Membership programs are continuing to grow in the dental industry, and for good reason. Practices now can offer dental plans that benefit both the patient and themselves, cutting out the middleman—dental insurance.
Membership programs can help practices grow by attracting and retaining patients, increasing case acceptance, and generating predictable recurring revenue from your patient base. They also help practices to increase the value of their business, as predictable recurring income is the holy grail of payment methods in any industry.
There is a lot of hype when it comes to in-house membership programs, but nobody talks about the regulations for creating and developing one that is effective and delivers results. There are a lot of rumors and myths out there that need debunking.
What Is DPC?
According to dpcare.org, direct primary care (DPC) is an innovative alternative payment model that improves access to high-functioning healthcare by focusing on a simple, flat-rate, affordable membership fee. Embraced by health policymakers on both the left and right, DPC creates happy patients and satisfied doctors all over the country.
DPC allows practices to create a “medical retainer agreement” or a “direct care agreement.” Typically, these agreements aren’t subject to insurance regulation. This reduces ared tape from insurance commissioners and allows practices to accept patients via a membership program. If your practice has or is looking at creating an in-house membership program, it would be wise to develop a simple medical retainer agreement for your practice.
Each state has its own definition of DPC that defines grey areas for practitioners and protects them from insurance regulation. According to Philip Eskew, DO, JD, MBA, founder of DPC Frontier, “A definition of DPC in each state = lower legal barriers to entry = less uncertainty = wider adoption of DPC.” If you are looking to create a membership program for your practice, you can learn more about DPC law here.
In-house dental membership programs are a fantastic way to attract new patients and offer them quality dental care. If you are interested in reducing your dependence on dental insurance and generating a predictable recurring revenue stream, setting up an in-house membership program can be an effective strategy. If you want to learn more about creating and growing a membership program, download our free ebook.
This article is not intended to serve as legal advice. We recommend you speak with your attorney or legal counsel to see how DPC and a medical retainer agreement can benefit your medical or dental practice.
Mr. Comstock is the founder of BoomCloud Apps, a successful software company that allows dental offices to quickly create, organize, track, and automate their in-house membership program. Contact Jordon and his team at (800) 260-9285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.