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5 Tips for Making Financial Conversation Easier in Your Dental Clinic

5 Tips for Making Financial Conversation Easier in Your Dental Clinic - Infographic

Discussing dental payment plans and other financial details with patients can be a very difficult subject. At the same time, knowledgeable dentists have options that can enhance patient financing and give them a chance to get the care they need and deserve. This is a fine line to walk, but here are five good ways to make the financial conversation a little bit easier and ensure that patients get their care without breaking their budget.

1: Start the Conversation Early

Even though financial discussions can make some people nervous, you should not hold off before talking about dentist payment plans that might appeal to your patient. Getting into the subject early lets you set expectations and gives a chance for your patient to take control of things. The longer you hold off on this conversation, the more likely you are to have a patient who cannot afford to pay for treatment planned and received.

2: Invite Questions

You do not know what your patient expects or what worries you need to confront unless the patient says them aloud. Some individuals may have spoken with medical financing companies and learned information that runs counter to your way of doing business. Others might just not have a firm idea of what financial options are available to them. Make sure to give your patient lots of chances to ask questions and voice concerns. That way, you will not have unspoken worries lingering over the rest of the process.

3: Provide Flexible Payment Options

Very few patients have the ability to pay for the dental care in full up front. For this reason, having a flexible dental payment plan available is essential. Your financial conversation becomes much easier if you can give your patient a way to handle payments without having to put costs on a credit card or take on a similar high-interest debt. Several existing options, such as SimplePay, provides patients with no-credit check and 0% interest financing. This means that even patients who have a poor credit history can get some peace of mind through a conversation about their care.

4: Offer a Payment Chart

Even with a simple, 0% interest dental practice financing option, some patients might have an issue dealing with large numbers when they see the total amount that they will pay over the life of their care. One of the best solutions to this is to give them a chart or similar written document that shows a hypothetical payment schedule. This breaks down the large amount into smaller, much more manageable monthly payments.

5: Be Patient with the Patient

Do not try to rush through the financial conversation. Even if you have had a long and trying day, make sure you have good posture, excellent body language, and remain attentive throughout the conversation. Notice cues and make sure that all questions have been answered before the patient leaves. Financial conversations can sometimes be long and trying, but remaining patient through the process makes matters much easier to deal with in the end.

The average patient is looking for a dentist with payment plans who is attentive and willing to help them through the difficult financial conversation. By following this advice, you will be able to generate a better relationship with your patient.

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Increase Dental Treatment Plan Acceptance with Motivational Interviewing

Increase Dental Treatment Plan Acceptance with Motivational Interviewing - Infographic

Motivational interviewing is a counseling method used by successful dentists to help patients understand the reasons for changes in their treatment. By using this method, dentists get patients more invested in their treatments plans and increase the likelihood that they will commit to the changes needed. Using motivational interviewing can benefit both the dental provider and the patient in many different ways – here is how to use it effectively.

Analysis of Buying Motives

When interviewing your patients, examine their reasons for wanting treatment. Are they in pain? Do they want to improve their oral appearance? Are they just looking for necessary maintenance? This is the most important aspect of motivational interviewing because it sets the ground rules for what you can work with. This is also a good way to figure out if price is a worry for the patient. If it is, you and the patient can discuss payment options like SimplePay to help enhance patient financing and ease their worries.

Identification of Problems and Solutions

One of the hallmarks of motivational interviewing is the way in which dentists get patients to identify their problems in their own words. It is very important to make sure that the patients use their own words when listing their problems, because by doing so they are guaranteed to have a full understanding of the issues they face. Once the problems have been identified, the dentist can make treatment suggestions as needed, and the two parties can proceed from there. During this time, financial elements like dental payment plans might come up, allowing patients to examine both the problem and the solution side by side.

Providing Affirmations

Patients need to feel as though they have made some progress in certain areas, even if they are struggling in other aspects. By providing them with an affirmation that identified the progress they have been made, the dentist gives them confidence and a feeling of control over their situation. This part of motivational interviewing can be as simple as saying, “I see that you have been flossing lately,” but it can pay off in a big way later on. If patients feel that a solution to their problems is close and within their power to achieve, they may be willing to take bigger steps to solve their larger problems.

Budget Planning

While financial concerns have a role in every aspect of motivational interviewing, there comes a time near the end of the process where the dentist and the patient should discuss a dental payment plan in earnest. At this point, the motivational interview has allowed the patient to be proactive in identifying problems, considering solutions, and taking stock of where things are right now. The next step is to find a way to enhance patient financing. By taking control of the financial aspect during the interview process, the patient gets better peace of mind and is more willing to engage in treatment going forward.

The greatest gift for a dentist can often be a patient who is motivated and aware of the treatment process. For this reason, motivational interviewing is a technique that you should engage in to give both parties better peace of mind.

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Alternative Ways to Pay for Dental Care

How to Pay for Dental Care - Infographic

Dental care is very important if you want to have a healthy smile and avoid long-term health hazards such as the various kinds of oral cancer. Paying for that care can be a major problem, though, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover a specific procedure. Luckily, there are several different options for you to choose from when it comes to making your dental payments. Here are a few choices that can ease the financial burden and still leave you in great shape.

SimplePay

SimplePay is a no-credit check, 0% interest financing program that can help both the dental office and the patient. Because it doesn’t rely on a credit check to determine financing, it allows those who would normally struggle with the credit process to get the financing and thus the level of care that they need. If the dental provider is enrolled, getting financing through SimplePay is as easy as going through the 15-minute enrollment process and then diving into the care plan outlined by the dentist.

Healthcare Credit Cards

While most credit cards leave their users struggling with high interest rates, healthcare credit card options provide some relief by giving patients a period where they pay 0% interest. Many of these options do not require a credit check, which can be helpful as well. On the other hand, you need to make sure to pay these cards off before the 0% rate period ends, which is usually after 12 to 18 months. If you haven’t paid off the card by this time, the interest hits all at once, which can be financially draining.

Equity Loans

An equity loan is a payment option in which the person taking out the loan puts forth some sort of collateral. This collateral is often a vehicle, a home, or something else that would hypothetically be worth as much or more than the amount being borrowed. The bright side to these loans is that they provide low-interest options that are much easier to pay off than a typical high-rate credit card. On the other hand, you need to make sure to pay the bills promptly, or you could lose very valuable property.

Healthcare Installment Loans

Like healthcare credit cards, some banks and lending institutions offer installment loans to help pay for a dental procedure or series of procedures. These loans are usually easy to get even if you don’t have terrific credit. However, very few of them offer 0$ interest rate periods – for the most part, borrowers can expect to pay an APR of 9% or higher. If you don’t trust a healthcare credit card, this is a good alternate option. Unlike SimplePay, however, you will still wind up paying a significant amount of interest.

It’s best to know the pros and cons of the different options available to you before you make a final decision. Think about where you stand financially and then decide which option fits your short- and long-term needs. There are many ways to pay for a dental procedure, and all of them will help make sure your smile stays bright.

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5 Dental Office Transformation Tips for Better Patient Experience

Dental Office Transformation - Infographic

As your dental practice becomes more successful, your patients are likely to spend more time in the office itself. To make sure that the experience from start to finish is enjoyable for everybody, there are certain steps you can take to improve your office. Here are five simple ways to get started. Using these methods will improve even an already-successful office and leave your patients happier than ever with their experience.

1: Hire a Friendly Staff

Your office manager and the rest of your staff needs to be sharp, professional, and detail-oriented. However, you should also remember that customer service is one of their essential jobs. Your reception staff and office management will interact with your patients as much or possibly even more than you do. As such, you should make sure to hire people who are good at the patient-facing end of the business as well as the details behind the scenes.

2: Make Sure Everybody Knows the Patients

Many people see a dental office as an uncomfortable place where a patient must sit nervously waiting to see a doctor who never takes his mask off. You should do everything you can to dispel this myth. Make sure you form a relationship with your patients. Converse with them a few minutes before their appointments and do your best to have everybody on staff remember specific details. Talking about a favorite sports team or children prior to an appointment can put patients at ease, making everything much easier.

3: Make the Appointment Process Easy

You should do everything that you can to keep your appointment records in order. This includes using an electronic system and making sure that you plan vacations and foreseeable out times for the people in your office well in advance. You also need to have a clear, forgiving cancellation policy and a waiting list you can draw from if a spot opens. Most patients make their appointments six months in advance and don’t always know what might happen between now and then. Reduce the hassle by making it easy for them to keep track of their dental needs.

4: Offer Flexible Payment Plans

Relieving some of the financial burden of a major dental procedure will make hesitant patients into repeat customers. Seek out a fair but reliable financing option that you can use. SimplePay.com represents a strong option in this regard, since it requires no credit check and has no hidden fees. Providing a payment plan makes for a better patient experience and improves the chance that your patients will follow your recommended treatment plans.

5: Embrace Technological Advances

Periodically upgrading your dental equipment and other office technology may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it pays dividends down the road. The average patient is more comfortable when they think their doctor is giving them to latest state-of-the-art experience. Whether it’s a matter of new equipment or even something as simple as mobile apps that allow for easier appointment times, using new technology helps a lot.

These steps will help you start a total office transformation and provide a better patient experience. This in turn helps both the patients and your office.

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SimplePay is a no-credit check, 0% interest financing program that approves all your patients. Get your patient’s treatment financed in 15 minutes and start growing your revenues immediately.