Prophies: To Include or Not to Include…
Frequently I speak with dentists who have tried to create their own in-house membership plan, and they often tell me the same thing when they have included the prophy in their dental savings plan’s enrollment fee.
Patients are angry because they paid for two cleanings per year through my membership plan, but now they need an SRP and perio maintenance.
You are nothing but well-intentioned toward your patients, and you certainly don’t want them to feel they are victims of a “bait-and-switch”. You also can’t in good conscience ignore their periodontal condition just because it doesn’t fit well into the membership plan you created.
Fortunately, there is a solution.
When we create a dental savings plan for a practice we consider many data points, and one is the strength of the practice’s periodontal program. If it is doing very little perio, it might make sense to wrap two prophies a year into the enrollment fee. If it is performing a decent share of perio-maintenance instead of prophies then it doesn’t make sense to include the prophies as part of the enrollment.
When we work with offices that have a strong perio program, we often pull the prophy out of the enrollment fee and give it a discount on the plan instead of being part of what is covered in the enrollment fee itself as a “free” service. This allows you to lower the price of your annual enrollment fee making it easier for patients to enroll.
For example, if you are including exams, x-rays, and 2 prophies into your enrollment fee, it might make sense for the enrollment fee to be $350 (based upon an office’s UCR and tolerance for discounts.) But, if you remove the prophies from being included in the enrollment fee, you may be able to drop the enrollment fee down to $189 (including only exams and x-rays) and give a percentage discount on prophies. This is perfect because patients moving into a perio program are not placed at a disadvantage for previously joining the membership plan. They find value in the plan whether they receive a discount for prophies or perio-maintenance since these procedures aren’t rolled into the enrollment fee.