GUEST EDITORIAL: YOUR PRACTICE'S FUTURE — HOW TO KEEP IT YOURS
By Dr. Gregory C. Yen
Fircrest Children’s Dentistry
The reliance on dental insurance to bring patients into the practice is a dead-end street for dentistry as we know it. We’ve all heard the beating drums - traditional indemnity insurance is dying, giving way to the PPO plans that dictate the type of care you can provide - if patients have any coverage at all. Turn away from these plans and all people accustomed to having dental insurance will go elsewhere or not come at all. This is total nonsense and you, Doctors, have the solution right under your nose, but are too reliant on the insurance model to see. Until now.
We treat patients with the best dentistry in the entire world, listen to their needs and provide our expertise to help them maintain their most important possession ... health. As dentists we preach prevention but falter in the execution of that message. Until now.
The solution? Your dental practice. Why not let patients join? Give them a chance to join your prevention-emphasized program in your practice. Give them a chance to choose you. In our practice it works like this: Patients without any dental insurance can join for $399 a year which includes two exams, two prophys, and annual bitewings (prevention-based). In addition, they receive 15 percent off all dental services (cosmetics included), based on our fee schedule and they receive a $55 treatment credit per year that is bankable if unused as long as they are active on the program (can you say patient retention?). Perio maintenance patients receive prophy credit good towards the perio maintenance service, in addition to the 15 percent discount. If they sign up for two years they get free teeth whitening. If they need specialist care they receive the same discount in their offices as well. Our specialists have seen the benefit of these programs and have come on board.
Benefits to the practice are numerous- no insurance paperwork hassles, no narratives, payment up front and at point of service, patient loyalty, guaranteed patient recall (they’ve already paid, so they will be there) and most importantly, a prevention-centered product to offer. The benefits to the patient are a discounted program that is less costly than traditional insurance, a discount for EVERY service, and belonging to a cost-effective program that centers on patient-choice without deductibles, calendar maximums, or missing tooth clauses.
Doctors, there is your solution. The cost to implement? Nothing. Did you hear that doctors? It’s FREE! You need to change nothing in your practice and can start it today. All the tools you need to start your program are in your office.
Tell me why it won’t work doctor, and I’ll bet you a growing-every-month, three year-old program with over 100 patients, and a virtually 100 percent renewal rate why it will. It sells itself. You just need to set yours up. Stop basing your practice and its future on the old dental insurance mindset. That ship has sailed. Keep doing excellent dentistry and go get your future!
Gregory Yen is a second-generation dentist who started his dental career at age 8 as a dental office weed-puller, walkway sweeper, and ivy trimmer. If you need any additional information he can be reached (between yakking with his patients and doing actual dentistry) at (206) 243.5740 or here.
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