The Dental Care System is Broken! Membership Plans are the Solution
Special thanks to author Dave Monahan, Kleer CEO, for this guest post. Coming from the background of managing dental practices affords us to be able to coach and assist our practices on our Quarterly Marketing Meetings with our clients. We see what is and what is not working for practices nationwide. As a result, we love to share marketing wins with all of our doctors so we asked Dave from Kleer to provide an educational blog about all the benefits of membership plans – both for patients and for practices.
We have noticed that with the rise of corporate dental companies, small practices have really needed to step up their game to set themselves apart. Membership plans are one big way to do this that we have seen be successful. We find that our doctors who use Kleer instead of trying to create their own in-office plan have more success in marketing it and building up new patients with this system. Please enjoy this article and see if this sounds like a fit for your practice to help it grow. – Shannon
The dental care system is broken. On one hand, patients want more oral care, but have trouble getting access. On the other hand, dentists want to provide more care, but not on terms that hurt their practice. The common roadblock is insurance. Insurers control everything. Access. Treatment. Pricing. Payment. They have created overcomplicated and expensive plans that benefit them, not patients or dentists.
As a result, dentists are left working through unnecessary hassles and constraints—payment processing delays, claims denials, treatment restrictions, declining reimbursements and coordination of benefits. And patients are forced to choose between going without coverage or paying too much for a dental plan they don’t understand.
Market research: Patients value oral health, need better access
One-third of American adults and two-thirds of seniors are living without dental benefits. The lack of benefits keeps them away from the dentist and, when they do visit, stops them from accepting recommended treatment. Even for those that do have benefits, the roadblocks to care can be immense.
Navigating care limitations, annual maximums, copays, pre-approvals, and out-of-network restrictions can turn patients off from getting the vital dental care they need.
In 2018, Kleer conducted consumer research—including a national survey, a series of focus groups and one-on-one discussions—to explore the behaviors and needs of both insured and uninsured patients.
Patients said that they felt like insurance companies were “out to get them.” The exclusions, small print, waiting periods and annual limits made them feel like the game was rigged. Insured patients were confused about the coverage they had, and had difficulty explaining basic insurance concepts like deductibles. Uninsured patients felt backed into a corner, where they needed to choose between going without coverage or purchasing a dental plan that is opaque, expensive and difficult to understand.
We also discovered several eye-opening insights about uninsured patients:
- On average, uninsured patients visit a dentist once every two years, compared to insured patients who visit 1.5 times per year.
- Uninsured patients accept half the treatment recommendations that insured patients accept.
- 75% of uninsured patients cite lack of coverage as the reason they don’t visit the dentist.
- 89% of uninsured patients are interested in a dental care plan that is simple, affordable and transparent.
From this research, we concluded that uninsured patients represent the most efficient, lowest cost opportunity to build your practice. As existing patients, they require none of the marketing or acquisition costs associated with targeting and convincing new patients. You already know their clinical history and treatment needs. You just need to provide them what they want—a simple, affordable, personalized dental care plan that makes it easier for them to get the care they need.
Dental membership plans are the solution
Dental membership plans enable dentists to reclaim control of the dental marketplace from insurers and offer simple, affordable and personalized coverage directly to patients.
With a membership plan, patients pay a monthly or annual subscription to their dentist in return for preventive care and discounts off other treatments. Dentists can set their own fees, design their own treatment plans and eliminate the constraints and hassles of interference by the insurance middlemen.
Patients get exactly what they want. Prices are transparent, coverage is easy to understand, there are no hassles like deductibles, pre-approvals and annual maximums, and there are no delays in benefits. Patient benefits start the minute they join. As a result, patients become more loyal, visit more often and accept more treatment. In fact, based on practices we have worked with, membership plan patients visit 2-3 times more than uninsured patients and accept 50-75% more treatment.
How Kleer can help your practice
Kleer’s cloud-based platform is turnkey. It includes everything a practice needs to design, launch and manage a successful membership plan. It’s free to implement, and fast and easy to launch—practices can design and launch a membership plan in days with the help of the Kleer Success Team. The process includes a design consultation, team training and launch materials shipped right to your practice.
Kleer makes it easy to customize your membership plan and offer multiple care plans personalized for the needs of your patients. For example, you can offer one care plan for children, one for adults and another for Perio patients. You control everything including treatment protocol, subscription fees, treatment pricing, exclusions and patient payment options.
Our platform is user-friendly and makes managing your membership plan simple—from patient self-service tools to intuitive plan management tools, fast electronic payment processing and automated renewals. But, Kleer’s solution doesn’t stop with technology. We provide a full suite of marketing and support tools, and we will help you optimize your plan and grow your membership enrollment by analyzing plan performance and helping you implement best practices.
Getting started with Kleer
Join thousands of dental practices using Kleer’s membership plan platform to offer simple, affordable and personalized care directly to patients—with no insurance middleman in the way.
About the author
Dave Monahan is CEO of Kleer. Monahan’s advocation for subscription-based dental care led to the founding of Kleer in 2016 and phenomenal growth in Kleer dental practices and membership since its pilot launch in September 2017. For further questions about increasing case acceptance and Membership Plans powered by the Kleer platform, go to www.kleer.com or reach out to Dave directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.