Donna Hall examines what practice teams need to look at when choosing the right plan provider to work with.
A membership plan brings multiple benefits to your practice and your patients.
It provides financial stability and consistency with guaranteed monthly fees, while encouraging patients to take a more active and responsible role in caring for their dental health.
However, there are additional benefits you can access depending on the plan provider you choose to administrate your plan. For example, training for the whole team, marketing support to build your brand, dedicated local support managers, events, etc.
Which means that it’s worthwhile spending time to make sure your provider is the best fit for your practice and can give you the support you need.
Red flags to look out for
But first, how do you know if the provider you’re already with isn’t the right one for you?
Our members who have previously been with other providers often share with us the warning signs that ultimately led them to make a change.
While some might be driven by making savings, money is rarely the sole reason. Many are unhappy with administration issues, such as difficulties in getting a monthly statement or making changes to patient records, but top of the list is usually support.
In particular, the lack of a close relationship with their plan provider representative, or seeing a revolving door of different representatives, and not feeling as if they’re being listened to or that their business is well understood.
While providers are there to implement and administrate a plan, they can also offer a lot more when it comes to building your business.
If you’re looking for a partner to be there for you and help your practice to grow, solid long-term relationships are vital.
Considerations when choosing a provider
If you’re thinking of putting a plan in place or moving to a different provider, it’s important to begin by thinking about what it is you want from them.
What is most important to you when it comes to your plan provider? Is it saving money or robust additional support? Or both?
Have open discussions with the different providers to see who is the most suitable when it comes to your priorities.
Also, consider talking to other dentists who have a plan in place to see what their experience has been. Talk to your team too, speaking to your colleagues and getting their buy-in during these early stages will make the whole process easier in the long run.
Questions to ask
One of the best ways to research who is the right provider for you is to have a frank conversation with those on your shortlist.
Some key questions to ask your potential new provider are:
For me, the initial conversation should be a two-way street. Not only is it for me to answer questions like the above, but also for me to discover what your individual needs and goals are and how we could work together to best achieve them.
Moving plan provider is easier than ever
If you’re feeling underwhelmed by your existing plan provider, it’s easier than ever to make a move and join Practice Plan with Easy Switch, our seamless bulk transfer process.
This means that the risk factor of worrying about losing patients has been hugely diminished as there is no disruption to them and they don’t need to take any action.
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