As a dentist, you’re no doubt constantly searching for ways to improve the quality of care you provide to patients… and improve the quality of your practice in the process. One thing you may have overlooked that can help both you and your patients is dental patient financing. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to walk you through all of the financing benefits and options.
What is Patient Financing?
Dental patient financing refers to financial options and arrangements available to patients to help them manage the cost of dental treatments and procedures. It allows patients to pay for their dental care over time, rather than paying the full amount upfront. Financing for dental patients can include various payment plans, credit options, or loans specifically designed for dental expenses. These financing options aim to make dental care more accessible and affordable for patients, ensuring they can receive the necessary treatments without facing financial burdens.
The Benefits of Dental Financing
From a patient perspective, dental patient finance options often come with flexible payment plans that can be tailored to fit the individual’s budget. This means patients can choose a repayment schedule that works best for them, whether it’s monthly, quarterly, or another arrangement. By providing this flexibility, dental financing ensures that patients can receive the necessary dental care without compromising their financial stability.
Additionally, dental treatment financing may offer low or even zero-interest rates for a certain period, making it more cost-effective for patients. This can significantly reduce the overall expense of the treatment, especially for more extensive procedures that may require multiple visits or specialized care.
But, providing dental financing options for patients also has several benefits for dental practices, making it worth considering if it’s not something you already offer.
Attract New Patients
By offering patient financing solutions, you can attract new patients who are actively seeking affordable payment options. This can be particularly appealing to individuals without dental insurance or those with limited financial resources.
Dental financing options are designed to be accessible to a wide range of individuals, including those with less-than-perfect credit scores. This inclusivity allows patients who may not qualify for traditional loans or credit cards to still access the necessary dental treatments they need.
Increase Patient Satisfaction
The availability of dental financing contributes to a positive patient experience by reducing financial stress and making dental care more accessible. Patients appreciate the convenience and flexibility of payment plans tailored to their budgetary needs.
Retaining Existing Patients
Dental financing can also help retain existing patients who may be considering switching to another dental practice that offers more flexible payment options. By providing convenient financing solutions, you can enhance patient loyalty and satisfaction.
Increase Treatment Acceptance
Offering dental financing options to patients can significantly increase treatment acceptance rates. Patients who may have otherwise delayed or avoided necessary dental procedures due to financial constraints are more likely to proceed with treatment when they have access to flexible payment plans.
Increased Treatment Plan Compliance
Patients who have access to dental financing are more likely to follow through with comprehensive treatment plans. They can comfortably manage the cost of multiple procedures over time, leading to better oral health outcomes.
Improve Cash Flow
Dental financing allows your practice to receive payment for services rendered upfront, even if patients choose to pay in installments over time. This helps improve cash flow and reduces the risk of delayed or missed payments.
Offering dental financing can set you apart from competitors who may not provide similar payment options. It demonstrates a commitment to patient care and financial accessibility, giving your practice a competitive edge in the market.
Stronger Referral Network
Satisfied patients who have benefited from dental financing are more likely to refer friends, family, and colleagues to your dental practice. This can help expand your patient base and generate new business opportunities.
Professional Growth and Expansion
The availability of dental financing can support you in expanding your range of services and investing in advanced technologies or equipment. It opens up opportunities for professional growth and enables you to offer a wider range of treatments to your patients.
Types of Dental Financing Options for Patients
There are three primary types of dental financing that you can connect your patients with that will benefit both you and them. Third-party dental financing and healthcare credit cards are arrangements made directly between the patient and a third party company (although it may benefit you to facilitate that connection), while in-house dental financing is something that you would manage yourself.
Third-Party Dental Financing
Loan-Based Dental Lending
There are a number of third-party companies that offer financing options for dental patients with various features and benefits.
LendingClub is an online lending platform that offers personal loans for various purposes, including dental procedures. They provide fixed-rate loans with flexible repayment terms, allowing patients to finance their dental treatments.
Springstone Patient Financing
Springstone Patient Financing provides financing options for dental and medical treatments. They offer various payment plans, including low or no-interest options, to help patients manage their dental expenses.
Proceed Finance is a dental-specific financing company that offers loans for dental treatments. They provide fixed-rate loans with transparent terms and no prepayment penalties, making it easier for patients to budget their dental expenses.
Sunbit is a popular dental financing provider that offers flexible payment options for dental treatments. They provide instant approvals and personalized payment plans tailored to the patient’s budget. Sunbit aims to make dental care more accessible by offering low monthly payments and no hidden fees.
Healthcare Credit Cards
Credit cards can be a convenient alternative to loan-based financing. Here are some of the most widely known providers.
CareCredit is a widely recognized healthcare credit card that is commonly used for dental expenses. It offers flexible payment plans with low or no-interest options, making it convenient for patients to manage their dental care costs. CareCredit is accepted at a wide network of dental providers and can be used for a variety of dental treatments.
Citi Health Card
The Citi Health Card is a credit card specifically designed for healthcare expenses, including dental care. It offers promotional financing options, allowing patients to pay for their dental treatments over time with low or no-interest rates. The Citi Health Card is accepted at participating dental offices and provides a convenient way to finance dental care.
Wells Fargo Health Advantage
Wells Fargo Health Advantage is a credit card program that focuses on healthcare expenses, including dental care. It offers special financing options with competitive interest rates and flexible payment plans. The Wells Fargo Health Advantage card can be used at participating dental providers and helps patients manage their dental expenses.
Alphaeon Credit is a credit card designed for various healthcare services, including dental care. It offers flexible payment plans and promotional financing options for qualified applicants. Alphaeon Credit can be used at participating dental offices and provides a convenient way to finance dental treatments.
In-House Dental Financing
You may also consider offering your own in-house financing for patients for several reasons.
First, offering in-house financing allows your practice to have more control over the payment process. You can set your own terms and conditions, such as interest rates and repayment plans, based on your understanding of your patients’ needs and financial capabilities. This flexibility can help create a more personalized and accommodating experience for patients, fostering trust and loyalty.
Second, in-house financing can streamline administrative processes for your dental office. Instead of relying on third-party financing providers, you can handle the financing internally, reducing paperwork and potential delays. This can lead to improved efficiency and a smoother patient experience.
Additionally, offering in-house financing can have financial benefits for your practice. You can earn interest on the financing you provide, potentially increasing revenue. It also allows you to maintain a direct relationship with patients, which can lead to additional treatment opportunities and referrals.
However, proper financial planning and risk assessment are crucial to ensure the sustainability and success of an in-house financing program. It is important to carefully consider the risks and challenges associated with in-house financing.
Financial risk: For a dentist, in-house financing means taking on the financial risk of patient non-payment or default. You need to carefully assess the creditworthiness of patients and establish clear policies for handling delinquent accounts.
Administrative burden: Managing in-house financing requires additional administrative work, including processing payments, tracking balances, and managing collections. This can add complexity to your practice’s operations and may require dedicated staff or resources.
Opportunity cost: Offering in-house financing means tying up practice resources in managing payment plans. This can divert attention and resources away from other aspects of your practice, such as marketing or patient care.
Compliance and regulations: Dental practices offering in-house financing must ensure compliance with relevant financial regulations and consumer protection laws. This may involve additional paperwork, disclosures, or licensing requirements.
Again, it’s important for you to carefully evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks of offering in-house financing. Consider factors such as the practice’s financial stability, patient demographics, and the resources available to manage the program effectively. Consulting with financial professionals or industry experts can provide further guidance in making an informed decision.
Promoting Your In-House Dental Financing
If you do opt to offer in-house financing, you’ll want to use it as one of your primary promotional tools. There are specific key points that will appeal to patients and attract them to your office.
Increased accessibility: In-house financing allows patients who may not qualify for traditional financing options to receive the dental care they need. It can help make treatments more affordable and accessible for a wider range of patients.
Convenience: In-house financing eliminates the need for patients to seek external financing options or third-party lenders. It simplifies the payment process and provides a more streamlined experience for patients.
Flexibility: You can customize your financing plan to suit the specific needs of your patients. This flexibility can include offering low or no-interest payment plans, extended repayment periods, or tailored options based on treatment costs.
Grow Your Practice with Golden Proportions Marketing
Dental financing can be an effective way to grow your practice. If you’re looking for additional dental marketing strategies to attract more patients, contact us today to schedule your FREE Marketing Breakthrough Call!