Young's Dental Practice, Snaith, East Yorkshire

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Kirk and Sheena Young both qualified from Dundee University in 1978 and have always had a keen interest in preventive dentistry, favouring this route over the more surgical aspects of dentistry. Their desire to promote excellent oral care resulted in them establishing Young’s Dental Practice in Snaith, East Yorkshire in 1981.

For the past 30 years, they have striven to develop a successful preventive practice and a significant amount of time and effort has been put into developing a team and practice systems that provides patients with a range of services that are of clear benefit. They have had the freedom to develop this approach by offering patients a payment plan administered by DPAS which has proven effective in providing patients with the treatment and support necessary to control dental disease and maintain excellent oral health.

Problem

Their relationship with DPAS started back in 2006 when, like many, they were disappointed with the new NHS contract, believing that their approach to preventive care was not being taken seriously. At this time they were working with another payment plan provider, but felt that the company didn’t suit their practice’s needs. However, they soon found solace elsewhere. “Andrew Warren, Director of DPAS was very much in tune with our vision of the future. His focus was clearly aimed at high-quality dentistry with an emphasis on prevention and we decided it was time to move to a plan provider that offered us the flexibility to develop a maintenance plan based on tailor-made preventive measures and advice, whilst maintaining our own practice brand.”

Solution

According to Kirk, “The conversion to DPAS was surprisingly straightforward”. The practice saw a staggering 750 patients join the payment plan within only a few months and this level of commitment became a key determining factor for both Kirk and Sheena and the rest of the team, who had the confidence to progress with the development of the practice.

“Our DPAS Practice Consultant helped set achievable goals within a realistic timeframe, while also assisting in the production of practice-branded literature and brochures to inform patients of the impending conversion well in advance.” This left Kirk and Sheena with the time and personnel to continue performing quality dentistry whilst ensuring a stress-free conversion. “Working with a practice-branded payment plan helps maintain our own identity and helps meet the needs of our patients. It makes them feel as though they are a part of the practice rather than a nationally branded scheme!”

Both Kirk and Sheena admit that they mistakenly assumed that patients knew exactly what services the practice could provide, when actually they didn’t. It took the encouragement of the DPAS team to look at the practice’s strengths and advise how these could be enhanced by revaluating their fees and communicating more effectively with their patients. “We realised that patients could be getting more for their money by paying a fixed monthly fee rather than intermittently paying for costly treatment. Now, we understand that as dental professionals it is our duty to explain the opportunities available to them by becoming part of a trusted practice-branded payment plan – more prevention, less treatment, less cost.”

Completely tailored to the individual characteristics of their practice, converting to a DPAS practice-branded payment plan proved an effective way of developing sustainability at Young’s Dental Practice. “Patients now have the ability to budget for routine dental care, whilst we can ensure our appointment books are kept full and patients need less complex treatment.” With one fixed monthly fee, patients at Young’s Dental Practice benefit from a range of guaranteed treatments and a level of dental protection that successfully promotes preventive care, all year round. This is attested to by the fact that the practice has not suffered from any major fall in registrations through the last difficult 18 months.

The success of the DPAS practice-branded payment plan led Kirk and Sheena to introduce a Membership Plan in February 2008, a programme which they felt was suited to their patients needs. This time around, the immediate uptake was not as high as first hoped. Nevertheless, the practice were impressed with the support provided by DPAS in delivering literature and letters to educate their ‘fee per item’ patients on the benefits of being part of a Membership Plan. “Although initial uptake was slow, patients soon realised the benefits of the Membership Plan as access to first-class dentistry, plus insurance and emergency cover was now readily available for as little as £2 per month – excellent value for money.”

Benefits

Today, Young’s Dental Practice boasts an impressive 2267 patients on the Membership Plan. From a patient-focused perspective, Kirk feels that the Payment Plans and Membership Plans work in harmony, enabling him to offer his patients the flexibility to choose a plan according to their individual needs.

Kirk and Sheena firmly believe that their practice-branded Payment Plans and Membership Plans have been fundamental to helping them achieve their ‘2009 Preventive Practice of the Year’ title, an award which is designed to recognise the UK practice with the strongest and best established preventive ethos. “Implementing a DPAS practice-branded payment plan was the best option for making preventive treatments more affordable for our patients, without compromising the ethos and quality of dentistry we provide.”

As a team, Young’s Dental Practice has implemented a ‘plan for prevention’ which successfully communicates the oral health message to their patients and in their words “We would definitely recommend a DPAS practice-branded plan to other discerning practices.”

To find out more about the Young’s Dental Practice transfer and how DPAS can make your existing payment plan administration work more efficiently, please contact us.

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