The Healthcare Practitioner’s Guide to In-House Financing for Patients

Digital Lending

You’re hearing about other medical practices rolling out in-house financing initiatives, and you’re eager to give your patients the means to pay by installment for treatments and procedures. To help you conduct due diligence, we’ll look at how in-house financing can benefit your practice, and suggest how best to broach the topic with patients.

Medical businesses are top candidates for in-house financing options, especially for procedures that aren’t covered by healthcare insurance. For many patients, cloud-based financing is the difference between short-term fixes (perhaps undertaken because it’s all they believe they can afford immediately) and complete treatments they can pay off over time in installments.

An easy-to-use solution lets your practice provide financing to patients without banks or other outside lenders siphoning off fees and blurring the patients’ conception of who they’re doing business with.

How to get a better wheel without reinventing it

Why, after all, should banks take profits your practice can generate on its own and keep, and why should your patients be subject to intrusive middlemen?

An in-house approach to financing will:

  • Safeguard your patients’ personal financial data
  • Tailor the financing experience to the unique needs of your clinic and your patients. No two practices are alike, so look for a financing solution that’s easily customizable
  • Let your team conduct in-depth, data-driven analysis of your business to give you a sharp picture of your enterprise’s performance over time
  • Help you track ROI on specific initiatives in marketing and technology upgrades — including the financing platform itself
  • Strengthen ties between your patients and your practice, and increase the lifetime value of patient relationships
  • Leverage an intuitive interface and user-friendly workflow that makes training a breeze
  • Flatten seasonal revenue curves with reliable installment income
  • Tap into functional modularity so that you only pay for the components you use, and can add modules as needed
  • Get up and running quickly. End-to-end, plug-and-play lending automation can be fully operational in just days
  • Maintain the integrity of your branding by using only “white label” solutions.

So how can your practice accrue such benefits? “Start by recognizing that, while financing isn’t your specialty, it definitely is ours,” says Elena Ionenko, operations head and co-founder of TurnKey Lender, a leader in in-house financing technology that’s active in more than 50 national markets worldwide.

Triggering growth while side-stepping out-of-date technology

“Handled right,” adds Ionenko, “in-house financing can accelerate business growth — and at Turnkey Lender we know how to make that a tangible result for your medical practice.

Using plug-and-play financing software, Ionenko says you can also overcome the need for financing-technology upgrades. How? Simply, it’s in the best competitive interests of your financing software maker to provide state-of-the-art functionality as soon as it has proved itself reliable and not wait for hungry competitors to set the pace of innovation. You can rest assured you’ll be working on a best-of-breed platform without having to monitor fintech advancements or worry about obsolescence.

“Experience tells us medical practices using our modular platform can expect to see tangible and measurable improvements,” says Ionenko.

Among other benefits of deploying in-house financing, Ionenko cites:

  • 120% average order growth after financing-platform implementation
  • 17% growth incremental sales
  • 93% of financing-platform users re-use the credit option

Besides driving repeat business and providing for fast and efficient customization, a robust in-house financing platform will feature credit decisioning that’s driven by artificial intelligence. Advances in AI lets your practice conduct fast, accurate assessments of patients’ ability to honor financial commitments based on traditional inputs (such as financing applications and credit-bureau scores) as well as alternative inputs that uncover financial “tells” using behavioral analytics.

How to tell patients about in-house financing options

For all the benefits of using advanced financing software to streamline credit assessment and management, broaching the topic with patients can be tricky — especially in novel contexts like a medical or dental practice. To aid in this task, and provide a full-context overview of what it means to provide dynamic financing, we suggest keeping in mind the following considerations.

  • Avoid sales-oriented approaches or emotional appeals. Talk about financing as an option, just like you’d run through different treatment options: clearly, kindly, but with a hint of professional dispassion.
  • If you sense the cost of a recommended treatment is too steep for a patient, by all means, introduce the topic of financing as a creative solution, offset perhaps by offering discounts for immediate payment
  • Above all, remain friendly and confident, knowing that you’re providing a range of responsible options

But it’s always advisable to get the word out about financing options by multiple means, and not save the revelation for last-minute discussions. Among ways medical practitioners have found success in this realm are website and social-media messaging, informational loops on waiting-room monitors, in-house signage, media kits, brochures — even fridge magnets and reminders on routine communications with clients sent out by email, text, or the post.

The rapid democratization of technology means that medical institutions and clinics worldwide now offer payment plans to their patients. As a result, a lack of funds shouldn’t be a reason to deny patients the service they need, force them to seek lower-quality treatments or avoid getting necessary treatment altogether.

“Financing used to be the exclusive turf of large financial institutions, and to compete with them you needed to have extensive resources and a developed infrastructure consisting of technical staff, a fully-fledged lending department, and a complex proprietary solution to support it all,” says Turnkey Lender’s Ionenko. “The rise of financial technology has made it much easier for medical and dental practices to offer in-house financing for procedures, especially to patients they can rigorously evaluate from a credit-decisioning perspective.”

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