Running a private dental practice can offer its own challenges, especially one where you’re administering your own dental membership plan.
Dr Teresa Day, from the dental group Appledore Dental Clinic, discusses the challenges in doing just that and what helped to overcome them.
‘We had always been a private practice, and made the choice more than 10 years ago to administer our own dental membership plan. We strongly believed that being private allowed us to provide the highest level of care and our plan allowed our patients to budget for this with affordable monthly payments.'
Too much to manage
‘But over time we started to experience difficulties. As our practices grew and our membership numbers became larger so did the work involved to administer it. It was becoming too big to manage and very time consuming. The main problem for the team was the work involved in chasing dropped direct debits as well as other administration issues that, at times, prevented a smooth administrative service for our patients. We were also unhappy and let down with the insurance company that we were using to underwrite the accident and emergency cover for our patients.
‘We reached the point where we had to accept that it was all becoming too much for us to cope with, but we strongly believed in our membership plan and its benefits to our patients, so we set about looking for some support. We needed a provider who would operate on our behalf but have the flexibility to acknowledge how we wanted to provide our dental membership plan to our patients, it was extremely important to us that our membership plan remained our own.'
‘We soon discovered that Practice Plan was the perfect fit, the company could accommodate our plan and continue to allow us to tailor it for our patients. This meant that, ultimately, the membership was still ours, not a third party’s. Not only that, they could provide support to brand it professionally to our dental practice.
‘Initially, we were looking for administrative support, and Practice Plan now promptly and efficiently deals with this side of things. The insurance element is trustworthy and easy to manage, which means that our team is now free to deal with what they do best, dentistry.
‘But the surprising thing is, the support has been so much more than what we first sought out. From marketing to events that expand our business knowledge, we really do feel as if we are working with a company who has our practice’s best interests at heart.’
The dental group Appledore Dental Clinic is based in both Binfield and Milton Keynes, the award-winning team offer a wide range of family treatments, as well as orthodontics, implants, smile makeovers and facial aesthetics.