Dental and medical practices that provide in-house financing for medical and dental care find they spend more time with patients and less time on collections. More important, point-of-treatment financing means their patients get the care they need rather than the care they can afford at the moment.
But medical and dental practices require lending systems that busy staff members can use to augment patient service without a major investment of time and energy.
Software-as-a-service lending is changing how businesses succeed by equipping practices with state-of-the-art lending software that uses proprietary technology to digitalize every stage of credit management. These technology providers automate application approvals and minimize processing time without compromising security, accurate pricing, or practice-specific risk tolerance.
As a specialist in healthcare financing, SaaS lenders adjust for patients’ special situations and changing regulatory requirements such as reserves, recourse, and hold-backs for partial payments, insurance tracking, and risk analysis for multiple borrowers.
In-house financing is where technology meets growth
“Dental practices that provide in-house financing that’s fully under their control operate at an advantage over practices that provide no such services or use third-party financing,” says Dmitry Voroneko, CEO and co-founder of TurnKey Lender, a leading lending-platform provider to medical and dental practices around the world.
“Even where insurance offsets come into play, the patient’s portion is frequently enough to warrant discharging the balance over time,” says Voronenko. “And once you’re accepting payments by installment, you’re effectively in the lending business.”
Industry data suggest financial issues loom large for healthcare providers. Most dentists — statistically, 88% — worry about their patients’ ability to pay, according to a 2018 study. For 86% of the 400-plus dentists polled, increasing practice revenue was a top priority. Eight in 10 also prioritized acquiring more patients and “keeping up with technology.” And though the 2018 report suggested practice expansion in a physical sense wasn’t an immediate priority for many dentists, those interested in such growth planned to increase the number of treatment stations, add new specialties, bring lab work in-house, or add service locations.
In other words, dentists are keen to attract more patients and boost efficiencies even where geographic expansion isn’t in the cards. And for dentists who are thinking of growing their physical footprint, financing issues are paramount. Having a reliable, secure, and cost-effective financing solution is a have-have for growth in this competitive, technology-fueled market, no matter how growth is defined.
Among traditional dentists, “teledentistry” networks like SmileDirectClub, and other healthcare practitioners, a common solution has been to outsource the financing piece to third-party financing providers. This is rooted in the view that on-site lending specialists are integral to financing operations.
Ease of use with advanced AI and analytics
That’s no longer true. Technology has advanced to the point where SaaS offerings are completely “plug and play.” Healthcare providers can set their own lending criteria based on actual client behavior and real-world market conditions — and these criteria can be customized to match prevailing economic realities in different geographies.
At TurnKey the “secret sauce” for this flexibility is cutting-edge artificial intelligence. With credit scoring and underwriting some of the biggest challenges and risk sources for lenders, TurnKey Lender has tackled these issues head-on. The firm’s AI-driven solutions benefit lenders and loan applicants alike. How? By taking the guesswork out of credit decisioning.
With TurnKey Lender’s self-learning algorithms humming away in the background, healthcare practices can make faster, more accurate, and more profitable credit decisions, avoiding human error, lengthy loan-approval processes, and weak fraud protection. TurnKey Lender solves these problems with advanced self-learning algorithms that enable lenders to analyze large sets of consumer data and make more informed risk evaluations and credit-scoring decisions.
In this way, financing applications can be analyzed not just on traditional criteria such as biographical questionnaires and credit-bureau scores, but — with the applicant’s permission — on behavioral-finance inputs like spending habits and track records for meeting general financial obligations. As a result, dentists, physicians, and other healthcare practitioners can confidently serve otherwise underserved demographics. In fact, dental practices operate at an advantage in this regard, as few patients want to put their smiles at risk — or their children’s — over a late payment.
Besides its application to credit decisioning and underwriting, lending-oriented AI also contributes to the healthcare practice’s advanced psychometrics profiling, takes care of compliance concerns and regulatory updates, and provides greater cybersecurity.
Finally, a lending system’s AI powers deep and powerful analytics for your practices that can help you understand your patient base and discover new ways to serve them better.
In-house financing lets you treat patients, not chase payments
Other reasons to take your practice’s financing in-house include these proofs of concept gleaned from lending-industry data.
- 120% order growth after implementing in-house financing
- 17% jump in incremental sales
- 93% of patients will use consumer credit more than once
- 15% of big-ticket procedures are already financed
In addition to “turnkey” functionality that’s tailored to the needs of your practice, support for launch along with 24/7 IT, and the prospect of more growth, embedded financing stands out as an easy and reliable way for you to get paid. It can also serve as a profit center in its own right as the health of your practice’s loan portfolio improves, and satisfied patients spread the word.
As TurnKey Lender’s Voronenko puts it, “While you’re busy attending to your patients, a robust financing platform will take the financing piece off your hands. Beyond loan origination and maintenance, this includes loan management and communications, which ensures installation repayments are “timely and on track to complete discharge.”
Further, adds Voronenko, using TurnKey Lender’s in-house financing software “enables cyber-security best practices, and helps you save money by deploying only the functionality modules you need.”