As a dentist that is out of network, why is it important to qualify prospective patients? What are some methods that our front office can use to qualify patients on the phone?
As an out-of-network dentist, it is important to qualify prospective patients to ensure that you are a good fit for their dental needs and to manage expectations around payment and insurance coverage. This helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures a positive experience for the patient and the dental practice.
From a marketing perspective, qualifying your patients will allow your practice to allocate your resources to best serve your patients - work smarter, not harder.
Here are some methods that the front office can use to qualify patients on the phone:
- Ask about their dental needs: Start by asking questions about the patient's dental needs, such as the reason for the visit and any specific issues they are experiencing. This can help you determine whether your practice can provide the necessary services.
- Verify insurance coverage: Ask about the patient's insurance coverage and verify whether your practice accepts their insurance. If your practice is out of network, explain the potential costs that the patient may be responsible for and make sure they are comfortable with the fees.
- Explain the payment process: If the patient is out of network or does not have insurance, explain the payment process and any fees associated with the services. This can help manage expectations and avoid any surprises.
- Ask about their budget: Inquire about the patient's budget for dental care and discuss payment options that may be available, such as payment plans or financing options.
- Discuss availability: Determine if your practice has availability that matches the patient's schedule and needs.
Be sure, in addition to discussing the costs, also emphasize the benefits of more personalized dental care - treating the patient based on their needs rather than coverage limitations.
By using these methods to qualify prospective patients, you can ensure that you are providing high-quality care that meets their needs and expectations, while also effectively managing payment and insurance coverage.