AADOM Featured Company: Dental Menu
AADOM Featured Company is a 30-minute, interview-style presentation sharing the company’s mission, product/service, and best practices for office managers.
Dental Menu helps office managers run a successful membership plan. We understand the complexities involved with pricing, getting your team on board, and setting things up properly in your practice management software. Our software will help you run your membership plan smoothly.
We help offices properly account for their membership revenue by matching production with collections and eliminating the need to adjust membership services to $0. This ensures that your patient ledger is accurate with collections matching production when included benefits (exam, cleaning, x-rays) are received. This results in accurate KPI’s, (numbers) accurate provider compensation, and increased confidence in your team.
Our services are all “White Labeled” which means patients are purchasing your plan directly from you and not through a third party. This allows you to leverage our software without sacrificing any control or patient relationships. We are happy to help and share what we have learned so don’t hesitate to reach out.
Does your membership plan suck?
Step 1: Why a membership plan?
Are you a hunter or a farmer? Hunters look for specific prey and use specialized techniques and tools to kill and eat. Hunters are constantly chasing and following their prey. Success can translate to a large meal but it’s less predictable and more sporadic versus farming. On the other hand, farmers plant seeds, cultivate and nourish fields, and raise animals within the confines of fences and pens. Their harvest is more planned and predictable.
What does this have to do with dentistry and membership plans? In a practice you can use specialized marketing and tools/techniques to hunt fee-for-service patients. These FFS cases are rewarding because the pay is better, and you don’t have insurance dictating treatment and getting in between you and the patient. However, it’s hard to build a practice around sporadic hunting because once the work is done, you must convince uninsured patients to return on a regular basis. You are constantly chasing and marketing (hunting) for these cases.
Insurance patients on the other hand follow a process that more resembles farming. They typically schedule 6-month recall visits because they are included at no charge with their insurance plan. Your hygiene department is your farm. Patients that come through hygiene may or may not need treatment at that time, however, you are forming relationships, educating, and gaining trust, as you see them regularly for preventive visits. Eventually, these seeds will grow and there will be natural harvest from your hygiene farm as those patients need treatment.
Uninsured patients need to be coming through your hygiene department on a regular basis to ensure natural, predictable treatment. If most of the patients coming in regularly for hygiene are insurance patients, it will be difficult to grow and produce consistent FFS treatment. The purpose of your membership plan should be to attract and retain FFS patients by having them come in on a consistent basis for recall (farming) and help patients accept treatment (hunting).
For more information visit: https://www.dentalmenu.com/why
Step 2: How to design a membership plan
What is the difference between a discount plan and a continuity (membership) plan? Examples of discount programs are Groupon or the fundraising cards you buy that have all the discounts to various places. You purchase a specific Groupon deal at a discount to get the best possible price. True membership plans resemble Netflix, Amazon Prime, or a Gym Membership. You pay each month to have access to certain benefits/content.
Many of the dental membership plans we see are more of a discount style plan. They help case acceptance and are effective hunting tools to close treatment. If patients buy a set of services for a year and don’t renew until they come back to the office, you have a discount plan.
Discounts are an important part of a membership plan, but your plan should do more than offer a discount that improves your case acceptance.
True membership (continuity) plans get uninsured patients into your hygiene farm on a consistent basis by offering access to preventive services at specified intervals. There isn’t a renewal period each year. Instead, the patient pays each month (or year) to have access to exams, cleanings, x-rays, and other services, (rewards, fluoride, Botox, nitrous, etc.). They can access those services at the intervals specified as long as their membership is active. In this way you sign the patient up once and let the program roll.
For a free plan assessment visit: https://www.dentalmenu.com/assessment
For more information on how to design a membership plan visit: https://www.dentalmenu.com/design
Step 3: How to price a membership plan
Have you ever wondered if you are charging too much or too little for your plan? We have found it helpful to take the annual cost of your plan and use that as a budget for the included services. If you were accepting in-network fees with an insurance carrier, you would want to know what will be paid when services are provided. Treat your plan this same way. Set up a spreadsheet with included benefits (exams, cleanings, x-rays) and use the price of your plan as an annual budget.
A sample spreadsheet is shown here:
Should you offer monthly payments or annual payments? We recommend offering both. We have found that monthly payments have higher acceptance and retention rates versus annual options. In the theme of creating a true continuity program monthly payments generate more profitability, and patients stay on plans longer, versus annual payments.
For a more in depth look at pricing visit: https://www.dentalmenu.com/pricing
Step 4: How to launch and sell your membership plan
The biggest key in having a successful membership plan is whether you and your team understand and believe in it. Have a meeting with your team members. Have them involved in the plan design. Arm them with the proper tools to manage and account for your plans.
Considering setting up a team incentive or personal incentives for key team members. Make sure provider compensation is set up properly.
Once you have your plan, let your patients know about it! Send an email and text to your patients. Announce it on your social media channels. Have signage and brochures in your office.
For a sample launch campaign visit: https://www.dentalmenu.com/videos.
For more ideas on how to launch your plans visit: https://www.dentalmenu.com/launch
Step 5: Administration and Accounting
Have you even wondered where to put membership payments and how they affect the ledger? There are two processes for handling membership payments with the patient ledger. The
Standard method involves adjusting production and/or collections off to $0 when a patient receives included benefits. This is the most common method and may be a good solution for your practice.
However, many offices are experiencing difficulties and inaccuracies due to these write-offs. KPI’s (key performance indicators) are inaccurate, provider compensation can be affected, and a good office manager or accountant knows you should not be adjusting services to zero unless you didn’t collect the money. Revenue received should match services rendered and any discrepancies between the two would be a real adjustment. Our Advanced method of reconciliation allows you to recognize revenue when services are received and eliminates any “fake” adjustments to your ledger.
For a more in-depth discussion on the two methods for reconciling your membership revenue visit: https://www.dentalmenu.com/accounting
Download our FREE whitepaper: Provider & Team Compensation: Friend or Foe?
Learn about the presenter:
Paul Lowry is the CEO and co-founder of Dental Menu. From 2008-2017 he helped offices with internal and external marketing. After experiencing the challenges of finding and retaining FFS patients, he co-founded Dental Menu in 2017.
Dental Menu is a complete platform that allows dental providers to offer subscription plans directly to their patients. Their solution empowers team members to organize and manage their plans effectively, while also ensuring optimal patient experience.
Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in business administration from Utah State University. When Paul isn’t immersed in work, he enjoys teaching, spending time with his wife and kids, dirt biking, fishing, and being outdoors.