In the face of high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and rising out-of-pocket expenses, patients who need significant dental or healthcare treatment may be tempted to put it all off—and for good reason. Many patients don’t have the savings or income needed to cover the medical bills once they come due. The treatment is important, but cash flow rules the day. Sound familiar?
According to a recent survey, the cost has become a barrier to access for many patients. The report claims nearly a quarter of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers and almost a third of Millennials will avoid care due to the associated costs. That’s a lot of delayed treatment, and for healthcare practices, missed revenue. The solution? Patient financing.
Patient Financing: What You Need To Know
Offering patient financing in an attractive option that removes these barriers. Medical and dental financing programs are simple to implement. With ClearGage, providers can design and customize payment programs and choose which programs to offer patients based on their propensity to pay and risk factor. Many patients will not qualify for traditional third-party financing, so ClearGage allows providers to accept all patients, ensuring they receive needed care while increasing your medical practice revenue. Patients can immediately access their payment plan to pay for treatment, and the provider can receive payment upfront or receive payments over time as the patient pays.
Here are 7 ways patient financing can benefit both your patients and your practice:
Patient Financing Benefits for Your Patients
- No more delayed treatment. The largest benefit for patients is the ability to move forward with the treatment care they need immediately while paying down the cost with affordable monthly payments.
- Better management of out-of-pocket costs. Benefits of patient financing also include helping patients avoid a large expense and protect their cash flow, which can increase patient satisfaction with your practice. Plus, knowing they have the option to finance treatment may make them more likely to return for additional treatments in the future, with less anxiety of about how they’ll pay for treatment.
Patient Financing Benefits for Your Practice
- Smarter use of your team’s time. When you partner with a patient financing provider, your practice receives payment within a few days, and your practice can step out of “collections mode.” This reduces collection costs, and your team will spend less time on accounts receivable efforts, freeing up more time to focus on excellent patient care and practice-building activities.
- Improved cash flow. When your practice sets up patient payment plans and bills patients directly, you’re essentially making a loan to your patient. Your office is incurring all the collection costs and typically you make no interest on the money you loaned, yet your expenses like payroll, equipment leases, and supplies still need to be paid every month. This can create a cash flow crunch, where most of your money is tied up in accounts receivable, and not immediately available for your ongoing expenses. Most patient financing companies will provide you with the choice to get paid upfront and they will bear the burden and cost of collections.
- Reduced accounts receivable and lower risk of bad debt. When your practice extends credit to patients directly, it accepts the costs and credit risks that come along with it. That could include potential late payments, bad debt, and uncollected accounts.
- Higher patient satisfaction. Patients love having the option of financing, which helps them get treated immediately while paying over time. It relieves their financial anxiety and helps them view you as a partner. When patients are happy and patient satisfaction is high, they tell their friends and family, which means positive word-of-mouth advertising and increased referrals.
- It’s an effective marketing tool. If patients know they can access medical financing options at your practice, they will likely seek care from you versus other practices that do not offer patient financing programs. It’s one more way your practice can stand out from the rest.
If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level, it may be time to explore the many benefits of offering patient financing. It’s a win-win for your patients and your practice.