In our last post, we looked at the incredible benefits that come from wellness plan programs, including revenue and profitability increases, improved compliance and greater team satisfaction. So, given that research and reality consistently show that wellness programs, such as preventive care plans are a smart investment, what are the steps for implementing a successful program in your practice? To start, you need a best practices roadmap that focuses on people, process and technology.
Ideally, the practice should create a project leadership team that includes at least one person from every department in the practice. These individuals are the practice’s role models and cheerleaders for the initiative, as well as training facilitators for their co-workers. Project leaders need to be able to speak to the “WHY” of wellness plans, which means they need to know every detail of the plans the practice is offering. They also are responsible for training their peers on the protocols for recommending plans, the roles and responsibilities for their position in the practice and the practice’s expectations for success.
To plan and implement a well-run wellness program, every organization is going to have to take the time to examine their preventive care protocols and come to an agreement, if there is more than one doctor, as to what exactly those standards are by species and age. Keep in mind, this isn’t necessarily the same as what is currently being provided; plans should be based on what the practice considers the ultimate standard of care. In other words, what preventive care services you want every pet owner to provide for their pet – that is what wellness plans are all about. And if these standards aren’t in currently in writing, this is the PERFECT opportunity to do so! Once these standards are agreed upon, the other key processes to consider include:
- Plan Design, Pricing and Optional Services
- Branding and Marketing
- Practice Flow and Education
- Goals and Measurement
- Renewal Strategy (starts 9 months after program launch)
The most important thing is to select a technology company that isn’t just processing monthly payments, but is truly a partner that can guide you and help you at every step. Pick a partner that can take you from plan design templates to payment and billing management, missed payment management, reporting, doctor production, auto-renewals, GAAP compliance (if needed) and much, much more.
In our next update will further dispel any lingering misconceptions that might be held by you, or other members of the practice, regarding wellness plans, and from there we will then look more closely at the processes mentioned above.