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Practice production, prioritized: Patient financing

Dec. 9, 2021
The more options you can offer patients for financing, the more likely they are to accept care, and the more profitable your practice will become.

Author's note: Levin Group has reviewed and prioritized hundreds of strategies to increase practice production. Each month, we highlight a powerful idea ranked in order of priority.

One of the top 10 strategies we have identified for increasing practice production is related to patient financing. There are many types of patient financing, and offices use different approaches ranging from interest-free financing to interest-bearing loans. For example, CareCredit, which has earned the recommendation of most state and national dental associations, has multiple options for patients to choose from. Not all offices offer all options, but the role of patient financing has continued to grow consistently in good economic times and even faster as we move through the pandemic. Patient financing can be offered to patients as a single-point offer or with a broad range of options. One of our favorite patient financing options to recommend at Levin Group is interest-free financing. Of course, patients who have the opportunity to attain optimal oral care and finance it without interest over a period of months find this to be a very appealing option. This has helped drive practice production in a strong and positive way, providing any office the ability to give patients the confidence to do three things:

  1. Make an appointment versus putting it off.
  2. Show up for the appointment and not cancel because they are concerned about finances.
  3. Accept recommended treatment that they might normally think is too expensive to pay for all at once.

Patient financing is also critical to case presentation. One new recommendation that we are making is to let patients know at the beginning of a presentation that patient financing is available, especially interest-free financing. When patients are fully informed from the start, they become more open-minded and pay closer attention to the presentation. Patients with larger cases tend to tune-out during the presentation because they have already made up their mind that the treatment isn’t an affordable option for them. Knowing that patient financing is available often reverses this thought process. Again, persuading patients to accept treatment is all about giving them positive options and the confidence that they can afford treatment. Providing options for patient financing is in our top 10 strategies to increase practice production. We believe it will continue to grow in scope and importance, only becoming more impactful in the future.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the December 2021 print edition of Dental Economics.

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