Is It Time to Ditch Dental Insurance?

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Patient Attraction Episode 1132

In September 2017, dentists across Washington state had a huge wake-up call, and it wasn’t a pleasant one. Those dentists were members of Delta Dental of Washington, and they met to vote on amending the bylaws of Delta Dental. The vote was overwhelmingly one-sided, but the aftermath was even more one-sided. And not good for the future of dental insurance. After the break, I’ll tell you how to make the dental insurance industry pretty much irrelevant to your practice.

– I’m Colin Receveur.

– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.

– It’s no secret that Delta Dental is basically the 800-pound gorilla of dental insurance.

– And not only does an 800-pound gorilla sit wherever it wants, it pretty much does whatever it wants.

– That’s what Delta Dental of Washington’s dentists found out last September.

– Those dentists closed up shop to hold a vote on amending Delta’s bylaws.

– The goal of the vote was to force Delta to be more transparent in its operations …

– And to be more patient-focused …

– And to be more responsive to the Washington state member dentists.

– The outcome of the vote was never in doubt, with more than 9 out of 10 dentists voting to confirm the changes.

– That’s a landslide and a half margin of victory.

– Unfortunately, Delta’s board of directors didn’t like those changes and vetoed almost all of them.

– Now, bear in mind that the board members each receive over a hundred thousand a year for part-time service.

– Nice work if you can get it, yes?

– And the CEO gets 2.75 million dollars a year.

– But the board was unwilling to limit administrative expenses to 6 percent.

– That would have left 94 percent for paying claims – basically the level that Delta bragged about in 2011.

– Delta’s board also didn’t like the idea of an independent review board to handle claim disputes.

– Let’s put it this way – for a nonprofit entity, Delta sure seems to be emphasizing profit.

– Of course, if you’ve had dealings with Delta and other dental insurers, that probably doesn’t come as a surprise.

– Which brings up the question of whether dental insurance is good for your practice.

– That might sound nuts.

– After all, don’t all dentists accept insurance?

– The short answer is no, not all.

– Some practices have made the decision to go insurance-free.

– And surprisingly, those practices generally seem to be doing fine.

– It’s possible to ditch dental insurance and actually make more money.

– But it takes a significant shift in your thinking about how to get new patients through your doors.

– You need better patients to say goodbye to dental insurance and make it stick.

– Better patients are those with the ability and the willingness to pay more for the right dentist.

– Those patients are around 30 percent of almost every market.

– They’re not motivated by low prices, specials, and discounts.

– So you have to shift your marketing approach to give them what they’re looking for.

– Dr. Thomas J. Feder of Belleville, Illinois, needed better patients, and he chose to work with SmartBox.

– Here’s what happened.

–  Our average case value has increased,” he says.

– “We get quite a few patients from our website, and people are coming in looking for dentures and implants.

– “Our practice is now overwhelming our dental lab.” 

– Sounds like a good problem to have, yes?

– You can put your practice in position to ignore dental insurance, and thrive.

– Visit smartboxdentalmarketing.com and reserve your free Practice Discovery Session™.

– That’s free as in no cost, no obligation of any kind.

– We’ll show you a Patient Attraction System™ that can double or even triple your practice.

– And later, you’ll receive your free, completely personalized Patient Attraction Roadmap™.  

– Invest a small amount of your time to learn how to ditch Delta Dental for good.

– Join me for our next podcast.

– Until then, keep moving forward.