We have always been a big advocate of dental plans and our practice has been offering them to our patients for well over 20 years since our conversion to the private sector. For much of that time I believed all dental plan providers were pretty much the same, so we dutifully remained with the same company for what I now realise was way too long.
For several years we had become steadily aware that the costs we were being charged to administer our plan were becoming increasingly high in relation to what we were actually getting in the way of service and support. Being based in the north of Scotland, I realised that we were isolated and unable and unwilling to access many of the additional services that were part of what we were paying for. Exhibitions and other sponsored events were almost exclusively based in central Scotland and England, and as such involved time out of the practice, plus travel expenses that we simply couldn’t justify.
A straight-forward plan
We discovered DPAS around the same time as our disenchantment with the current plan grew and DPAS seemed to be offering something radically different. Our local DPAS consultant came to meet my business partner Gordon and myself and we were very impressed, not least by her varied experience within the dental industry. What we really liked was that DPAS offered a practice-branded plan, meaning everything about it had our name on it, not just the plan provider’s branding. This allowed our practice brand to come to the fore and gave us much more control over our business going forward. We wanted our plan to be as straightforward as possible for both ourselves and our patients, and DPAS helped us to design a plan that suited us, rather than trying to force us into an off-the-shelf package that suited itself.
Another benefit of transferring to DPAS was that the savings enabled us to guarantee an 18-month fee freeze for our plan patients. This created a win:win situation, so it was an easy decision to switch to DPAS.
An easy change over
The transfer to our new plan was really easy and went incredibly smoothly, with our DPAS consultant Louise, on hand to help throughout the whole process. Our mixed practice has over 6,000 patients, meaning our reception staff are always busy, so they were naturally apprehensive that any changeover would create a lot of extra work and stress for them. However, the DPAS team took the problem off our hands, with each specialist department processing data, designing literature and informing patients of the changes on our behalf, whilst Louise assisted our reception staff in how to sell the new plan and resolve patient queries.
With the benefit of DPAS’ transfer experience and Louise’s regular and on-going support, the conversion rate from our old plan to DPAS is close to 98% from 900 on-plan patients, which is a terrific result. Patients don’t always see budgeting for dental treatment as a priority, but those who’ve had a course of potentially expensive treatments can immediately see the benefits of being on plan and we didn’t receive any negative reaction to the change.
Next summer we are expanding the practice and moving to a new purpose-built building, so having the right dental plan in place is a big part of our future strategy. Our move is designed to build inherent value in our business, so to have a dental plan and a business plan focused around our practice brand makes perfect business sense. As part of the inclusive service, DPAS also offers marketing support and we will be looking to DPAS to help with our branding and patient literature to keep all our patients informed about the move.
A happy customer
We are a very happy and satisfied DPAS client and are grateful for everything DPAS has delivered to us. Although it is based many miles from us this has not proved a barrier in any way and DPAS’ communication and willingness to make regular visits, makes us feel important and valued. Change is not always easy, for the staff in particular, but DPAS has made it easy for all of us with its reassurance and support.
With DPAS’ provision of practice-branded plans and the reality of its service and support, DPAS has allowed our brand to take a huge step forward and that’s been a real breath of fresh air.