit.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a video worth?
All the marketing money you’re spending won’t be worth much without converting. Training for your front desk staff will be an integral part of converting calls to new patients. Their training should include verbiage around your different options, your fee schedule, in-house plans (if available), and most importantly that you can be the solution no matter their insurance status.
Stand Out Against Competitors
No matter your status in your local area, you are going to need to step things up before you go full fee-for-service. You need to make a plan with the assumption that at least a few patients are going to leave your practice.
Showcase the cutting-edge technology you have to offer in your office. The key here is to use language mom and dad will understand–that’s who you’re marketing to. For example, instead of saying you use a Solea Laser, describe it as a pain-free dental experience that is often quicker and requires no anesthesia.
Showcase Photos & Videos
Typically the first place a potential patient will look is your website. Not only should it be aesthetically pleasing and informative, but it should also humanize you. People don’t want to do business with businesses, they want to do business with people.
Showcase photos and videos of your office, staff, and patients. As a pediatric dentist, you have the unique opportunity to showcase the fun you have to offer! Parents are often looking for a place that feels less clinical and sterile and more inviting and safe for their children.
Whether you are still partnered with insurance companies or preparing to take it all in-house, there are dozens of resources at your disposal to take the pressure off you, allowing you to focus on your daily work and schedule.
Unlock The PPO is a great resource for negotiating fees and maintaining credentials, helping open up valuable time for you.
Docsites.com specializes in dentistry marketing, helping dentists improve online visibility and attract more quality patients. They can also help switch to fee-for-service if that’s your goal. They have 14 years of experience in the dental industry and provide full transparency with their pricing packages.
Maybe you’re ready to drop Delta Dental once and for all or perhaps you’re still on the fence, but one thing is for certain–dentistry is changing! Insurance companies are making it harder for patients to find quality care and simultaneously creating major hurdles for dentists and their practices.
The future is bright, and we are excited to see where it takes us! Listen to our full podcast episode here to hear more of our thoughts on the trajectory of our industry, how to improve our place in it, and provide top-level care for the patients and communities we serve.