5 Things Everyone Hates About Patient Finance

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Here at HFD, we have the privilege of working with Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) to help them treat more patients. We also know that with traditional patient finance offerings, it can be complicated and just flat-out frustrating to get a patient approved for the healthcare treatments they need. And let’s face it: turning away patients because they’re not approved for credit is bad for business.

Post-covid, many Americans’ credit scores have been impacted due to job loss or other financial-career changes. According to a recent KFF Health Care Debt Survey, 41% of adults currently have some sort of debt caused by medical or dental bills. So, let’s talk about it.

Being in the office and dealing directly with patients who need help financing their elective healthcare procedures can sometimes be disheartening – especially when a treatment coordinator has to tell someone that they were not approved. What’s even more difficult is that dental insurance isn’t always covered by employers, forcing many middle-class families to look for alternative financing solutions that don’t always meet their needs, or worse, that don’t cover the full amount of a procedure.

The post-pandemic market has left many patients in a fragile financial position. In fact, one in seven adults with healthcare debt said they were denied care by a provider due to unpaid bills in that same KFF Survey. “In addition, adults with healthcare debt are more than twice as likely as those without debt to say they or someone they live with have postponed or skipped getting needed health care because of the high cost.”

This should not be the case.

Below, we’ve outlined the top 5 things everyone hates right now about patient financing:

  1. Partial approvals. One of the most disheartening financing situations occurs when patients are only approved for a portion of their total cost to have a procedure done. Patients are typically left with no other choice than to delay the healthcare they need and lose the practice money.
  2. Hard to use technology. Helping patients shouldn’t be complicated. Thanks to all the updates and advancements in technology helping patients has never been easier. However, many people are still using hard-to-use technologies that complicate the patient experience.
  3. Financing is typically only offered to prime applicants. Even though Pay Over Time and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solutions are a great alternative to using credit cards, healthcare BNPL financing solutions are typically reserved for those with great credit.
  4. Financing transparency. People need to remember that they’re talking to other people. Most of us don’t read the fine print written by attorneys or financial executives. And, that’s especially true for most borrowers who accept patient finance solutions. It’s also what typically comes back to cause frustration and disillusionment during the repayment period.
  5. Faulty or inconsistent billing procedures. While it’s important for us to take accountability for bookkeeping, we can’t look past unorganized and ill-managed pen and paper documentation. Billing records should be clear and available to both the provider and the borrower. This way, borrowers can track their payments accurately and prevent bills from becoming overdue.

How HFD is helping fix patient finance

Together with elective healthcare providers, we can make healthcare more affordable and serve more patients in need of care, and help practices grow. So, let’s get rid of the headaches of patient finance and start using technology to its full potential.

Our Offers Engine and 100 percent approval process can help. Sure, when there’s a subprime borrower approved, interest rates go up. But with any great risk comes the potential for great reward. Here at HFD, we make it clear and simple for each borrower to understand what their rates are, and we work to set realistic repayment schedules.

HFD’s platforms allow for clear transparency and with its white-labeling capabilities can integrate into your local practice workflows to make sure you get paid. Did we mention that thanks to our robust offers engine process and financing, each patient borrower is provided a very clear path to repayment in a very clear, easy-to-understand application?

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