As a dentist striving to break free from the constraints of PPO plans and elevate your practice in 2024, a well-structured 100-day plan can be your blueprint to success. Transitioning away from PPOs can be scary, and you might have thoughts of uncertainty thinking about it, but with careful planning and commitment, you can realize your goals and provide better patient care.
In this blog, we will explore why you need a 100-day plan and how to create one that suits your unique situation.
Defining Your Vision
The first step in any plan is to define your vision clearly. Consider why you want to move away from PPO plans.
Is it to provide higher quality care, increase profitability, or improve your work-life balance?
Understanding your motivations will help you stay committed throughout the process.
As a dental practice coach, I have set up a series of Masterclasses to give you a hand in your way to a thriving practice. I have one coming up just about being ready for the first 100 days of 2024.
The Masterclass is about equipping you with the right mindset to figure out what your “WHY” is. If you want to be a thriving practice because you want to spend more time with your family, then that is your end goal.
While we look towards the end in mind, we need to have SMART goals that can get us there!
Setting Specific Goals
A 100-day plan requires specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
For example, you might aim to increase fee-for-service patients by 20% in the first quarter of 2024. These goals give you a milestone to work towards and measure your progress.
Let’s break down your goal to increase fee-for-service patients by 20% in the first quarter of 2024 into a SMART goal:
- Specific: Your goal is specific as you’re targeting an increase in fee-for-service patients.
- Measurable: To ensure this goal is measurable, track the average number of patients booked each month in 2024 and compare it to the numbers from relevant months in the same year. This allows you to measure your progress.
- Attainable: Achieving this goal is attainable, if you have the right strategies in place.
- Relevant: The growth and success of your practice at the end of the quarter are relevant indicators of your progress and alignment with your goals.
- Time-bound: Your goal is time-bound because you’re aiming to reach it within the first quarter of 2024.
By making sure your goals meet these SMART criteria, you’ll have a clear roadmap to measure the success of your practice at the end of the fiscal year.
We will work on what goals to set, how to measure if you are on the right path, and what changes you should make moving forward.
Identifying Key Challenges
As Thomas Edison once wisely said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’
It’s a reminder that on your journey to setting and achieving SMART goals, you’re bound to face challenges.
What will truly set you and your practice apart will be your ability to identify these key challenges and address them early.
This is the defining difference between those who merely make plans and those who make real progress.
Recognizing the challenges you may face in transitioning away from PPO plans is crucial. Some common hurdles include patient retention, revenue fluctuations, and marketing.
By acknowledging these challenges, you can proactively address them in your plan.
- Patient Retention:
Patients who are accustomed to using their PPO plans may be resistant to the idea of transitioning away from them. They might worry about increased out-of-pocket costs or have concerns about the continuity of care.
This is often seen in practices that are largely transaction-driven, where patients choose them for being in-network rather than for the comprehensive care they provide.
To overcome this challenge, a strategy that I often recommend to our listeners is to work towards becoming a relationship-driven practice. The first step starts with knowing your patients and communicating effectively.
This could involve clear communication with your patients about the reasons for the transition, emphasizing the quality of care, offering alternative financing options, or even offering them in-house dental membership plans to mitigate their concerns.
- Revenue Fluctuations:
Transitioning away from PPO plans can result in fluctuations in revenue. As you move towards a fee-for-service or a different payment model, you might experience changes in patient volume and cash flow.
Recognizing this potential revenue dip is crucial so that you can plan for it. Consider building up cash reserves, adjusting your budget, or exploring additional revenue streams (through marketing, for example) during the transition period to maintain financial stability.
To successfully transition away from PPO plans, we need to have a strategy in place to replace PPO-driven patients in your practice, which is a fact every practice will experience as they drop PPOs.
One of the most effective ways that has worked for 100s of my coaching clients is by having a successful digital marketing plan in place.
To effectively market your practice to attract new patients and retain existing ones, developing a clear messaging strategy to differentiate your practice in the eyes of potential patients is vital.
This is something we will be discussing in detail during the Masterclass. All you have to do is click on this link and sign up!
Crafting a Comprehensive Strategy
Your 100-day plan should outline a comprehensive strategy that encompasses marketing, pricing, and communication.
To increase fee-for-service patients or work towards becoming less insurance dependent, for example, you might need to reposition your practice from a transaction-driven practice to a relationship-driven practice, adjust your pricing structure, and educate your patients about the benefits of fee-for-service care, and provide alternative financing options to suit your patient’s needs.
Take 3 hours of your time and sit down with me as we work together on your 100 Day Plan for 2024!
Marketing and Branding
When transitioning away from PPO plans, it’s imperative to carefully consider your marketing strategy to both attract new patients and retain existing ones. To begin with, investing in a professional website is paramount.
A well-designed and user-friendly website serves as the digital face of your practice, creating a positive first impression for potential patients. It should not only provide essential information such as services, team credentials, and contact details but also emphasize the benefits of your fee-for-service care model.
Enhancing your online presence extends beyond the website – optimizing your practice’s visibility in search engines and on social media platforms is vital. This means employing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure your practice appears in relevant online searches, and maintaining an active and engaging presence on social media platforms where patients can interact with your practice.
Furthermore, creating informative content that educates patients about the advantages of fee-for-service care is key. Regularly publishing blog posts, articles, or videos that explain the benefits of this model in terms of personalized care, treatment options, and overall patient experience can help build trust and attract individuals seeking higher quality dental services. In doing so, you not only set your practice apart from the competition but also foster loyalty among your existing patient base, demonstrating your commitment to providing them with the best possible care.
Most importantly, having a system where patients can book appointments online reduces the hassle of phone calls and improves the efficiency around the practice.
Setting the right pricing strategy is a crucial aspect of transitioning away from PPO plans and building a successful fee-for-service dental practice. Careful consideration is required to strike a balance between reflecting the value you provide and ensuring competitiveness within your local area. Your pricing should mirror the quality of care, personalized service, and comprehensive treatment options your practice offers.
While it’s essential to be competitive, it’s equally important not to undervalue your services, as this can potentially erode the perception of quality. To incentivize patient loyalty and attract new clients, consider implementing discounts or loyalty programs. Offering discounts for loyal patients can not only keep them engaged but also turn them into advocates for your practice. Similarly, bundled services, such as comprehensive dental check-ups or preventive care packages, can make your practice more attractive, providing a cost-effective approach for patients to access a range of services.
By crafting a well-thought-out pricing strategy that balances value and competitiveness and by including incentives for patient loyalty, you can create a win-win situation for both your practice and your patients, contributing to a successful transition away from PPO plans.
Open and honest communication with your patients is absolutely key when transitioning away from PPO plans. Patients need to be informed about the changes in your practice’s payment model and the reasons behind it. It’s crucial to emphasize that the transition is designed to enhance the quality of care they receive. Transparency in this process builds trust and helps alleviate any concerns or misconceptions. Your staff plays a pivotal role in this communication. They should be well-trained to address patients’ questions and concerns about the transition. They should be equipped to explain the advantages of the new fee-for-service model, such as more personalized treatment options, comprehensive care, and increased flexibility.
Clear and empathetic communication not only helps reassure existing patients but also demonstrates your commitment to their well-being and satisfaction. It can also encourage word-of-mouth referrals as satisfied patients become advocates for your practice. In sum, open and honest communication, supported by a well-trained staff, not only ensures a smoother transition but also strengthens patient-provider relationships and fosters confidence in the quality of care your practice provides.
Monitoring and Adjusting
Your 100-day plan for transitioning away from PPO plans should be viewed as a flexible and adaptable roadmap rather than a set-in-stone blueprint. Monitoring your progress is essential because it allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your strategies and adapt as necessary. Not every aspect of your plan will yield the same results, and the dental landscape is subject to changes and uncertainties. Therefore, being prepared to make adjustments is not only advisable but crucial to your success. If you notice that certain marketing approaches are resonating better with your target audience, it’s wise to reallocate resources towards those strategies. Likewise, if you identify areas where your pricing could be refined to better reflect the value you provide, you should be ready to modify your fee structure. Flexibility enables you to stay agile and responsive to your practice’s evolving needs, patient feedback, and the competitive environment.
Seek Professional Advice
Transitioning away from PPO plans is a complex process that can benefit from expert advice. Consider consulting with marketing experts, or dental consultants to ensure your plan is on the right track. As a dental coach myself with over 43 years of experience in practice management, I can assure you that if you stick to the plan I lay out for you, the success is guaranteed.
Dropping PPO plans as a dentist is a significant step towards achieving your practice’s full potential. A 100-day plan provides structure and a timeline for your goals, making the transition more manageable. Remember, your vision, well-defined goals, and a comprehensive strategy are essential for success. With patience and dedication, you can provide better care, increase profitability, and regain control over your practice in 2024. So, let me start crafting your 100-day plan today, and you can watch your dental practice thrive. Click here to start your journey with me