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Why Patients Leave

THE RICHARDS REPORT
By Fred Joyal
CEO, 1-800-DENTIST

April 11, 2007

Dentists generally show rabid concern about how many new patients are coming in, but few ever focused on patients who are leaving the practice and why. After talking with hundreds of practices and interacting with millions of potential patients, here are the major reasons we've found why dentists lose patients:

#1 They move away. Dentists seem to forget that people move. 16% of the American population moves in any given year, and 8% move out of their current county. Even though they might make the trip back for a year or two, eventually they'll find another dentist.

#2 Their insurance changed, or you stopped taking it. Not much you can do about that, right? Wrong. Let these patients know that you would still be happy to treat them, and submit their insurance for them. Some will stay, because in reality people hate trying to find a new dentist. And some will come back when they don't like the care they've gotten somewhere else.

#3 Your practice doesn't offer what they want. They've heard about Invisalign® or lasers, or same day restorations with CEREC® or they saw a news special on conscious sedation, and you don't offer these things. If you don't stay current, your practice will erode.

#4 They don't know what you do. Even if you offer everything they want, if they don't know you do it, and they see an ad from a dentist who does, you might lose them. And telling patients what you do just once is not effective. People only pay attention if it's something that matters to them right at that moment. Remind them often of all that your practice offers.

About 1-800-DENTIST®

1-800-DENTIST has been the nation’s premier dental marketing company since 1986, helping thousands of successful dentists grow their business. Beginning as a lead generation company for dentists, the program has delivered over 7 million new patient leads to member dentists. Today, 1-800-DENTIST is a total marketing resource for dentists, offering multiple products to help dentists attract, retain and optimize patients. In addition to its flagship PatientProducer® program (new patient leads), the company also offers PatientActivator® (automated patient communications and online marketing), ReputationMonitor® (online reputation management), ReActivator® (dormant patient reactivation) and WebDirector® (websites and online identity).

Contact: Betsy Roddy, 1-800-DENTIST, 310-215-6535