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Using your PMS to manage health care plans

By MWI Animal Health

Managing your health care plans in practice can be challenging, but getting the initial setup correct can save immeasurable time in the future.

Customer relationship. Discussion front desk black and white

We find that health care plans are a great customer loyalty driver, bonding clients to your practice and ensuring your patients are receiving the recommended preventive health care throughout the year.

Health care plans are a great way for practices to guarantee some of their income, with increased footfall into the practice further boosting revenue. A few key features within your Practice Management System (PMS) can help you manage your health care plans.

Create bespoke plans

Within your PMS you should be able to create bespoke health care plans. These can be configured so practices can specify the number of units and the exact product to be dispensed in line with their plans over a given period. For example, you can configure a plan to only allow three units of a specific flea treatment and one unit of worming treatment to be dispensed per quarter.

This saves a huge amount of admin time; staff members do not have to manually review clinical records to see when the patient joined a plan, and count how many units of flea and worming treatment have been taken within that period. Creating bespoke plans also prevents practice staff dispensing incorrect product brands.

Renewing the plan

Your PMS will be able to provide you with renewals information, allowing the practice to view the patients due to renew their annual health care plan within a given time frame. Practices can proactively forward plan their admin, ensuring patients remain on their age and weight-appropriate plan.

You should also be able to view the plan benefits remaining for each patient within their record.  This speeds up answering many typical client queries such as: “Is Fluffy entitled to any more nail clips this year?”

Review plans

It is recommended plans are reviewed yearly to ensure practices maintain their mark-up, also ensuring plan contents continue to offer an attractive package to the client.


From your PMS, you should be able to generate a health care plan statement of account that demonstrates to the customer the comparison between how much they have paid, and the costs of the products and services they have actually received as part of the plan. This is a great way to demonstrate the value of your plan.

Integrated automated payment processing 

Managing your health care plans can be made even easier by integrating the PMS with a direct debit (DD) collection provider. This reduces  time spent on health care plan admin tasks, enhancing the customer experience by enabling the practice to process DD sign-ups there and then online, also greatly reducing paperwork.

Rather than importing a DD spreadsheet into your PMS each month, DD integrations automate this process, populating client records with the relevant information.

Compliance reminders

Practice feedback suggests that clients value proactive communication about their pet’s health care plan. Without this in place, practices often find clients cancel their DD after the first couple of months.

By setting up compliance reminders within the PMS, clients are reminded to collect their flea and worming treatments included in the plan, preventing client frustration and plan cancellations, while maintaining momentum for the plan.

Marketing your plans

Use your PMS to do the marketing for you. Create targeted campaigns using the functionality within your PMS. You can create automated mass marketing emails and SMS’ to inform your clients about your health care plan offering.

Top tips

We have some top tips for you to think about when implementing your practice’s health care plans:

  • Allocate a health care plan champion in your practice who knows your plans inside and out, providing training and acting as a go-to person for the rest of the team.
  • Ensure the whole practice team thoroughly understands your health care plans and encourage them to actively discuss them during consultations.
  • As a fun way to encourage interest across the practice, run a monthly prize draw for the staff member who has completed the most health care plan sign-ups. You  can track the users and number of sign-ups made via your PMS.

Want to learn how our technology can help your practice? Request a Merlin demo below.