The benefits of introducing a membership plan into your practice are varied, ranging from providing you with the security of a regular cash flow to enabling a neat and regular oral maintenance package for your patients – making it an easy choice for them and encouraging them to visit more regularly. As a result, those practices looking to move from the NHS to private practice often see a membership plan as a very attractive and safe option to support private practice success.
What’s less obvious are the benefits for using a plan provider to administer your plan as opposed to doing it yourself and, more importantly, what you should try and look for when looking to select a provider.
Planning and additional support
Setting up a membership plan will take a certain level of planning. Your team will play a huge role in making your plan a success and you will need to make sure you’re setting your plan fees correctly – so that they cover your costs and are competitive. Make sure you look for a plan provider that will help you crunch the numbers and get your team on board with the decision.
It’s also extremely important to choose a provider that will work in partnership with you, offering additional business support, as this will help to ensure your practice remains sustainable and successful for the long term.
It may seem easy to set up a direct debit and let the banks do their job, but there is much more to administering a plan than this. Dealing with patient queries, chasing payments, making sure data protection regulations are adhered to and management of patient bank details are all of huge importance. They all need to be handled correctly and can take up a lot of time, time that your team may not have.
Plus, processes and protocols will need to be in place to deal with every eventuality, for instance repeated payment failures or changes to the payer’s details – so with all of the above, make sure you find an experienced provider that has the processes and people in place to support you so it becomes something you don’t need to think about.
Peace of mind
Implementing a plan into your practice can be a big decision, especially when seeking independence from the NHS, so choose a provider that has a proven track record in guiding dental practices through this transition and one that is serious about making your plan a success.
Ensure the provider listens to your needs and delivers a membership plan that’s suited to your patients, practice and dental team – after all, it’s your practice, patients and plan so it should reflect you.
Additionally, working with a plan provider that offers worldwide dental trauma and emergency callout insurance integrated into the plan will give you and your patients peace of mind knowing they are covered should an accident or emergency happen, home or abroad.
Look for a provider that works as hard at processing insurance claims as it does at administering your plan, so you know your patients are getting the first-class service they expect from your team in the suppliers you choose.
If you want to stay in control of your practice, look for a provider that listens to your needs and reduces hassle, but ultimately lets you take ownership of your plan. By branding your plan to your practice, the right provider will support you in using your plan to build loyalty between you and your patients, not a third party.
Overall, there are aspects to consider when looking for a provider. However, the long-term benefits of finding the right one will far outweigh any short-term searching.
Practice Plan is a specialist provider of practice-branded patient membership plans and an increasingly significant source of wider business support services for dentistry. So, whether you’re planning a conversion from the NHS, introducing a dental plan into an established practice or looking to change from another plan provider, Practice Plan can help you take your practice where you want it to go.