Dental insurance is sometimes the bane of a dentist’s existence.
Except that dental plans can also be a significant source of new patients.
“Insurance brings in new patients, but at a cost,” said a Kentucky dentist. “The fee schedules are terrible. I currently consider the write-off as a marketing expense.”
“When we became a provider, we were able to keep some patients who might have gone elsewhere,” said a Texas dentist.
Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey chat about results from a survey asking dentists if dental insurance brings new patients into their practice:
If it doesn’t get them new patients, why a dentist would be a part of a dental plan network?
It’s a bold choice when dentists refuse to accept offensively low payouts from insurance companies — but one that can increase a doctor’s profitability and peace of mind.
And 13% of dentists responding to this survey said that they don’t accept dental insurance in any form.
So, of those who do accept insurance, how many find it an effective dental marketing tool?
Four out of five report that insurance brings in new patients to their dental practice, while only one in five says it doesn’t.
If you’re in the “one in five” category, you really might want to re-examine your relationship with dental coverage.
“Most of our patients come from word of mouth referrals by other patients,” said a Tennessee dentist. “We’re not a part of any dental insurance plans, although we do file insurance for our patients that have it. The lack of dental insurance does not seem to deter many of my patients from seeking needed dental care.”
“With so many dentists on the PPO provider lists, it proves not to be a source of new patient generation like the insurance companies promise it to be,” complained a California dentist.
“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 otherwise,” said a New York dentist.
“Why do patients who do not have insurance want it so badly, yet patients who have insurance hate it so much?” asked a Florida dentist.
It’s so true! When it comes to dental coverage, the grass always seems to be greener on the other side.
I think it comes down to that fact that patients almost always expect dental insurance to be like health insurance. They rarely realize how low the benefits tend to be.