Sign Up for Important Updates
Receive occasional emails from Watson Brown about featured practices for sale, upcoming events, and tips and resources for buying or selling dental practices.
In most states, when you sell a dental practice, you are required to notify your patients of the sale and to introduce the new owner who will retain custody of the dental records. Texas doctors should be familiar with TSBDE Rule 108.5 as well as other State rules and regulations to ensure they are following the current laws related to patient abandonment.
Your departure announcement is typically the first marketing piece for the new owner of the practice. For the buyer, it is the first opportunity to make a positive first impression on the existing patient base and reduce or eliminate any patient attrition. The theme of the letter should be a sincere thank you from the seller for all the years of loyalty, the seller’s approval of his or her successor, a short professional and personal biography of the new dentist, and a request for the patient to extend the same loyalty to the new dentist as they extended to them.
A dental transition letter is a key instrument in encouraging patients to remain in the practice. Creating a well-written and thoughtful letter to your patients should not only explain why you’re leaving and who the new doctor will be, but it should also make your patients feel comfortable that their dental health will be in good hands.
Sending out a written correspondence ensures that everyone knows the relevant details, including when the transition will take place, the name of the new doctor, what changes they can expect, and other important details.
Typically, most dentists choose a letter format to notify their patients, however, an email or postcard may be acceptable. The letter is typically sent on the seller’s letterhead.
The letter should be written with the patient in mind — not the seller. In addition, resist the urge to focus on your departure. While it is necessary to state your departure, your patients are mainly interested in the new doctor and why they should place their trust in him or her. Use a positive and enthusiastic tone as you welcome the new doctor.
As a general rule, you should mail the transition letter on or after the closing date of the sale. This is to ensure there are no last minute delays or issues that could derail the sale.
If a dental transition is in your future, it is important to effectively control what is communicated to your patients. The patient letter accomplishes both the seller’s duty to notify patients of their departure and introduce the buyer to the community. Focus your patient letter on the patient and the new owner – not you. A well-crafted letter, sent at the right time, will ensure an easier and more successful transition for everyone involved.