69% of dentists report that insurance, as a dental marketing tool, brings in new patients to their dental practice, while only 18% disclose that dental insurance doesn’t bring them new dental patients.
Only 13% said that they don’t accept dental insurance in any form.
“Dental insurance lets me give the patients what I want to do without concern for payment. I give a higher level of care than they would have other wise,” shared a New York dentist.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics states that a the primary indicator of access to dental care in the United States is dental insurance. Studies have shown that persons with private dental insurance have more dental visits in the previous year than persons without private dental insurance.
The Wealthy Dentist asked dentists if participating in dental insurance plans was an effective dental marketing vector to bring new patients in to their practice.
Definitely a provider of new patients . . .
“Yes! With better and faster payors than there used to be.” (California dentist)
“Yes, but it is not insurance …it is a defined plan of benefits that dentists agree to accept at a huge discount!” (Pennsylvania oral surgeon)
“Yes, because we found that a number patients of record for many years suddenly disappeared. When finally contacted (many who avoided post cards, letters, phone calls) said they switched to someone who was an insurance provider. Not because they found fault with anything we had or had not done, but stated the economy as the reason they switched. We found that the patients did not value all that we did/had done for them over the years. We sent them a letter welcoming them back if they felt they were not satisfied with the treatment they received at their providing (cattle call) practice.” (Florida dentist)
“More new patients but at a reduced fee (PPO).” (General dentist)
“It has provided us with new patients and kept some patients who might have gone elsewhere had we not become a provider.” (Texas dentist)
“If you treat everyone to the highest standard, no matter their social economic status, type of dental insurance, or depth of their pockets then you will be rewarded with new patients. Some may refer others, fee for service or with “better” insurance coverage. Never judge a book by its’ cover. Treat others the way you would like to be treated and you will have a very successful and rewarding career.” (Top New York dentist)
Dental insurance brings patients at a cost . . .
“It brings in patients that are insurance-driven and may not have high value for quality dentistry.” (California dentist)
“Dental insurance brings patients that do not necessarily value good dental care.” (General dentist)
“Metlife has such a large number of clients in our area, so it would be a much slower new patient flow as a non-provider. The large discount stinks. We do get some non-plan patients referred to us though. I find that in general, plan participants don’t have much loyalty.” (Tennessee dentist)
“With so many dentists on the PPO provider’s lists, it proves not to be a source of new patient generation like the insurance companies promise it to be.” (California dentist)
“It brings in new patients, but at a “cost”. The fee schedules are terrible. I currently consider the write-off as a marketing expense.” (Kentucky dentist)
Two things to note —
Dental insurance plans are really not “insurance” in the classic sense. These are really “ discount benefit” plans.
Second, for an advanced dental marketing strategy on maximizing your profitability from dental insurance plans watch the quick video tutorial at www.dentalmarketingintelligencereport.com/advanced-marketing-strategies