From Basic Treatment to Full Restoration: Grow Your Practice Through Patient Financing
American Association Of Dental Office Management
Nothing is cut-and-dry when it comes to discussing finances with your patient. Everyone who sits in your dental chair has bills, a trip coming up, a child’s tuition to pay for, and car troubles, not to mention many other expected and unexpected financial burdens. The average patient likely does not have the immediate funds available to pay upfront in full for a sudden toothache let alone full cosmetic or 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 in the business of lending money. Fortunately, third-party payment plans are readily available for those who are both in need and qualified. The problem for most dental offices is determining when to offer payment plans and at what cost to their practice. The answer to that question is simple. Always offer financing!
The first “problem” to tackle with accepting financing as an option is getting the acceptance of the decision-makers in your dental office. During my nearly 20 years in this business, I have heard countless times from doctors and office managers that they do not offer financing to their patients because they do not want to pay the discount fee to the payment plan company. The discount fee percentage is normally dependent on which company is being used as well as 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 with no method of payment to get their treatment done. When you consider the fact 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!
Does your office give a comprehensive treatment plan to every new patient who walks through your doors? 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 and start swinging for the fences. When you can offer your patients financing options for any type of treatment, they will be more likely to accept the treatment they need. I have found that with financing, a patient is just as likely to accept their full plan of treatment as they are to accept treatment for just their immediate problem. My patient’s main objection is most often not “Why do I need this treatment?” It is “How can I pay for this treatment?” Do you want to increase revenue…Click to read more in a new window… through the ability to offer more patients comprehensive treatment plans? Always offer financing!
When is the best time to mention financing to your patients? In my office, we mention financing to every new patient during their intake phone call. We also have financing on our website and brochures displayed at the front desk of our office. Does this mean every patient uses financing? Of course not! This ensures that each patient knows what options are available to pay for treatment. Often, the financing brochures in the waiting room lead the patients to ask US for comprehensive treatment plans before we even have the chance to discuss their needs. Many of our patients choose to pay us with cash or their own credit cards but with an increased knowledge of their available payment options, they know they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to their own wallets. Always offer financing!
If you’d like to contact me directly, I would be thrilled to discuss the best ways to implement financing in your office. We are currently working with a fantastic company that offers great benefits to your office’s bottom line, and your patient’s ability to accept treatment, and even offers great incentives for your staff! This company is Sunbit…Click to read more in a new window….
For your patient: Sunbit offers an easy, lightning-fast application with no hard credit check to to check patients’ options, a high approval rate, and many flexible extended and interest-free payment options for well-qualified customers.* Your patient will choose the amount of their financing, and their payment terms, and set up a payment method within minutes of their application being processed. This allows them to accept treatment immediately.
For your office: As I just said, this allows patients to accept treatment IMMEDIATELY! You get paid right away and your patients receive the care they need and deserve. That is the whole reason we are in this business!
For your staff: Sunbit offers a staff incentive program called the Sunbeast program. Your staff receives incentives for engaging with patients that they can redeem for cash and gift cards. Sunbit also offers bonus “missions” where they can earn increased points and cash. Teams will also receive ongoing training and support to keep them fresh on financing best practices and often get rewarded for their participation, too.
Sunbit and patient financing in general benefits 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!
About the Author
Daniel Schriftman, MAADOM is a business manager and coach. He has his MBA with a focus on Human Resources. Daniel coaches dental practices to run their fee-for-service business models more efficiently. He is the innovator of The Philadelphia Dentist, P.C., an emergency dental practice serving the Philadelphia community 365 days a year. He is also a founder of Unicorn Professional Coaching, LLC, a burgeoning organization seeking to improve all aspects of the dental employer, employee, and patient experience. Daniel is a lifetime member of the American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM) and earned his Fellowship (FAADOM) in 2020. Most recently, Daniel received his AADOM Mastership (MAADOM) in September of 2022.