Has It Become Harder for Dental Patients to Get Dental Financing? (video)

Dental financing can be a real challenge, with 65% of dentists reporting that it has gotten harder for dental patients to get credit.

Dental credit cards, dental loans and other dental financing options let dentists avoid the risk of in-house dental financing.

But sometimes lenders don’t want to take the risk of either making it hard for many patients to get dental credit for dental care.

Read more: Dental Patients Can’t Get Credit: Dentist Survey

Credit Card Acceptance Can Be a Great Dental Marketing Tool

Credit Card Acceptance Can be a Great Dental Marketing ToolCredit card acceptance can be a great dental marketing tool, as well as the key to helping improve cash flow for today’s modern dental practice.

Dental patients are always concerned with how to pay for treatment. Since dental care costs money, lack of patient financing options can be a real problem in dental practice management.

With the website portals available from Internet Dental Alliance, Inc. (IDA), dentists can choose whether or not they want to include information about dental financing and credit card payments on their dental marketing websites.

The sidebar navigation on an IDA dental practice web portal includes “Convenient Financial Terms” where dentists can easily change the text in the “Financial Terms” section of the practice location by editing the “Financial Arrangement Statement.”

By making strategic selections about the financial services offered on IDA Portals, dentists can educate prospective dental patients about the options they offer, and screen dental marketing leads in the process.

To watch a video and learn more about IDA’s customized website portals, visit the Dental Practice Location Financial Terms page at IDAhelp.com.

Dental Financing via State IOUs?

Dental financing via state IOUsOnly 11% of dentists said they would accept a state IOU for dental financing, found this survey, while 36% said, “No way!”

On the other hand, 41% said they would if their bank would take an IOU, and 13% said they would only accept an IOU for a poor patient.

I’d trust IOU’s from my own patients who have fallen on tough times before I’d trust the government (at any level),” declared a Georgia orthodontist.

Here are some more comments:

  • “The state won’t take an IOU for my taxes!!!” (West Virginia dentist)
  • “Patients who need state care are not responsible for the state’s problems and should not be penalized.” (Texas dentist)
  • “Who could trust a state to cover past debts? What about if they legislate away past IOU debt, or if the state becomes insolvent and wipes out all debt?” (New Jersey dentist)
  • “I would treat an indigent patient in pain for no fee. If my bank accepts the IOU and the money goes into my account, I am okay with it. If a state goes bankrupt, we are in deep doodoo.” (California dentist)
  • “What choice would you have? Take nothing? That’s all you’re going to get. At least it might get paid. Someday.” (Texas orthodontist)

A Minnesota dentist described the flaws in that state’s Care Tax:

“In Minnesota we have to pay a 2% provider (MN CareTax) on our revenue, which is a noble cause. Any donated care is taxed on the value of the care.

Note: … let’s start letting the public and legislators know how much we donate care, so that they see we are more philanthropic than most other business owners!

This tax was supposed to go to help those without insurance or the means to pay. For the past many years, MN has seen this big fund as money they can confiscate to balance the General Fund, not to mention taking away the ability for many patients to use this fund.

In summary, I feel I already have accepted IOU’s which will never come true. Lesson, never let your state tax providers for their services, it will end up being a money tree in the legislature’s back yard to take for other reasons.”

Read more: Dentists Dislike IOUs for Dental Financing

Dental Patients Can’t Get Credit & Financing

In this survey, two out of three dentists told us that it’s gotten harder for patients to get credit. Since dental care costs money, lack of patient financing options can be a real problem in dental practice management.

“Care Credit warned us that a lot more of our patients would not qualify,” said one dentist, while another mentioned, “Enhance and Wells Fargo have discontinued dental lending.”

Here’s what else dentists have to say…

  • “Do I offer patients options? Yes. They can go get some money.” (Tennessee dentist)
  • “If the patient can’t get financed and has no credit card available, there is usually a good reason not to be that person’s bank.” (California dentist)
  • “Most patients won’t even fill out the application if they don’t think they will be accepted. They usually know if they have bad credit.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “We use an outside third party company that will extract their payment from a checking account. They deal with any problems that arise like insufficient funds or closed accounts.” (Utah dental office worker)
  • “As the economy worsens, we’ve discussed down payments of 1/3 and automatic credit card or secured/automatic debit from checking account. Patients don’t always warm to Care Credit and their credit history being checked. Establishing the trust relationship is so important that often this aspect of care is the ‘make or break’ point.” (Maryland dental office worker)
  • “We are still offering external financing to everyone, but the acceptance rate is getting lower and lower. So we start with emergency or needed treatment first and have firmer financing policies in effect.” (Utah dental office worker)

Read more: Patients Struggle for Credit Approval

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