5 Ways to Increase Patient Starts at Your Orthodontic Practice

Want to have more potential patients convert into paying customers on day one? We analyzed the stats of hundreds of client practices across the country and assembled five proven strategies to increase patient starts.

Talk turkey on the first visit

Many orthodontists were taught that they don’t speak to patients about finances on the first visit. Those days are over. People have less time (and patience). They want all the facts so they can make decisions quickly. On more involved cases it will still be necessary to take more time before planning out treatment and costs but for the routine case it’s more advantageous to do it all in one visit. Patients will appreciate the convenience and speed in which you work.

Lower you initial fee

Some orthodontists are still charging and initial fee of upwards of $1,800. This doesn’t fly anymore. Patients are stretched thin. You have to lower the barrier to entry, We found the sweet spot is from $500 to $1,000 down payment to help patients commit to treatment.

Make monthly payments affordable

Historically, patient delinquency rates in the orthodontic industry are low, around 3%. This means you can stretch the monthly payment beyond the planned treatment time by about 6 months to make their monthly payments more affordable, which should be around $200 per month.

Accept insurance payments directly

An easy way to make braces more affordable for patients is to find out their insurance benefits before the initial consultation and then accept payment directly from the insurance company as a partial payment. Asking families to deal with insurance reimbursements for treatment runs counter to how most doctor’s offices run their business today. This will go a long way to making the decision easier for patients to start treatment at your practice.

Lighten up

Make you office a fun place to be. Offer extras for parents and younger siblings while they wait like a fun zone and free coffee – for the parents not the young siblings! 🙂 Everything from the decor to the staff you hire should project a fun, lighthearted atmosphere to patients. Remember, when hiring employees, you can teach skills but you certainly can’t teach personality. Make sure anyone you hire gets your office culture.

If you want to know more about how to supercharge your marketing and increase patient starts for your practice, contact People & Practice today for a free marketing analysis, at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.