After using another’s solution for two years, Dr. Julovich with Trinity Dental was disappointed with the customer service he was receiving and the lack of ROI. When he contacted Plan Forward about making the switch, he was pleasantly surprised by the completely different experience and the time and attention that was dedicated to his practice. Dr. Julovich is now able to offer an option to his patients that not only is valuable for them, but positively impacts his business.
PF: Tell me a little about yourself and your practice.
Dr. J: My practice philosophy is giving my patients quality time and quality work. We are not a high volume practice, so we take the time with all our patients and give them a exceptional experience. I am working with two great hygienists and myself in the office. We do it all from scheduling to filing insurance claims. I answer the phone personally at my practice!
PF: Wow, that’s pretty unusual but it seems to be working for you guys! Did you always know you wanted to be a dentist?
Dr J: No it was a recommendation from a cousin and I just went with it! I thought I was the first dentist in the family but several years ago my father found an old tool that was my great-grandfather’s. I am a first generation American, my family was originally from Yugoslavia. No doubt this tool was used to pull goat teeth as well as human teeth, so I like to say I am the first licensed dentist in my family!
PF: That’s amazing and a very important distinction! I love that you have that tool framed in your office. So, what made you start looking into membership plans?
Dr. J: I started noticing that my clientele was having a hard time finding dental insurance. They were having a hard time finding dental insurance in the private market that was affordable. So, a membership plan really gave me an opportunity to provide an option and keep them as a patient. It was also perfect for those who were changing insurance providers or weren’t insured at all.
PF: And so tell me a little bit about your experience with your first membership plan.
Dr. J: I hadn’t yet heard about Plan Forward when I started researching dental membership plans. After two years with one of their top competitors, I was done with the runaround. I was tired of asking questions about the fee structures and how they determined how to price my plan. I didn’t want to find myself losing money, but I wanted to be able to offer a discount and a competitive option. It was obvious that the ROI just was not there. They were really pushing the restorative treatments as the money maker of the plan, but my patients didn’t need a lot of restorative treatment. We had taken care of them so well over the years that most were in maintenance mode. I learned about Plan Forward through the Indiana Dental Association and spoke with the PF team.
From the first meeting it was a completely different experience. They showed me exactly how the cost of the plan was figured. They even came to my practice (we happen to be neighbors!) to get a sense of who we were and who my patients were. I felt very comfortable and understood all the numbers, it was very apparent they knew exactly what they were talking about. The transition to Plan Forward was pretty smooth and I’ve been very happy ever since.
PF: We love hearing that!! You were our first transition office and you were great at being so open with us about what you needed. I think many people will be able to relate to your practice and why you implemented a membership in the first place. In fact let’s talk more about that, you said you wanted to offer your retiring patients an option to stay with the practice. Tell me what’s it’s like when you talk with a patient about your plan, do you feel you have to convince them or is it an easy sell?
Dr. J: I feel bad about pushing a product or something to a patient just to push it. We are a practice that really listens to their needs and my hygienists do a great job at this. We let the conversation organically come around to financial options and insurance. When it does, we then talk about the plan. Some prefer to pay cash and that’s ok! We just want to present all the options to help the patient as much as possible. It’s a better experience all the way around for them.
We aren’t using this as a tool to gain more patients, although I know we could. I get a lot of referral patients from neighborhood Facebook groups, the Nextdoor app and our Google reviews. We don’t do marketing per se, although we do have a page on our website dedicated to the membership plan, we really just allow word of mouth to grow the practice and plan. It’s a good, solid plan. It really grows itself!