In order to cancel a membership, you and your staff will now be required to ask the reason for cancellation. Also, a new Cancellation Reasons report helps you see trends in terminations and gives you insights that can help you retain more members.
We recently added “COVID-19 related” as a reason to reflect the current environment. If none of the default reasons apply, you may select “Other”. You will still be required to write the reason for canceling before processing it.
Member retention is extremely important because it is more expensive and time-consuming to acquire new members than to keep existing ones. To improve your member retention rate, it’s important to understand why your members leave.
In your Cancellation Reasons report, you may see that “Financial” is the top reason for member terminations. In that case, you could write a script for your staff to retain members who are facing financial hardship and offer a short-term discount on membership. While you may take a revenue hit for a few months, the lifetime value of that member will be higher in the long run. As DPCs know all too well, word-of-mouth is the biggest driver of new members. Maintaining patient relationships during financial hardships can have ripple effects outside of that single membership value.
If you see that “New insurance” is a common reason for termination, it is probably a good idea to incorporate more education each time you engage with your patients. Most patients do not fully understand how insurance works and why they are getting a great value with their DPC membership. Educating them can be in large and small ways. After each visit or remote interaction, remind them that it was totally free and included in their membership - and that the same service would cost a $20 copay at a fee-for-service clinic, or $195 at an urgent care clinic (with insurance).
Another way to educate patients is to think of stories from your “past life” in the fee-for-service system about patients who supposedly had excellent insurance but ended up paying large bills out-of-pocket because of high deductibles and limits on reimbursements for out-of-network care. Put these stories in your email newsletters.
These are a few ideas for how to use the data that comes from cancellation reasons to retain members. Brainstorm some of your own and try them out!