When I work with dentists on insurance analysis, we not only look at how to reduce PPO dependence, we also look at what it will take to keep current patients happy and how to keep new patient flow strong. One way to keep current patients happy is to be personal and genuine in thanking them for their business. When going out-of-network with an insurance company, some patients will have a downgrade with their benefits. If your office recognizes that and gives a token of appreciation for sticking with you it can go a long way in how the patient perceives your office. This doesn’t mean giving away free services all over the place. It means investigating which patients have been loyal to you and demonstrating that it matters to you. There are some inexpensive ways to show appreciation to your patients such as free fluoride with their child’s next cleaning if it’s an uncovered benefit, a free tube of bleaching gel for their trays or a complimentary electric toothbrush like the Vitality which runs about $10.
The front desk staff typically knows exactly who your best patients are. Not just the patients who spend money with you but the patients who follow through with recommended treatment, are careful to keep their appointments and who pay their bills on time. Sometimes when a patient has a gripe about insurance they won’t complain to the dentist but they will say something to the front desk. Giving your front desk staff some discretion to satisfy these patients with an appropriate goody is one easy way to keep patient retention high. In working with patients who have unscheduled treatment, don’t let the conversation be driven by insurance limitations. Insurance is only one piece of the puzzle. While it’s important your office maximize the insurance benefits your patients have, you should recognize that there are other reasons patients have chosen your practice. Strategically expand on the other positives you have to offer as well!
For a quick, easy and affordable card designed specifically for this purpose, visit Lisa Weber at Production Finder. She will design a card with your logo and colors and send it to you as a computer file which you can print as needed. Her charge of $40 makes it so affordable that it’s a waste to have your front desk person spend a couple of hours trying to design one for you. Pop over to her site here to take a look at: http://www.productionfinder.com/index.php/practice-resources/