The Best Practices Show

Episode #315: Making it Easy to Grow Your Practice Through Membership Plans with Megan Lohman

January 20, 2020

If you're a private care fee-for-service dentist, and you're wondering how you can sustain your practice for the long term, this show’s for you. Dentistry changed in 2013 when people started losing their employer covered dental plans. 33% of adults in the US don’t have dental insurance. Having an in-house membership plan can help these patients, increase patient loyalty, and create revenue. Megan Lohman is a worldwide expert on dental membership plans, and she’s here to break it all down for us. 

Megan is the Co-Founder & CEO at Plan Forward. Megan started out working for a practice that started a membership plan. It was not only a huge success, but they had surprising benefits that they didn’t expect. The plan was going great, but the administration was getting to be too much. That’s when she founded Plan Forward which helps run and administer the plan. Megan shares the surprising and unexpected benefits of having a plan. She talks about how it increases revenue, and she shares best practices to keep things running smoothly. 

Show Notes

[02:03] Plan Forward creates and powers in-house membership plans.

[02:19] Megan was friends with her co-founders wife. She worked for him at his practice. 

[03:01] Healthcare changed in 2013. A lot of patients were asking for guidance when their employers no longer offered insurance.

[03:56] The membership plan grew organically. Patients understood what to expect. 

[04:30] The plan grew so much that it was a headache to manage. That started the market research behind a platform to manage dental membership plans.

[05:00] It's hard to find a business that doesn't have a plan or a subscription service.

[05:32] Recurring revenue was an unexpected benefit of having a membership or subscription model. 

[06:09] When you look at the number of uninsured patients and people who don't use their benefits, there are so many encouraging things. 

[07:09] Not all dental plans are created equal. A robust membership plan can create retention and patient loyalty.

[07:37] It might look like you're reducing your fees, but you're getting an entire patient population to come in more. Plus, they're paying regularly.

[08:34] Patients on subscription plans always spend more.

[08:57] The most resistant people are the doctors and the teams. It's the dentist's plan, and they can create it the way they want. They can do fee balancing at the end of the year or whatever they need to do.

[11:01] Your plan needs a monthly payment office and your team needs to talk to patients about it. Megan can share best practices to make your plan a success.

[12:18] 1500 patients on the plan are your patients. Every practice has a member base already. This is a simple value add for uninsured patients. 

[13:55] To make this work you have to have auto renewals. You must offer a monthly payment option to cover preventive care.

[18:26] People are comfortable paying for something that they find value in. 

[21:33] Don't cherry-pick, offer the plan to everyone. Also, post it somewhere in the office.

[22:49] The membership plan is for uninsured patients. 33% of adults in the US don't have dental insurance.

[24:23] If you're looking for an edge, a membership plan can turn your uninsured base into a loyal base. 

[25:18] Create the plan on a per person basis, not for the entire family. 

[26:40] It's surprising that not every practice sees the value in this. 

[28:11] This is an added value for any practice of any of any size. It's a tool to treat every patient that you can. 


Links and Resources:

Plan Foreword

Megan Lohman on LinkedIn

Plan Forward on Facebook

Plan Forward on Twitter

Plan Forward on Instagram