Skip to main content

My Decision to Leave the Dental PPO's

In the fall of 2019, Delta Dental announced that they were going to reduce benefits for all of the patients in my practice with Delta coverage. I decided to make a change. I became a non-restricted provider. 

It was a very scary decision. I had prepped my team that I was considering this change for months. But when the time came, I wasn't sure what the result would be. Would I lose 35% of my patients, would my practice be able to survive? Would I be able to retain my staff? I have great patients and a great staff and want to be able to provide the best dental care with the best staff.

I sent a letter to all of my patients letting them know about my decision, that we still welcomed them in our practice, and letting them know that we were offering an alternative, an in-office membership. I had calculated that the membership was a great value that would cost the patient significantly less and allow us to earn more.

To my surprise, very few patients left, many subscribed to our membership program (mycirrusdental.com), while others kept their Delta coverage and paid at the time of service. My patients were loyal to our practice, not to the insurance company. After terminating our Delta relationship, we had the best year ever and were expanding our office.

Then came COVID-19. We completely closed, except to emergency patients. I analyzed our numbers and things needed to change. Blue Cross, was the remaining insurance company with whom we were a participating provider. We needed more chair time for each patient, we couldn't operate with the same efficiencies as before, and PPE costs were astronomical. Blue Cross was an unsustainable business model for our office. I made the same decision to change to an unrestricted provider with Blue Cross, in the middle of the COVID closure. It was scary!

At this time, we are in the middle of the transition with Blue Cross. I have informed our patients of the change and about our membership program through Cirrus. The initial signs are great and we are having a huge surge in subscriptions to our membership!

I'll be posting more about this transition in the future.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Costs Associated with Dental Memberships or Subscription Services

In-Office subscriptions can have a variety of service charges imposed by the administrators. Here we will outline some of the more common pricing strategies of management companies to help you make an educated determination of what is best for your office. Some companies have one price and some use a combination of costs. ·        Per Patient Fee – This is a fixed amount you will pay monthly or annually for every patient subscribed ·        Percentage Fee – This fee is a percentage of the funds you earn from your subscription ·        Processing Fee – Some plans require you to run all of your credit card transactions through their service and charge a fee based on these transactions ·        Monthly or Annual Fee – A set amount, regardless of the number of patients you have enrolled in the service ·        Sign-up Cost – A fee required to setup your account. Many times, this fee is waived. It is used as a hook to make you think you are getting a good deal if you signup i

Investigate Dental Subscription Options - New Learning for the Dental Team

If your dental team is faced with downtime, you might consider having them learn about a new product or service that results in more patients and more income for the office. A dental subscription is a way to create recurring revenue for your office and create loyalty with your patients.  But what type of subscription is right for your office and what should you consider when setting up your subscription program? Who will administer the subscription?              Option 1 : Dental office does everything from designing the plan, crafting legal documents, contacting patients monthly for collections and renewals, maintaining financial records of transactions, maintaining renewal dates. Administering this plan is possible but requires significant startup costs, time and labor to administer.              Option 2 : Contract with a dental membership administrator. There are many companies offering services and the level of service varies greatly. Some offer dental practices a wo

What is the Nest Egg?

The Nest Egg is a savings vehicle that allows patients with a subscription using the Cirrus Dental platform to afford the care they need or want when they want it.  Let’s face it, when patients need to come up with the money to pay for a surprise dental bill, many will try to avoid or delay the needed treatment. Studies have shown that patients with available funding sources receive more dental care in any given year. With that knowledge, Cirrus created the Nest Egg to be a part of the subscriptions dental offices offer to their patients. The Nest Egg is set aside from the monthly subscription the patient pays every month. Unlike traditional insurance, if the patient doesn’t use the Nest Egg, the funds never expire and if the patient moves away and no longer has a subscription using the Cirrus platform, the money is refunded.  There are no restrictions on using the Nest Egg for dental care. Unlike traditional dental insurance, there are no deductibles or percentages to con