Becoming a dental spa will likely draw in more patients that are willing to pay a little more for their dental services. Why? Because you offer more value in the experience and have shown how committed you are to providing high quality care. This matters to the right people because we know that often you get what you pay for. With this shift in your practice, I hope you find that being in-network with more than a few insurance plans is unnecessary. Your patient volume will grow because you have something unique and better to offer and not because you are the least expensive.
Not being in-network presents situations where your staff will need to explain these differences to patients and be able to effectively communicate why you are still the best option.
- Start by explaining that your office accepts all forms of dental insurance and can bill their services to any dental insurance company to receive coverage. Some people are under the misconception that dental insurance is exactly like medical insurance where it is often the case that the patient either has complete coverage or no coverage.
- Obtain an explanation of benefits for the patient. If the person expresses concern about our office not being in-network with their dental insurance, we will even do this before a patient schedules an appointment at our office. We like to be a resource for patients from the beginning. This builds trust and creates an investment in the patient’s mind in proceeding with becoming a new patient. Typically, the explanation will show coverage for the individual for an in-network versus out-of-network provider.
- Use this breakdown to explain to the patient what their dental insurance covers. Most people don’t have a great understanding of their benefits!! Be the expert.
- Be completely transparent, even if there is a marked difference between what is covered for in-network versus out-of-network providers. If there is a large difference, use this opportunity to explain that while choosing an out-of-network provider, such as your office, will cost more on the onset, the investment they make to have treatment done in a high quality manner will pay off in the long run. If the patient has to have something redone because it wasn’t done well, that costs more money, time, and can compromise their health. (We all know horror stories about patients losing teeth because treatment wasn’t done well.)
- Have your staff be comfortable in explaining how dental offices that are in-network with many insurance companies are likely working on a volume basis and costs need to be cut somewhere to make up for the discounts they are taking to be “in-network.” That is usually something the patient “pays” for indirectly when less time is taken to complete their procedure and lesser quality products are placed in their mouth.
The patient you want to attract at your dental spa won’t scoff at minor differences in coverage. If there are major differences in coverage, this may prompt them to look into another insurance plan. We have had many patients build their insurance plans around what works with our office because they know they want to receive their care with us. Some patients choose to forgo having dental insurance altogether. Just as you don’t want to let insurance coverage dictate how you treat patients, educate your patients (and potential patients) to be able to make decisions about their oral health care that aren’t based solely on where they get the best insurance coverage.