Dr. Steven Shaw is doing something that a lot ODs are thinking about but not sure how to successfully pull off. Drop insurance plans!
In episode 16 of “Can I Ask You One Question?”, I ask Dr. Shaw about his strategies for not only dropping 3rd party plans, but doing it successfully.
Below are the key points from the interview. Scroll down to see the entire interview.
1. Assess the current situation
Dropping insurance plans might not be a great strategy for a practice with a lot of holes in the schedule, where you want to keep the chair full. Or at least not yet.
In Dr. Shaw’s practice, they were booked out a few weeks and getting busier.
“For us, it seemed like a good time to do it, so we did it.”
2. Start with the least profitable plans
They worked with Anagram to review out-of-network benefits and started running the numbers.
They assessed how much more patients were going to pay if they stayed with them versus leave and use an in-network provider.
They discovered an interesting trend…
The patients that were willing to purchase more higher end products, that were spending more money, it’s as if the vision plan become more of a discount plan.
“We had patients that would actually save money by going with us out of network, which blew my mind!”
It typically will be more expensive out-of-network for the “I just want what’s covered” patients, and you will lose some of those patients.
3. Make sure your staff knows why you’re doing it
They have 30 staff, and he would sit down with each employee individually to discuss and ask questions the patient might ask.
“We wanted everyone prepared with how to handle questions from patients.”
When they learned their termination date from the plan, letters were sent to patients to notify them, along with WHY they were doing it and WHY it would be beneficial to stay with the practice.
Within a few days the calls started coming in, but…
80 – 90% of their patients are sticking with them!
“We’re making more money, we’re not tied up by the formularies, a quicker turnaround time, we’re able to use our in-house lab, and it’s really been a very positive experience for us.”
Watch the interview below:
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