Starting And Managing A Dental Membership Program
One of the first things that dentists need to do if they’re considering implementing a dental membership program at their practice is establish the pricing model that they’re going to work within for their subscription service.
It’s important to charge enough that you’re still generating a profit on the discounted services, while also not deterring your patients from subscribing to the service. For instance, if you generate roughly $300 annually from a patient based off their subscription fees, it’s likely that you can comfortably offer a discount of 10 percent for major procedures and 15 percent for routine services.
The beauty of an in-house program is that you can formulate in a way that makes the most sense for your practice and your patient base. You can even develop different subscription tiers—higher levels may cost more each month, but offer greater service discounts—if you feel that there’s a demand for differing levels of subscription service amongst your patient base.
Dentists should always bill membership plans on a monthly basis, and set them up around annual contracts that automatically renew each year. It’s also advisable to establish an auto-pay system with your patients so that your team members don’t have to spend time recouping subscription fees.
There are some state and local regulations to be aware of while starting your dental membership program. For instance, you should never call a membership program “insurance,” because it’s not. It’s more similar to a discount club that you’re offering at your dental practice.
It’s advisable to consult with a dental membership expert prior to starting an in-house program at your practice for advice on state and local regulations that you’ll need to keep in mind. In most cases, a retainer agreement or a direct primary care agreement between the patient and the practice is all that’s necessary to legally operate an in-house dental membership program. That agreement needs to state that it’s not dental insurance, and it also needs to state what’s included with the program.
BoomCloud, the company that I created, offers software that allows practices to create, organize and automate a dental membership plan. It automates all payments and contracts through our contract or agreement management software. It’s very important to document patient agreements, payments and more. Proper management is key to the success of your dental membership program.