The average patient does not have the funds available to pay upfront for a sudden toothache, let alone full restorative treatment. However, in-house financing might be your worst option. Just as your bank does not perform dental procedures, your dental office should not be lending money.
Fortunately, third-party payment plans are readily available. The challenge for most dental offices is determining when to offer payment plans and at what cost to the practice. The answer to that question is simple. Always offer financing!
The first problem is gaining the acceptance of the decision-makers in your dental office. During my nearly 20 years in this business, I have heard countless times from dentists and office managers that they do not offer financing because they do not want to pay the discount fee to the payment plan company. The discount fee percentage is normally dependent on the company and the terms of repayment by the patient.
Call me crazy but, last I checked, 90% of a patient’s treatment plan price is a far greater amount than 100% of them walking out the door without a way to get their treatment done. When you consider that most expenses in a dental office are fixed, an increase in financing means an increase in case acceptance, which means an increase in revenue. To this problem I say, always offer financing!
Ensuring Case Acceptance
Does your office give a comprehensive treatment plan to every new patient? Does every patient who comes in with a toothache leave with a complete picture of the necessary treatment to help avoid a future toothache? If not, why not? Stop being afraid of case acceptance.
When you can offer financing options for any treatment, patients will be more likely to accept the treatment they need. The main objection I hear most often is not “Why do I need this treatment?” but rather “How can I pay for this treatment?” Do you want to increase revenue through the ability to offer more patients comprehensive treatment plans? Always offer financing!
Time It Right
In my office, we mention financing to every new patient during the intake phone call. We have financing options on our website and brochures displayed at the front desk.
Does this mean every patient uses financing? Of course not! This ensures that each patient knows the available options. Often, the financing brochures in the waiting room lead patients to ask for comprehensive treatment plans before we even have the chance to discuss their needs. Always offer financing!
We are currently working with Sunbit, a fantastic company that offers great benefits to your office’s bottom line and your patient’s ability to accept treatment. Plus, Sunbit offers great incentives to staff.
For your patients, Sunbit offers an easy, fast application with no hard credit check, a high approval rate, and many flexible, extended, and interest-free payment options for well-qualified customers.* Patients choose the amount of their financing and their payment terms, and set up a payment method within minutes of their application being processed. This enables them to accept treatment immediately.
For your office, financing allows patients to accept treatment immediately. You get paid right away and your patients receive the care they need.
For your staff, Sunbit offers the Sunbeast program. Your staff receives points-based cash and gift card incentives for engaging with patients. Sunbit also offers bonus “missions” where staff can earn increased points and cash. Teams will also receive ongoing training and support to keep them fresh on financing best practices.
Sunbit and patient financing in general benefit everyone involved in the process. The only downside is trying to understand what took you so long to accept financing in your practice. The best way to increase case acceptance, revenue, and patient satisfaction is to always offer financing. n
*0% APR plans for well-qualified customers are available to borrowers at participating merchants only. State restrictions may affect eligibility for the plan. Six- to 72-month plans are available depending on creditworthiness and other factors, including merchant participation; a $3,000 minimum purchase price is also required at certain merchants. Account openings and payment activity are reported to a major credit bureau. Not available in VT, WV, or WY. See rates and terms for loan requirements and state restrictions. Loans are made by Transportation Alliance Bank Inc, dba TAB Bank, which determines qualifications for and terms of credit.
From Front Office Magazine. August 2023; 1(8):18.