Currently treatment case acceptance rates hover between 50%-60% – a very low rate when you consider just how many people actually need dental work. In fact, many of the patients who most urgently require dental work are among those who least accept it. One of the reasons for this is a lack of understanding when it comes to oral health. Another big consideration is financial. Dental treatments are expensive and with so many insurers and companies dropping dental coverage from their plans, it is no wonder that dental treatment plan acceptance is not higher.
If you take the time to listen and relate to your patients, when you do present them with the treatment case plan, it sounds less like a sales pitch and they will be more open to it regardless of the issues they have.
1- Presentation is key
Many dentists are uncomfortable “selling” their services to patients. You have to change this mindset. When you present a treatment case plan to a patient, you aren’t “selling your services,” you are providing a much needed service to your patient. You have to help your patient see that what you have outlined for them is crucial to their oral health. How do you make a compelling case?
Make the presentation visually interesting by including digital pictures of the patient’s mouth/teeth. Have little animations of the procedures you plan on doing and have before and after images of patients who went through similar procedures.
Include the following in your presentation so that you cover all bases properly:
2- Create rapport
You are asking someone who has spent very little time with you, to spend thousands of dollars with you. It is normal that most people’s first reaction is not one of acceptance. Instead of simply presenting your patient with a treatment plan, first get to know them. Find out what is important to them. You have to build rapport and trust with them. Find a way to relate to them. If you can get a conversation going with them, they will feel more at ease with you and what you are asking of them. Truly listen to them and their concerns. Many people fear the dentist for any number of reasons – whether rational or not. Hear them out without being condescending. If you take the time to listen and relate to your patients, when you do present them with the treatment case plan, it sounds less like a sales pitch and they will be more open to it regardless of the issues they have.
3- The importance of booking
Once you have made your pitch and your patient has accepted the treatment case plan, be sure to get them to book an appointment before they leave. Many patients accept their plans and then change their minds after they leave without booking an appointment. Instead, if you get them to commit to a time and date for their treatment, the chances that they will cancel drop down to almost nil. If they insist that they need time to think about it, follow up with them within the week.
4- Explain the risks
Depending on the treatment plan they require, it is essential to fully explain why postponing treatment can be detrimental to your patient’s oral health. Ironically, despite an overall rise in dental health in the population, the understanding of the risks of not getting treatment on time has decreased. Since today’s youth tend to have good oral health, they also tend to be less informed as to the consequences of issues such as gum disease, plaque build up and tooth loss. Make sure to mention all of the potential risks to your patients to help increase your treatment plan acceptance rate.
5- Flexible payment options
The number one reason that people stay away from the dentist’s office is cost. With fewer companies and insurers offering dental coverage people are not as inclined to include regular dental visits in their routines. Offering a range of financial options is the best way to encourage your patients to accept and commit to a treatment plan. Offer the same financing options to all your clients, regardless of what you think their income might be. Having outside financing options readily available will also increase your acceptance rate. To sweeten the deal, you can offer special discounts and rebates such as:
Making the financial part of the visit easy and flexible will go a long way towards increasing your treatment case plan acceptance.
Offering a range of financial options is the best way to encourage your patients to accept and commit to a treatment plan
6- Show actual out-of-pocket expenses
One of the best ways to increase your case acceptance is to simplify and clearly show what a patient will have to pay out-of-pocket. Most treatment plans provide a treatment sheet that includes everything in a very complex structure that is rather opaque for an ordinary person to read. Instead provide them with a clear, easy-to-understand breakdown of what their insurance (if any) will cover and what they will have to pay themselves. Zuub treatment plans can provide this clear breakdown without any of the extras that complicate the total. It provides a straight-forward look at each treatment in easy-to-understand language along with the cost covered by the insurer and the cost required by the patient. It also provides integrations with 3rd party financing partners along with an overview of how much it would cost to finance their portion of the treatment with a financial provider.
Zuub provides a straight-forward look at each treatment in easy-to-understand language along with the cost covered by the insurer and the cost required by the patient.
7- Learn from rejection
Rejection is not easy. However, it can provide you with a powerful learning tool. If possible ask your patient why they decided not to go with treatment. Whether it is because you need to perfect your presentation or whether they found someone to do the work for less, you will at least be able to work on what you can to improve your chances of acceptance.
In conclusion, keep close track of your treatment plan acceptance rates and you will be able to evaluate whether your presentation is working or not. If your numbers are going down or just status quo, you can adjust your script or your overall presentation to see whether it works. Otherwise you can always do an honest reevaluation of your overall approach to see if it improves. Regardless, as long as you keep track of your numbers, try to connect with your patients, provide them with the best tools possible and present them with the real risks involved with not being treated, you will see an overall increase to your treatment case plan acceptance.