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.