Financing for Dental PatientsWritten by Heather Siler
Once upon a time, the dentist was the financier for those patients who carried a balance for services rendered. Even with dental insurance, many patients have a balance after they’ve reached their benefit maximum.
Today, even if the patient's benefits are maxed out, it doesn’t mean they must wait for needed treatment or that the dentist has to carry the burden of financing. Furthermore, cosmetic procedures aren’t usually covered by insurance anyway, so the patient may have to be financially responsible for the entire procedure.
Most insurance companies allow a maximum amount of benefits per year and that maximum is around $1500-2000 which isn’t a lot in regards to dental treatment. Also, the insurance will only pay the usual and customary fees meaning that the carrier decides what fee the dentists (providers) should be charging for each service and they will only pay that amount.
By using a third-party for financing, the dentist (provider) gets paid immediately and doesn’t have to spend additional time and money trying to collect payments from patients. There are many third-party financiers, and some have attractive payment options such as interest-free periods and programs for those with less than perfect credit.
Becoming familiar with third-party financing is profitable for both the patient and the practice. Patients can progress with treatment without having to wait and risk worsening of the problem, and the practice can enjoy the increase in production without having to become the bank. Make an appointment with your business banker or ask your dental supply representative about third-party financing for your patients. You’ll be surprised at how easy the process is for everyone involved.