You don’t want to lie to patients and you do want them to experience the great care you offer in your practice – so how to answer these questions without losing the potential patient?
A patient appointment and a happy patient at the end of their appointment!
First and foremost the team must understand and believe the true definition of dental insurance. It’s a partial reimbursement for basic care. Basic preventive and basic restorative…and 95% of all adults need more than basic care. Let your patients know this, they understand and have experienced insurance covering less and less.
Eliminate insurance from your team’s vocabulary. It does not cover 100% of anything, it is a benefit, or like a rebate the patient gets, or a coupon they can use for services. Having a policy does not protect a patient from loss, it contributes to helping them pay for care and they are fortunate to have it.
So with that as the background, let’s also remember that most patients ask questions like this because either they don’t know what else to ask (it’s the only way they know to choose a dentist), or they want to know how to pay for services. Help them with both and get the patient appointed in your practice.
Here are Some Suggestions:
- First: NEVER say “We don’t take that plan”. Instead try saying
“Our Dr. is a provider for all benefit plans, s/he does not participate in any plan that expects the doctor to compromise care for patients or not offer services that would help the patient that are not part of their plan. We work with our patients to get the absolute most out of all policies, and we offer financial arrangements for what your benefits do not cover. Patients love our team, and our Doctor. We pride ourselves on really knowing our patients and taking great care of them. We’ll take good care of you and we will make the most of your benefits. Let’s get you appointed.”
- What if the patient has Medicare or Medicaid and you are not a provider? Here is an idea of what to say, rather than we don’t take that plan
“We do our best to make the most of all benefit plans patients have. Unfortunately, you have a type of plan that we are unable to work with, it will not pay us for your services nor will it send the benefit check to you. We are happy to work out payment arrangements so you can get the care you need.”
- If the patient is not interested
“In our area, the practice I know of that can receive payment from your plan is XYZ Practice. We would be happy to see you and work out a payment arrangement if you decide to receive care outside of your plan.”