L & H Dental Care, Hamilton

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When Thomas J. Barnard first founded the practice in Hamilton, Lanarkshire in 1930, there was no way of knowing that 80 years later it would be one of the most progressive, successful and respected in Scotland. This progress must be attributed in no small part to the vision and hard work of the now retired partnership of Tom Barnard Jr, Rab Lambert and Dr Iain Hunter.

Following a fire in 1996, the practice was fully refurbished and the current team started to take shape when Conor O’Malley and Phil Redfearn arrived. Paul Cooney joined the team soon afterwards and in 2003 L & H Dental Care was born with Conor, Phil and Paul all becoming partners.

Since then there have been a number of additions to the L & H family, but very few leavers, which can be accredited to their mantra that ‘A happy team makes for a happy practice and ultimately happy patients'.

Problem

  • Concerned the costs of administering the plan were too high
  • With a nationally branded plan the practice felt they were losing control of their brand

The practice had been guided through their conversion in the late 1980s and very quickly became the biggest Denplan practice in Scotland.

However “The patients thought they were Denplan patients rather than patients of the practice and at that time the practice team felt there was a big brother mentality.”

The practice was also refurbished to a very high standard and wanted to assert their own brand rather than that of a plan provider.

Solution

  • Converting plan administration services to DPAS
  • Getting team on board
  • Offering ‘good quality care’ with a motivated and loyal team

“The team had known Andrew Warren personally for a number of years and knew the benefits of having DPAS administer our dental plans. The substantial cost savings were just a small part of the decision to convert. More important was the fact the practice was changing and asserting it’s own identity. We felt that a practice branded plan would much better suit our needs and the needs of our patients. I recall the concern over Denplan’s perceived ‘Big Brother’ mentality at that time, and then as now we concluded that DPAS offered all of the good things without the interference”, adds Conor.

“The conversion was an incredibly smooth process. It happened very slickly in the background and most importantly there were no mistakes. This is hugely important to the patients. Our loyalty to them is rewarded with a strong patient loyalty in return. Our practice branded dental plans help with this relationship.”

As a team L & H Dental Care strive to offer ‘good quality care’ and the best way to do this is having a highly motivated and loyal team. Lots of time is invested into training, a fact which has ensured a very strong and high staff retention. Recently the team were taken to Paris as a thank you for their dedication, commitment and quality of patient care. Every dentist in the practice has carried out a postgraduate qualification and it’s clear that the ‘cutting edge’ reputation the practice has earned is certainly well deserved.

Benefits

  • Web portal
  • Budgeting
  • Supplementary insurance

“Half of the work we carry out is for dental plan patients which makes the plans account for 50% of the revenue in the practice. It offers us a huge flexibility and gives us the luxury of being able to take holidays knowing that the commercial side of the practice will keep ticking along nicely” Conor said. “We also are able to budget and sleep safely in the knowledge that we have a healthy cash flow thanks to the monthly Direct Debits.”

This affords the team the opportunity to take a Wednesday morning every month to plan and prepare and focus on the business side of the practice.

Patients also like this as it gives them the chance to budget for their dental care, which is even more relevant in the current economic climate. And the advantage of the supplementary insurance also means that should an accident or emergency happen, then patients know they are covered. Conor added “Patients really like the helpline and we have always found the claims handling by DPAS really effective.”

Conor also finds the new web portal “Brilliant. We try to get all the nurses to use the web portal as it really is a wonderful service. I’d go so far as to say it’s the best of the new services DPAS has launched in the time they have administered our plans.”

To find out more about the L & H Dental Care transfer and how DPAS can make your existing payment plan administration work more efficiently, please contact us.

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