In 2009, Dr. Dan Marut, DMD founded Quality Dental Plan – an Extend Credit Partner – out of his Dental practice in Ashland, Oregon. Dr. Marut’s motivations were simple: establish a way for dentists to reliably provide their services to patients without traditional insurance, through a system that is mutually beneficial to both parties
“When people think of Dentistry, the first thing they think of is straight, white teeth. Unfortunately, the second thing they think of is cost,” says Dr. Marut. As a practicing dentist, Dr. Marut frequently witnessed the consequences of patients putting off dental care for financial reasons. For those without traditional insurance, the only alternatives to paying high, out-of-pocket costs for single dental visits are coupon programs such as dental discount cards. While these options may provide reduced rates on single procedures, they cause patients to “shop around” from dentist to dentist, providing little incentive to remain loyal to one provider. What’s more, even with the discount provided, patients still end up accessing each procedure at a cost similar to traditional insurance.
“Let’s face it, anytime a third party is part of any economic transaction, their need to make a profit raises the costs and ultimately, the price of that economic model,” say’s Dr. Marut. “It is no different in healthcare or in our dental practices. On the other hand, Quality Dental Plan allows our dentists to offer savings to their patients, in part because the third party is eliminated, so the patient relationship stays between the dentist and patient — the way it should be.” By utilizing the QDP model, dental practices can offer membership programs to their patients at a rate competitive to dental discount cards and coupon programs.
This grants the patient freer access to both major procedures and preventative care, while building a loyal and trusting relationship with a single provider. Meanwhile, the benefits for the practice are obvious. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, the membership model means increased customer loyalty, higher refer-rates, and greater long-term financial stability for the practice. All the while eliminating the middleman, and keeping the business relationship between the dentist and the patient.