Inside Dentistry: Boosting Case Acceptance Rates With a New Financing Option
Sunbit’s quick and easy process helps both dentists and patients
On a good day, fewer than half of the patients who apply to finance their dental treatment with traditional options are approved, and according to Jay Letwat, that number is not even remotely indicative of how many patients fail to receive necessary care because many simply turn down treatment due to financial reasons. “Because of low approval rates and the friction of a difficult process, many patients are not even offered financing options,” says Letwat, executive director of business development for Sunbit, a “but now, pay later” technology company that is looking to change all of that.
Sunbit’s technologically advanced process approves more than 85% of patients with no hard credit check. Following an application process that takes 30 seconds or less, approvals are immediate.
“I have visited more than 1,000 offices in the past 18 months, and low case acceptance is such a common problem,” Letwat says. “We want to provide the ability for all patients to get the dentistry that they need because it is not happening today.”
Letwat emphasizes that Sunbit is a technology company above all else—it is involved in the optical and automoative industries as well as dental. “We are growing so fast right now because we are bringing something new to the market,” he says. “There has been little to no innovation in patient financing during the past 30 years. We hear all the time from our partners that our technology has improved productivity and, most importantly, the patient experience. By unlocking higher patient approval rates while increasing the speed of the application process, dental offices are able to close more cases and help more patients.”
Patients appreciate the process because it is easy and transparent. Moreover, the lack of a waiting period, which is required by some financing companies, means that patients can begin treatment immediately. There are no late fees or hidden fees, and Sunbit even refers to its customer support center as “Collections With Kindness.” The company’s net promotor score is 81, which is unusually high for a company in the consumer finance space.
“We are centering the solution around the patient and around the practice in order to really create something that is much different from what the market has seen so far,” Letwat says.
When treatment is performed, dental practice partners are paid in full the next business day without any risk of the patient defaulting on the loan. Sunbit manages the end-to-end experience for the patient, enabling dental offices to focus on what they do best—providing quality dental care. In addition, there is a partner portal to help track utilization, and Sunbit provides ongoing support to help staff with using the program.
The end goal is to help all practices get their full case acceptance numbers well above the current rates, which are typically less than 50%. Letwat believes that most dentists enter the profession with the goal of helping patients but are not able to treat as many as they would like. Sunbit intends to change that. “Ultimately, it is about the patients,” he says, “and from the practice perspective, we can help to increase production by double or even more.”
Loans are made by Transportation Alliance Bank, Inc. (TAB Bank), which determines qualifications for and terms of credit.