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The Mighty Delta Dental Has Stumbled
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Patient Attraction Episode 1136
Historically, Delta Dental has been the heavyweight of dental insurance companies. Delta had things pretty much its own way for a long time. But now the mighty have fallen, so to speak, and the California Dental Association is responsible. The impact of this will extend far beyond California, and dentists need to know how it will affect their practices. I’ll be back after the break to tell you what it all means and the steps you should take to protect your practice.
– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.
– I’m Colin Receveur, founder and CEO of SmartBox.
– In December 2017, the California Dental Association submitted a revised, proposed settlement agreement in a class action suit against Delta Dental.
– The suit was filed in 2013 in response to Delta proposing to cut its California Premier
Provider rates by 8 to 12 percent.
– Arbitration between the CDA and Delta arrived at a settlement amount of about $35 million.
– But an error was discovered in the calculations for the settlement amount, and the CDA and Delta agreed to additional negotiations.
– The new proposed settlement tops $65 million.
– Now, regardless of how you feel about Delta or state dental associations, there are three things here that dentists should take seriously.
– The first is that individual dentists are pretty much at the mercy, such as it is, of the dental insurance companies.
– That’s certainly not news to you, but I wonder whether you’ve realized the implications.
– If your practice depends on dental insurance to any significant extent, your revenue can take a huge hit very quickly and with almost no warning.
– The second is that the trend in dental insurance is to shift costs more to patients.
– The result is fewer dental patients seeking care or more of them needing to make financial arrangements through your practice to pay for the work.
– That’s either a decrease in income for you or a somewhat longer time before you’re paid.
– And the third thing is that insurance reimbursement rates overall for dentists are trending downward.
– And the CDA’s victory, while important, is basically a blip in that trend.
– If you as a dentist can’t successfully fight the insurance companies, what are your choices?
– A few dental practices have decided not to accept insurance any longer.
– That probably sounds like a dream or a nightmare, depending on your circumstances.
– And it’s not a workable solution for all dental practices.
– The other, and much better, option is to make dental insurance pretty much irrelevant to your success.
– Now before you think I’ve lost my mind, let me explain.
– A significant segment of almost every market doesn’t care about dental insurance.
– That segment is about 30 percent of your prospects.
– Those better prospects don’t care about low prices or discounts, either.
– Those prospects have the ability and the willingness to pay more for the right dentist.
– Being the right dentist isn’t about having the best hands in the business.
– It’s about your prospects coming to like you, trust you, and regard you as the best and only logical choice to solve their dental problems.
– It’s possible for almost all dentists to use their online marketing to position themselves as their prospects’ preferred choice.
– It still surprises me how few dentists even try.
– I don’t know, maybe they’re just too used to the traditional way of marketing dental practices.
– That’s on low price, discounts, specials, and insurance acceptance.
– Of course, you can see where I’m going with this.
– Traditional dental marketing is a recipe for financial disaster if the current insurance trends continue, and they will.
– There’s one dental patient attraction firm that specializes in helping practices get more and better patients.
– SmartBox’s industry-leading Patient Attraction System™ delivers a steady stream of new patients for more than 550 dentists on 3 continents.
– And SmartBox dentists are free to focus on doing the dentistry, not on riding herd on the practice marketing.
– Discover what SmartBox’s Patient Attraction System™ can do for your practice.
– Visit smartboxdentalmarketing.com and reserve your no-cost, no-obligation Practice Discovery Session™.
– After the session, we’ll send your free Patient Attraction Roadmap™ as well.
– Invest 25 minutes in securing the future of your practice – no matter what the “false gods” of dental insurance wind up doing.
– Join me for our next podcast.
– Until then, keep moving forward.