Why Corporate Initiatives will Fail, Including Your Dental Membership Plan—and What You Can Do
We have all been involved in new corporate initiatives that do not meet expectations. Many of these new initiatives are a hit out of the box, others have mixed results at best, and some outright are complete busts. According to an article published in Forbes, research by McKinsey and Company shows 70 percent of transformational initiatives fail.
Why 70 percent of corporate initiatives fail.
Most corporate initiatives begin for all the right reasons. For dental practice groups, those reasons may include enhancing patient care, ramping up brand awareness, improving profitability, or driving case acceptance. Leadership teams often see the bigger picture and attempt to execute on a strategic plan. The challenge is that the leaders who come up with these initiatives are not typically performing the day-to-day work to execute and make the vision a reality.
One key reason for failure is the lack of buy-in from those people responsible for the day-to-day execution. We have all been there before. Someone has an idea or dreams of a scenario that looks great in PowerPoint, in the corporate headquarters or at the boardroom table. For group dentistry, this idea then turns into an operating initiative that needs to be rolled out across regions and then to specific locations.
Once the initiative is out of corporate planning and into the practice, it now becomes one of hundreds of daily operational tasks needed to be done by the onsite team. The front desk, office support, hygiene and dentist now look at this initiative from their perspective and ask, “So what? Who cares? What’s in this for us?”
If a new initiative does not come with input and consideration of each office dynamic—and if it was not derived from bottom-up collaboration—it most likely will struggle to succeed or be dead on arrival.
How to make sure your dental membership plan doesn’t fail.
Forward-thinking leaders in group dentistry are increasingly implementing membership plans to reclaim control of the dental marketplace from insurance companies. It is wide known across our industry that dental membership plans are terrific programs for liberating dental care and providing patients with simpler access to the oral care they want and need. Membership plans also add tremendous value to group practices by increasing case acceptance and operating margins by cutting out third-party interference.
One-size-fits-all dental membership plans may not work.
One of the biggest challenges in launching a successful membership plan across a dental practice group is that too many of the plans are one-size-fits-all and are developed and administered as corporate initiatives. Many of the older DSO platforms are designed like a discount plan in which all locations across a region or state will have the same exact program that may not make sense for each specific practice and the patients that they service.
For example, most practitioners know their local patient demographics—which patients can afford to pay for dental care and which procedures they typically are likely to be interested in accepting. A patient in an affluent suburb and a patient in a rural area will have very different economic dynamics when it comes to getting dental care.
Membership plans must be localized to meet patient and practice needs.
Getting buy-in for a dental membership plan initiative across multiple practices will require providing the flexibility to allow a membership plan to be localized. “Practice localization” means getting input from the team at a practice regarding what plan would ultimately be best for patients and the practice alike.
Stakeholders at the practice should have input in deciding which procedures they want to include as part of the preventative care plan, how to price the plan, monthly and yearly payment options, discounts for additional restorative procedures, and specialists if needed. Having a platform to offer these choices to the practice is key to gaining buy-in and creating a successful initiative across the practices.
Practices proven to be the most successful in growing dental membership plans have built the plans from the ground up. They have talked to each office team and dentist to understand practice-specific membership plan requirements.
Plan technology should offer simplicity, flexibility and transparency.
Dental membership programs should not be overly complex, take weeks to deliver, nor costly to support. They should be easy to implement and use at the practice, the region and at corporate.
Group practice corporate teams will be most successful when using a technology platform that allows them to provide maximum flexibility to the office team while maintaining full visibility of plan performance by practice, region, and overall. A sophisticated platform can give the team flexibility to monitor the daily progress of each practice. Teams should also be able to easily and quickly make changes and revisions to maximize the potential of enabling uninsured patients to access the care they need and the practice the production required.
There are many choices to offering a membership plan to uninsured patients. As we all know, technology is only good if there is a measurable positive return on the investment in time and money. It is imperative that you combine practice-based initiatives with intuitive technology to ensure your group’s dental membership plan is part of the 30 percent of initiatives that succeed.