Plan Forward’s dental membership solution increases cash flow into practices by combining their easy-to-use software with a guided approach and proven results.
Indianapolis, IN — Discount plans are common in dental offices, and they are a great way to provide affordable dental care to patients. More than a decade ago, Dr. Jason Flannagan saw an optometrist giving free eye exams with a membership plan and knew that primary care doctors were providing similar benefits. This gave him the idea of creating a membership plan for his dental practice. When Dr. Flannagan and then, financial coordinator Megan Lohman, began offering a membership option to the patients in his Westfield practice in 2013, enrollment soared quickly. The plan proved to be a great benefit to their patients. The monthly recurring revenue was also growing and demonstrating the benefits of this type of business model. They wanted to keep building. However, with popularity came the difficulties of managing details and participation.
“You can imagine how difficult it can be to run hundreds of different credit cards. This can be a long and tedious process, in addition to the risk factor,” Dr. Flannagan said. “I couldn’t find a software that would automate the credit card processing and also let us know if the cards were expiring.”
Up until this point, Indiana had not passed legislation regarding doctors providing care under these membership agreements. This was a big grey area for providers. Fortunately, discount plans became approved by the Indiana state legislature in 2016. That decision allowed patients and healthcare providers to agree on a set fee in exchange for preventive care. Dr. Flannagan and Lohman took advantage of the legislative green light and put their idea into motion.
By the fall of 2017 the plan was so successful that they were having a hard time manually managing it.
Lohman began to research the existing products on the market to find a solution to managing their membership plan. After doing the research and over many conversations, they both agreed the products on the market were missing the mark. They saw an opportunity. They knew they could create a solution that would be more affordable than anything else out there and add real value to a practice.
Together Lohman and Dr. Flannagan navigated the pitfalls and possibilities of creating the technology necessary to make Plan Forward a success. “At the time, software development and payment processing were two industries with which we were not familiar,” said Lohman. Hiring software developers to write the code and maintain the system was therefore not only a necessity but also a challenge. “Working with all these types of different people who think differently has been so interesting and rewarding,” she said. “Turning an idea into a product and making sure we were building in features that would add value to the practice was the biggest challenge.”
As with any new product or service, Lohman and Dr. Flannagan also knew that creating awareness of their new product could be difficult. “We had never gone to market with a digital product nor had any experience branding a new digital company,” explained Lohman. To begin, the two secured the assistance of six dental offices to test and critique the system. Lohman relied on her diverse professional background to bring this technology to life.
Plan Forward launched in November 2018. The result is a guided approach to implementing dental membership plans, delivering a product that is manageable for the team, valuable for the patient, and profitable for the practice. The Plan Forward software platform offers a seamless membership plan integration into a practice. It automates the entire process, from enrollment and billing to notifications and member communication.
Since the company’s launch, Plan Forward has partnered with dentists in over 25 states. They’ve helped thousands of patients receive quality preventative care at transparent and predictable prices.
Plan Forward is a dental membership solution that partners with practices to create, implement, grow, and maintain membership plans. Taking our real-world expertise and crafting it into a turnkey solution that combines a powerful yet easy to understand platform, Plan Forward offers a guided approach with proven results that will positively impact your business. We know that together, we can shape the future of dentistry and improve patient satisfaction at every clinic across America. Visit planforward.io for more information and Let’s Plan Forward.