Every patient offers a great value to a practice. But have you thought if there are patients who can be proven to provide more value on a consistent basis? We at BoomCloud decided to meet with Kevin Rossen, the founder and CEO of Divergent Dental, to find some answers, especially given that Divergent Dental is a practice management software company and has data on this very topic. We took the collective data of both our companies, put practices across the nation under our microscope, and looked primarily at their uninsured patients.
The average non-member uninsured patient spent $772.79 in a year’s time. We then looked at the uninsured patients who pay a monthly or yearly membership fee to get access to benefits, along with discounts, and found that they spent an average of $1,576.79 over the span of a year. This means that membership patients spend 104% more than non-members! These uninsured patients on membership plans were consistently spending double the amount of those who were paying directly from their pocket.
Continuing our dive into this data, we wanted to see how the overall practice was affected when in-house membership plans were present. One single-location practice had hundreds of membership patients. Its average uninsured non-member spent $532.36 over a year, and the average patient with a membership plan spent $1,811.20 in a year’s time. This is 240% more than non-members. This data tells us that membership patients can spend anywhere from twice to 3.4 times more than average uninsured patients.
Membership patients are truly valuable for your practice. Starting and growing a dental membership program can be your greatest asset for your practice. If we made a deal were I would give you $1 if you gave me a quarter back and then later I would give you another $1, would you do it? I hope you said yes. In fact, I asked my 5-year-old daughter if she would take this deal and she said yes almost immediately.
This is exactly the type of deal that is happening with membership patients in practices across the nation. They pay you a membership fee, you give them a slight discount, and then they end up spending twice to 3.4 times more than non-members.
You may be part of a practice that is considering adding membership plans as an option for your patients. Or, perhaps you currently offer one to your cash and out of network patients. I have worked with practices across the nation for years, both those that are new to the concept and those that want to improve their success, and I have had the benefit of seeing what works. These are my top five tips to creating a successful membership program.
If you truly want a successful membership program, you will need to have a way to automate monthly and/or yearly payments for your member patients. Practices that choose to manually manage these recurring payments may deal with lapses of payments from their members. I’ve seen it happen again and again. The point of having a dental membership program is to generate predictable recurring revenue since it will help improve your cash flow and increase the value of your practice.
The most successful practices make sure they have contract renewals with the patient. Think of your membership program like Amazon Prime. When was the last time Amazon called you to renew your Prime membership? Amazon doesn’t call you each year or wait for you to come back to its site to renew your membership. It just happens automatically. You can do this by simply putting it in your agreement when patients sign up.
Your practice needs to have a special type of agreement when offering a dental membership program. Often a problem that I have seen is when a practice gets really excited about offering a dental membership program to its patients and forgets its business basics. Simply put, you need correct contracts that protect the patient and the practice. Besides, most states require a retainer agreement that clearly states that your program is not dental insurance.
External & Internal Marketing
One of the best ways to have a successful membership program is to make sure you use your program as a marketing strategy. Practices with hundreds and even thousands of members spend time on marketing. Your membership plan can be your most important marketing tool, especially if you are using it to decrease your reliance on dental insurance. If you wish to learn more about marketing, watch this free video course.
Get Your Team On Board
Your team is so crucial to helping you grow your dental membership program. If you don’t train them or set goals or even tell them that you want to launch a dental membership program, how will they help you become successful? Make sure your team is on board and trained. The free BoomCloud University is an online video course that educates you and your team about the concept of a membership program.
I hope you can see how one of the smartest strategies to grow you practice is through membership plans. I have seen this model become a massive asset for every size and type of dental practice. If you have questions, email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also I would love to give you my free ebook about creating and growing dental membership program. You can download it here.
Mr. Comstock is the founder of BoomCloud Apps, a software company that allows dental offices to easily create, organize, track, and automate an in-house membership program. You can download a free e-book about membership programs or schedule a live demo. He also travels the nation doing live workshops about creating and growing in-office membership plans. Contact him at email@example.com.