Dr. Kaitlin Haag has been practicing dentistry for over 10 years in her solo practice located in rural McCook, Nebraska. Growing up she knew she wanted to help people and spent a lot of time in her mother’s office, shared by a general dentist. Her mother was out of town when Kaitlin took a grounder to the face during a softball game and broke several teeth. The dentist was kind, gentle and reassuring. That’s when Dr. Haag began turning her attention to dentistry. After doing some research and job shadowing, she knew that this was how she would help people.
Plan Launch Date: March 2021
Current Members: 462
Annual Recurring Revenue: $288,167
Dr. Haag’s goal was to help as many people as possible with their oral care. Originally she needed an alternative for patients who were retiring and therefore losing benefits. She knew that a membership plan was their best option and would have the added bonus of committing them to her practice. At first Dr. Haag’s team tried managing the plan themselves but it was obvious that that would be too difficult and time consuming. They needed a software platform to help manage it.
“The first company that we tried was ok until you got to so many members and then it was no longer user friendly. We tried another platform and it was so bad we canceled in the first week,” said Dr. Haag. “The third company was similar to the first, good at the beginning but quickly became cumbersome. Things would fall through the cracks easily, it was hard to keep track of member details, it just wasn’t streamlined at all.”
Fourth Time’s A Charm?
When asked what it was like to think about switching companies for the forth time, Dr. Haag chuckled and said, “yeah my team was super excited.” But at this point she was some what of an expert when it came to knowing what to look for and knowing what to stay away from! This time would be different.
“What I liked about Plan Forward was that it seemed really well planned out. There was also a lot more guidance when setting up different plans for different patients. A lot more thought went into my practice and my patients and what would be valuable for them and profitable for me. When we worked with other companies and would ask for suggestions or say ‘what about this’ it was always just ‘yeah sure, whatever you want. It’s your plan.’ But the reality was that when we sat down with Plan Forward and evaluated the plan we had in place, we were barely breaking even. Sometimes we were losing money. Plan Forward helped us fix all of that.”
Now Dr. Haag is operating with a plan that helps her patients and her practice reach their goals.
Originally, the plan was put in place to help her retiring patients. But Dr. Haag has been able to help more than just one patient group. She says that the membership plan is not a solution to an income problem but an insurance problem.
“We have a lot of farmers in the area that have private insurance and usually it’s a minimum of a year waiting period on any major work. And there’s a pretty low maximum and sometimes they don’t really cover anything. So, when you start comparing our plan to that, it’s pretty obvious which is better,” explains Dr. Haag. “We also have several patients who are on state insurance. But unfortunately, there are not providers in the area. The state insurance is very hard to work with and has a very low reimbursement rates. So, we’ve had a few families that have dropped their traditional insurance for the membership plan because otherwise they are driving at least two hours for care.”
Having the membership plan has helped Dr. Haag reach her life-long goal of helping people. “That’s why I got into dentistry. I never want money to be a barrier for me to help people. I want to get them in the chair and deliver the care and need they deserve. We have gotten quite a few new patients that have heard about the plan and come to the practice because of it.”
The highly sought after prize for any plan is the ah-ha moment when a patient becomes a member. Dr. Haag said this was a pretty simple achievement for them! “My hygienists have always talked to their patients and asked what was new in their lives. Trust me, if someone is retiring they want to tell everyone! Some patients just simply ask what we think their best options are. We are confident that our plan is the best option for them.”
“We take the flyer that Plan Forward has provided for us plus a sheet that has the out of pocket breakdown on it. When you add the amount for one cleaning plus x-rays, you’re already saving money when you compare them! Not to mention that the membership plan also covers the second cleaning six months later. PLUS the additional discount if you need restorative work done. The side benefit is that people are actually coming back for their preventative cleaning appointment in six months. They are opting into their health and committing to the practice.”
There’s a shift happening in the dental industry.
And Dr. Haag agrees. People are prioritizing their health more than ever before and many know that it begins with their oral care. One patient told Dr. Haag he was dropping his traditional insurance for her membership plan because it was more affordable and he’d much rather give the money straight to her anyway. And while Dr. Haag’s office certainly gets new patients by word of mouth, they’re happy to help the process along with marketing.
“I love the social media graphics that Plan Forward provides for me. I was always asking the other companies for graphics and tools to grow or advertise the plan and they would never do anything.” The Plan Forward starter kit with brochures and flyers was very helpful as well. And once a month, new social media graphics and best practice suggestions provide on-going support.
“I don’t think we’ve had anyone sign up using the enrollment link yet. Most people around here want to come in and speak to someone face to face about this. The link is nice to have though because it lays out very clearly what all is included. It gives them a place to start their research.” Not only does Dr. Haag like the long term support, she likes how easy the entire Plan Forward platform is to use.
“I really like that it bills just once a month. It’s very clear on the dashboard what cards have failed and who’s up for renewal. It’s very user friendly and easy to sign people up and that was something that was really difficult with the last platform we tried. It seemed like it was a 20 minute process to sign one patient up for the membership, we don’t have time for that!”
After attempting it on their own and three different solutions, Dr. Haag’s team has been through a lot but they just keep on smiling.
“It’s been really cool to see two of my front desk team members really take this on and run with it. First April took ownership of the process to really get it moving and overcome all the bad solutions before Plan Forward. Then Ashley got a great handle on the verbiage and what to say to the patients, it’s been really awesome to not only see them take it on but be so successful with it.”
Although Dr. Haag’s journey is unique, her experience with Plan Forward is not. Dr. Haag is just one of the many dentists who has found success with a membership plan powered by Plan Forward. Are you next?