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Offer payment options to your dental patients.

Enhancing patient payment options: A win-win for practice profitability and patient well-being

June 11, 2024
Most patients want to receive treatment as much as dentists want to provide it, but finances may get in the way. Here's how to help patients and gain their loyalty to your practice.

Most dentists are driven by a genuine desire to help people achieve optimal oral health. However, it can be disappointing when patients miss out on regular checkups or seek only emergency care, often disappearing thereafter.

While recent statistics from the American Dental Association (ADA) and Kaiser highlight challenges in dental care accessibility and affordability,1,2 there's room for optimism and proactive solutions. Rather than dwelling on the negatives, we must focus on empowering both patients and practices to foster a healthier, more financially sustainable environment.

It's clear that financial constraints play a significant role in preventing many people from seeking regular dental care. Yet, this challenge presents an opportunity for dental practices to innovate and expand their services. By offering flexible payment options, practices can break down financial barriers and make dental care more accessible to a wider range of patients.

Advantages of enhanced payment flexibility

Financing options: Patients can easily apply for financing during their visit, with instant decisions and straightforward terms.

Dental savings plans: Practices can establish their own savings plans, providing patients with discounted services in exchange for an annual or monthly fee. This also boosts patient loyalty.

Payment processes: Offering installment plans and diverse payment methods can ease financial strain for patients, ensuring they receive necessary treatments without delay.

These payment solutions not only benefit patients by making care more affordable and manageable, but also contribute to the financial stability and growth of dental practices. By embracing these options, practices can:

Strengthen patient loyalty: By demonstrating care and flexibility, practices build trust and loyalty among patients, encouraging them to return for future treatment and to refer others.

Improve patient outcomes: Regular checkups and timely treatments can prevent costly oral health issues, promoting overall well-being and reducing long-term expenses.

Enhance practice efficiency: Streamlined administrative processes and steady cash flow enable practices to allocate resources effectively and invest in advanced technology, ultimately improving patient care.

Prioritizing payment flexibility benefits patients and strengthens dental practices both financially and operationally. By embracing innovative solutions, dentists secure a brighter future for their dental businesses, and ensure that every patient receives the care they need. Let's work together to empower patients and optimize practice profitability.

References

  1. National trends in dental care use, dental insurance coverage, and cost barriers. American Dental Association and Health Policy Institute. November 2023. https://www.ada.org/-/media/project/ada-organization/ada/ada-org/files/resources/research/hpi/national_trends_dental_use_benefits_barriers.pdf
  2. Lopes L, Montero A, Presiado M, Hamel L. KFF issue brief. Americans’ challenges with health care costs. KFF. March 1, 2024. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/americans-challenges-with-health-care-costs/

Editor's note: This article appeared in the June 2024 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

 

About the Author

Fulton Collins

Fulton Collins is the CEO of Wellfit Technologies Inc., a health-care technology platform offering financing options, discount dental plans, and payment processing solutions. Collins was previously chairman and CEO of Network Communications Inc., and president of Summit Acceptance. He was in marketing management with Nestlé SA and sales management with E&J Gallo Winery. He was chairman of the board for International Oncology Care and a board member for 21st Century Oncology. He now leads Wellfit toward success in health-care technology.

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