In Focus: Dental Membership Programs

The contemporary business environment for dental practices is becoming increasingly competitive. As such practice owners are devising innovative strategies to better serve their patients while allowing their practices to grow. One new approach that is gaining traction in the dental space is in-house dental membership programs, also referred to as discount plans or savings plans. 

Nonetheless, understanding such programs and determining whether this is a good option for your practice requires the advice of an attorney who provides legal services to dental professionals. In the meantime, this article is a brief discussion of in-house membership programs.

Dental Membership Programs

Creating and managing an in-house dental membership program provides practice owners with a number of benefits. First, these programs reduce the practice’s dependence on dental insurance, and therefore provides uninsured patients with more options for dental care. Moreover, practice owners have the potential to generate predictable recurring revenue which can facilitate cash flow management. Finally, dental membership programs allow practice owners to increase the number of cases they can accept, which in turn helps to grow their practices.

In order to take advantage of these benefits, however, practice owners must have a reliable system for managing a dental membership program. In short, rather than relying on a staff member to manage the program, it is crucial to implement an automated system for tracking patients and payments. There are a number of vendors that provide practice management software for this purpose. 

In addition, practice owners must be aware of the importance of external marketing. In order to grow your dental membership program, it is crucial to reach out to your local market in order to attract new patients. In this regard, there are a number of options. While direct mail marketing is a tried and true method, many practice owners today can look to digital marketing techniques through their own website as well as social media marketing campaigns. 

Finally, practice owners must consider how to present the concept of a dental membership program to their patients. This means speaking to patients directly and educating them about the benefits of joining a membership program. One way to do this is by inviting each patient to a consultation and provide them with flyers, videos, and testimonials about the membership program. 

The Takeaway

Ultimately, the benefits to patients are consistent access to quality, cost effective dental care. Patient’s will be more inclined to sign up if they can save money on their dental care, and also refer new patients to the dental membership program. In short, a dental membership program can help to grow your practice, and that’s the bottom line.