Practice leaders pay a lot of attention to attracting new patients. We love helping dentists attract new patients. Through Facebook, dental marketing funnels, and other strategies, we help practices attract patients on autopilot. That sets up practices to achieve consistent patient growth with very little effort.
With that in place, you have two choices. First, you could grow your practice by welcoming new patients into your existing systems and processes. That achieves consistent revenue and profit growth. Your practice grows based on your patient growth. Second, you could leave your marketing on autopilot and focus efforts on other strategies for making your practice even more profitable. This second option is how dental practices achieve massive growth. Here are three examples of ways to increase practice profits from existing patients.
1. Increase Productivity Per Visit
When you add a new patient to your practice, you naturally increase profits by a small percentage. When you improve productivity per visit, a small productivity boost can help you achieve a much larger profit increase.
For example, Delivering WOW team member Josey increased productivity for hygiene visits by more than 50%. She started below $200 per visit and increased production to more than $300 per visit.
Increased productivity per visit is important because it impacts both existing and new patients. You can increase productivity per visit many ways. Josey made sure her hygienists had more time with patients. She also talked with her hygienists about additional products and procedures they could offer patients.
Other ways to increase productivity per visit is to use block-scheduling techniques and perform multiple procedures per visit instead of spacing them out.
2. Offer Membership Plans
Membership plans are a simple way to increase profits for your practice. Membership plans can be very profitable for fee-for-service and PPO practices.
With membership plans, patients pay a one-time activation fee to sign up and small ongoing monthly fee. The plans generally include two cleanings, fluoride, x-rays, and exams plus a discount on other procedures. Josey’s membership plan requires a $75 activation fee and a monthly fee of between $25 and $45 and offers a 15% discount to members.
Membership plans have several benefits. You reach a large uninsured market that would not otherwise receive the care they need. You can also give local businesses that cannot afford to offer dental insurance an affordable alternative.
Membership plans generate recurring revenue that grows over time as you add more people in your plan. Moreover, the discount you provide on services is generally much lower than you provide to patients with insurance.
3. Diagnose all Treatment Needed
Too many dentists only diagnose what is urgent. They only talk with patients about what is urgent. If a patient arrives in pain, they only address the issue causing them pain. With that approach, the only things you will treat is what is urgent or causing a patient pain.
You can serve patients better while simultaneously increasing your profits by diagnosing and discussing all treatment needed by each patient. For example, one dentist had a woman move forward with $10,000 in treatment after diagnosing all treatment needed, not only what was urgent. The woman had been a patient in her practice for years but had never known what it would take to achieve optimal mouth health. When she finally had the right conversation, the patient paid $10,000 and was ready to go that day.
To start this type of conversation, ask, “Would you like to know what it would take to get your teeth to optimal comfort, function, and aesthetics? Would you like to know what it would cost to make your mouth perfectly healthy?”
They always say yes. When you diagnose everything and provide flexible payment options, many patients realize the cost is not as much as they expected. Some ask whether they could pay over time. Others ask if they could schedule the treatment over time. The more flexible you are with payment options, the more likely you are to have more patients move forward with all the treatment they need.
Are you focused on total practice profitability?
While attracting new patients to your practice is important, it is only one way to increase practice profits. The fastest growing dental practices also focus on having systems and processes in place to achieve total practice profitability. Productivity per visit helps you increase profits on a large scale with only a little effort. Membership plans help you generate new, highly profitable, and recurring revenue streams. Diagnosing all treatment needed and offering flexible financing options gives patients the opportunity to move forward with all the treatment they need, not just what is urgent.
We’ve been helping practices track and improve their productivity per visit in our monthly Marketing & Practice Growth Challenges. This challenge is for any practice who wants to grow their production per visit, create a 12-Month marketing plan and launch a marketing campaign to improve their community presence. Learn more at http://www.deliveringwowchallenge.com and use the code CHALLENGE to get 20% off at checkout!