In the article, "Will That Be Cash or Credit?" by Les Mann (July 1997), the information he provided regarding credit cards as a viable patient-payment option was informative and most helpful. As many dental practitioners will agree, patients are more likely to accept costly treatments when they have an easy, flexible payment plan to use. Although major credit cards fulfill the need for amounts under $300, I have found that in my practice many patients were hesitant to use their credit cards with procedures over $300.
I was surprised that Mr. Mann did not mention the option I consider an essential part of my financial took kit for fees over $300 - a dedicated health-care credit card.
Since I no longer offer in-office billing, I needed to find another payment alternative if I wanted my patients to accept optimal treatment. After exploring numerous payment options for patients, I found that dedicated health-care credit cards, such as Dencharge/CareCredit, offer patients a flexible means of payment when cash or a major credit card is not desirable for the patient.
CareCredit also allows my staff to offer interest-free financing for up to one year. On several occasions, this has persuaded patients to start extensive treatment plans they were going to delay. Additionally, I have noticed a significant improvement in our cash flow and our office manager has spent less time solving accounts receivable problems.
I certainly do agree with the author`s statement that any successful practice must have a firm and fair payment policy, and I strongly suggest the use of CareCredit.
Kurt R. Schneider, DDS
Mission Viejo, CA