Are Your Patient Financing Options Sending Revenue Away?

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Picture this:

You evaluate a patient, agree on an appropriate treatment plan, and determine the cost. The patient can’t afford the treatment, and either they’re uninsured or their insurance won’t cover enough. 

What do you do?

Maybe you invite them to apply for financing with a lender like CareCredit. But what if they get denied? 

Most dental offices send these patients away. 

What’s lost when you deny treatment?

When patients leave without receiving treatment, they take with them a potential revenue opportunity.

More than that, however, they take a piece of whatever marketing investment got them there, and the hours of your day you spent working with them. 

The average value of dental procedures denied by lenders like CareCredit is $3,000. If a dental office has even just a dozen CareCredit rejections in one month, that provider is losing a lot of potential business. Capturing this lost revenue would be a game changer for most practices.

The reality is that not all patients who walk through the door have the means to pay for treatment right now. But that doesn’t need to mean there’s no way to provide for them. 

Dental financing options that serve more patients

Dental offices have been told that they need third-party lenders like CareCredit to provide financing to patients that need it. Unfortunately, these lenders often deny patients who could pay (but have poor credit), and keep all interest payments for themselves. 

But did you know that with the help of a third-party partner, dental offices can actually be the lender? That they can approve patients and collect interest themselves? 

This means you can accept the patients you previously had to turn away. They get their treatment and you earn revenue, plus interest. 

It also means that when you decide to take a month off to vacation in Greece, you earn passive income as you relax on the beach. 

How pay-over-time dental patient financing works

Unlike third-party lenders, pay-over-time providers like HFD enable you to become the lender yourself, without taking on the burden of in-house administration. Instead of collecting interest, these partners collect a percentage of each loan as a fee. 

HFD works with customers to underwrite risk, determine appropriate interest rates, bill and collect from patients, provide customer support, and ensure compliance. 

An example of how much you could earn

Let’s call this provider Dr. Athens. 

They add $50k in patient debt to their accounts receivable ($60k minus $10k in down payments) on 24-month loan terms. 

Each patient is placed on an installment loan agreement with a 17.99% interest rate, the national average for dentistry.

Now, fewer patients walk out the door without treatment. Instead, they receive treatment and make payments to Dr. Athens with interest. 

What does this look like? See the model below. 


This model was produced using a tool that HFD walks through individually with our providers. Contact us to find your number. 

In the model, we’ve included a simulated default rate of 20%, meaning 20% of patients don’t pay their full responsibility. In our extensive experience, a total default rate of 20% is on the higher end of the spectrum, even for bad-credit patients. However, even with 20% of people not paying, Dr. Athens collects 96.53% of what’s owed to them by earning an additional $495.27 per patient through interest. 

This example office has increased their revenue by $57,920 per month — that’s $695,050 per year!

Remember, these are all patients Dr. Athens was otherwise not treating at all. 

What’s the risk?

Providers like Dr. Athens have mitigated risk by covering most or all of their hard costs by collecting a down payment and only financing procedure profit. They have also mitigated the risk of patients not paying by using an interest-bearing contract. 

As a result, they treated every patient who walked through their door by offering 100% financing approvals. Best of all, they didn’t have to do a thing because HFD did all the work for them, even while enjoying a glass of wine in Greece!

This is a classic example of what HFD does everyday with dental providers across the country. In the wake of growing patient responsibility, we’ve built scalable financing plans with thousands of smaller offices as well as with aggressive marketplace disruptors like Smile Direct Club.

Learn more about pay-over-time plans for dental offices. Download the ebook.

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