Introducing a membership plan at the heart of your private practice will not only provide you with the security of a regular cash flow, but your patients with the best way to package their maintenance care – 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 this as a very attractive and safe option to success.
So, what are the benefits of using a plan provider to administer your plan as opposed to doing it yourself and, more importantly, what should you look for when selecting a provider?
Using a plan provider to administer your membership plan will get you set up quickly, reduce the pressure on your team and alleviate any hassle in the long and short 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 queries, chasing payments and making sure data protection regulations are adhered to can take up a lot of time, time which 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.
Accessing the expertise of a plan provider to launch your plan can help eradicate this type of hassle as they will already have these processes and people in place to support you. They will deal with all your patient queries, payment issues, Direct Debits and missed payments on your behalf – so you don’t have to think about it. Data protection and management of patient bank details are of huge importance too and need to be handled correctly, which an experienced provider will do for you.
However, if you want to stay in complete control of your practice, look for a provider who 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.
Planning and additional support
Setting up a membership plan will take a certain level of planning. You’ll need to make sure you’re setting your plan fees correctly – so they cover your costs and are competitive – and your team will play a huge role in making your plan a success. A good plan provider will help you crunch the numbers and get your team on board with the decision, training them on how to speak confidently to patients about any changes, the plan itself and how it benefits them.
It’s also extremely important to choose a provider who will work in partnership with you, offering additional business support such as marketing, consultancy and events to further your learning to ensure your practice remains sustainable and successful for the long term.
Peace of mind
Implementing a plan into your practice can be a big decision, especially when converting from the NHS, so choose a provider who has a proven track record in guiding dental practices through this transition and one who is serious about making your plan a success. Ensure they listen to your needs and deliver a membership plan that’s suited to your patients, practice and dental team – after all, it’s your practice, patients and plan so should reflect you.