Is patient financing hurting your referral business?
Patient financing is crucial in helping your clients receive the care they need. When patients know payment plans are an option they are more likely to proceed with the treatment or procedure. The industry is growing with more choices available than ever before. Financing options range from healthcare credit cards to unsecured installment loans.
Selecting the third-party company to provide your patients financing plans is an important consideration and there are a variety of reasons why.
The first reason you should be careful when choosing a patient financing company is the protection of your practice’s reputation. Your office has painstakingly cultivated a quality brand and it’s essential that the finance company to which you refer your patients reflects a similar image.
The financing company to which you refer your patients is a recommendation from you. Your patients trust you have done your homework and you are referring them to the best plan with the best service. If the company you choose doesn’t provide the level of service they have come to expect from you, it will negatively impact your brand’s reputation, reducing your repeat visit and patient referral opportunities.
Do your homework so you can be confident you are working with the best in the industry.
Use the following Patient Financing Company Evaluation Checklist:
- What kind of experience did consumers/patients have with the financing company?
- What types of consumer complaints are being reported online? Check consumer review sites, and social media accounts.
- Are consumer complaints being resolved in a timely manner? Check the consumer review sites and the BBB.
- Do they charge patients harmful retro-active interest?
- Do they have fixed or variable interest rates?
- Is the application process complicated?
- Is there a hard pull on credit inquiries, creating an inquiry on a consumer’s credit report?
- Has there been any government agency action regarding their lending practices?
- Does the company charge back your practice if there is a dispute?
- Do they provide marketing materials to promote financing?
- What type of on-going support and training do they provide?
- Are you required to sign your patient’s applications?
- Are you required to keep physical records of patient applications in your office?
You’ll also want to talk to other healthcare providers who are referring patients to the financing company to see what their back office experience has been. While some providers have an automated patient facing process, their back-end process can be more manual and require additional staff or patient follow-up.
What will it cost your practice to refer patients to financing? With many third-party companies, each time a patient receives a loan, your practice will be charged a transaction fee (commonly called a “Practice Fee”) typically ranging from 5% to 15% of the total procedure amount. This reduces your profits and increases the already high overhead costs to run your practice.
Companies like Prosper Healthcare Lending have disrupted the patient financing industry by:
- Providing access to unsecured installment loans with fixed interest rates and no retroactive interest
- Eliminating practice fees on extended plan loans
- Providing a quick application process and instant decisions that won’t affect a patient’s credit
- Providing a back office process that doesn’t waste your staff’s time
- Delivering marketing materials and unlimited training and support with a dedicated account manager.
The right patient financing company can have a significant impact on the number of patients receiving treatment, repeat visits from patients and the number of referrals you receive. The right company will do all that by making it easy for you and your office to refer all of your patients to a quality patient financing solution.