As a dental professional, you’re probably used to patients financing many of their procedures. But you may not realize how many options you have when it comes to offering financing at your point-of-sale, and how your financing provider of choice may be costing you more than you realize.
How aware are you of how your dental practice’s financing solutions are affecting your business and your patients? Your production numbers and bottom line could reflect how solution-oriented you are in this area.
Many of your patients schedule, receive treatment, and pay without knowing all of their payment options. They make assumptions about their insurance benefits, and are sometimes left with hefty out-of-pocket costs they didn’t know or understand.
That means that next time you diagnose a treatment plan, you could get an “I’ll-think-about-it.” Or worse, a “not-now-I-can’t-afford-it.” Either way, your patient leaves your office without treatment that could improve or save their oral health.
That’s why it’s essential to provide dental financing options for your patients. More solutions means less barriers to treatment, which equals healthier patients and increased production for you. A payment plan helps eliminate “sticker shock” and makes patients more willing to consider higher-end treatments.
1. Research your options
Analyze financing providers based on what the benefits will be to you as well as your patients. For patients, look at them individually based on interest rate, ease-of-use, and approval rates. The faster the process is and the more patients get approved, the higher overall satisfaction will be.
For your practice, look at things like how quickly they fund, minimum and maximum loan amounts, and payout percentages. These are all factors that will have a high impact on your practice’s profitability.
2. Determine what your patients want
Listen to your front desk team. What are they hearing from your patients about fees for treatment, payment options, financing solutions, or insurance benefits? Why are patents accepting or not accepting treatment plans? And what percentage of your patients say, “No,” based on perceived affordability?
When it comes to financing, many borrowers are attracted to promotional low-interest options. Most providers offer these, but some companies charge extra for them, while others (like LendingUSA) offer them free of charge.
Online reviews can be good indicator of whether a service is right for your practice. Check popular review sites like Google, Birdeye, or the Better Business Bureau website, and see what practices and patients are saying.
3. Reach out and learn more
Most patient financing companies will be happy to take you through a demo or quick presentation of their services. It can give you the best idea of how their financing solution works and whether it’s the best fit for your practice.
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