What Patients Want … And Care About
What do YOU want when choosing a service? Patients want the same thing … a no brainer really. Everyone wants great customer service. We want things done on our timeline. We expect quality related to the value being offered. Patients want relief from worry, to escape the anxiety they feel around a dental visit and they don’t want inconvenience.
If they have it, patients also want to use their insurance. According to the University Institute for The Practice of Dentistry, “no dental insurance” is the top reason for “no dental visit.”
Oh we’ve heard it a million times. The front desk team is frustrated with patients always asking about insurance. But effectively handling these inquiries goes hand-in-hand with excellent customer service and increasing new patient appointments. This is one of the most important factors to patients when choosing a dental practice. Therefore if new patients are your goal, this is an area you absolutely must build strategy around.
Participate in plan so patients don’t have additional expenses
Promote that you accept most insurance plans, even if you aren’t “in plan”
Process claims for your patients
Offer to help patients understand their insurance coverage and get the most from benefits
Offer additional and alternative payment options?
No matter how your office handles insurance, never answer “Do you accept my insurance” with a Yes or No. Even if your practice never accepts assignment of benefits, a simple “No” without explanation will lose patients unnecessarily. If you do accept assignment, a “Yes” can be misleading without determining what the patient is really asking … it could be one of three entirely different questions:
- “Are you a participating provider?”
- “Will you accept whatever my insurance company pays as full payment, and not charge me the difference?” Or will you charge me the difference.
- “I think I have a certain plan, but who knows what it really is?”
Once you get a better understanding of the above, you will still need to book the appointment to determine diagnosis and identify coverage … always be understanding … “Insurance coverage seems to become more confusing as time goes on. At your appointment, we’ll help you determine the coverage you can expect, and we’ll fill out and file your forms for you. We always provide a quote in advance and can get pre-approval for you. We believe our patients should be able to concentrate on their dental health without worrying about confusing paperwork.”
Do not assume that their plan cannot be used in your office. Many patients can go out of their network, be your patient, and still receive some benefits. Give such good service that patients can’t help but tell others about you.
People will spend to lose weight, look younger, be healthier, save their lives … so we’ve got a big “in” … when we clearly communicate your value prop, alleviate concerns and obstacles, make financial and insurance aspects clear, and ensure your front desk team is equipped to effectively handle all incoming inquiries … you’ve got the components of a dental marketing campaign destined to deliver great results.
Ultimately you need to offer people what they want, not what they need. For more information on content strategy, team training, and related scripting, please call your Account Manager. They’re available for unlimited free advice, from Monday – Friday, 9am – 5:30pm EST.