Why Are New Dental Patients Important Right Now?
With so much perceived pent-up demand combined with reduced capacity due to new-appointment protocols and patient spacing, it probably seems overwhelming to even consider accepting new patients.
The reason you want to run the numbers and see what makes sense for your practice is the value each type of patient contributes to monthly production.
New patients contribute far more in first year annual production than active patients. Without that fresh contributing revenue, it will be difficult to get monthly production close to previous levels.
Here is the industry-wide data from Practice ZEBRA today.
Practice ZEBRA is truly your can’t-live-without dental software. It provides you with metrics like these as well as marketing intelligence, marketing automation, and call conversion technology and tools.
What you see in this graph is average-dental-patient value, currently sitting at just over $1000/year, and new-patient value at just over $1800/year.
What I’ve also included is the variance between in-house dental membership plan patients versus non-insured patients, showing how effective having or introducing a membership plan into your practice could also be.
You can monitor your metrics in Practice ZEBRA and increase dental membership plan patients with our brand-new, exciting, first-in-industry automated dental membership marketing program.
Get your exact practice values by logging into Practice ZEBRA now.
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50 new patients each month contributes approximately $90,000 towards annual production – every month. That’s over $1 million in production annually – at average values. If that steady flow has been cut off for close to 3 months, that means big revenue (almost $300k) has already been lost from the rest of 2020. How then, without a focus on growing monthly new-patient flow, can a practice build back to pre-COVID production levels?
These metrics clarify why it will be critically important to recovery to keep space for new patients. Doesn’t it make sense to allocate a portion of your available capacity when you can generate 2X production from that time?
At Patient NEWS, we’re connected with leading industry experts and many suggest that dental offices that schedule active patients first, filling schedules and neglecting new-patient flow, will start to feel a production slowdown sooner than those that build new patients back. In just a few months is the forecast.
Then we have the harsh reality of the pandemic which may provide opportunity for those dental practices that are prepared and ready to hit the ground running.
That’s because many offices have not managed well. They may have been on shaky ground before COVID-19 hit, they may be slow to re-open, slow to begin communicating with their patients and community, and stay slightly invisible in your market. It’s been suggested that 7,000 offices just may not re-open. If your practice is in a strong position, you have an opportunity for it to gain significant market share.
Dentists and teams have told us they’re getting calls from new patients now looking for a new provider because their dentist didn’t bother to advise them what was happening at the practice or with their scheduled appointments. Regardless of this being our first pandemic, you can’t get away with lack of communication. Perceived indifference from the practitioner has always been the #1 cause of defection.
Now more than ever, good communication to patients and community will strengthen the practice position within the marketplace and support a stronger recovery.
I’m sure your practice is focused exclusively on recovery. Working on scheduling, looking at outstanding case acceptance, tracking cashflow and revenue, watching the number of active patients, patients lapsing, and those patients that don’t have appointments at all. And of course, new patients.
All of these important metrics can be monitored daily in Practice ZEBRA.
Okay, so new patients contribute a 2X value that of active patients. The other interesting metric from Practice ZEBRA you will want to consider is that dental membership patients contribute 2X value over non-insured patients and run only slightly behind new-patient value.
Dental membership plans have been a great way to attract new patients to your practice, and given the current situation, many of your patients may have lost employer-covered benefits, so you’ll want to consider a plan if you don’t have one, and if you do, promote your plan to patients. If you’re not sure about membership plans, please talk to your Account Success Manager for tips and recommendations.
New! As mentioned above we’ve just released the first-in-industry automated dental membership plan promotional module to help you turn more non-insured patients into high-value in-house dental membership patients. Ask your Account Success Manager to activate this module in your Practice ZEBRA now – its included FREE with your Practice ZEBRA subscription.
For sure, you want to take care of their patients first. Communications should be focused on informing and reassuring patients how your practice is operating, what changes they will experience, and how you will continue to deliver treatment in a timely manner, and in a safe and secure environment.
With that said, the focus certainly has been on existing patients. They are important to you. Make sure you have regular communications (above transactional reminders or calls) like educational content and newsletters hitting homes consistently. You’ll want a new page on your website outlining new protocols and safety measures. New patients need to know it’s safe to visit your practice too. Again, your Account Success Manager is standing by to help you with the exact type of communications you need. We have free resources, scripts, and other support for you as well.
I hope that this data is helpful as you consider which strategies will be best for your practice as we navigate through the pandemic. The team at Patient NEWS is here to help. I encourage you to reach out to any of us to talk about your situation to find out how we can help you get to the other side. You can start by trying Practice ZEBRA risk free. I promise it’s a can’t-live-without dental software that you’ll come to love.
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