Patient Financing Programs & Cash Pay Programs

This blog is adapted from the book, Beautifully Profitable / Forever Profitable, © 2014, by Cheryl Whitman

Third Party Patient Financing 

Third party patient financing programs can be profitable in several ways, but most important, they extend the affordability of your services beyond those with the available dollars to pay cash for your services.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Patient financing programs help physicians offer services to patients who might not otherwise be able to afford those procedures.
  • Financing is now available for patients whose credit scores  are as low as 550 – and that significantly opens up the market.

In-House Patient Financing 

However, beyond working with third-party finance sources, medical practices are often in a financial position which allows them to create custom financing programs for their clients. These can include “Six months interest free,” or “Ninety days same as cash.”

These programs also serve to improve their competitive edge, as long as they have the deep pockets to front the money.
Some of these in-practice programs can also be factored – sold to a third party at a discount, and leave the collections up to them.  This cuts a margin out of the revenue and profit, but it eliminates the wait for payment, as well as the risk (however slight) of financial default by patients who experience financial reverses, or who just don’t care to honor their debts.

Non-Physician Cash-Based Services

 

Physicians and spas are starting to install cash-based marketing-driven service programs that don’t involve hands-on care delivered by the doctor. These programs include both conventional aesthetic programs and those which go beyond conventional in-office programs as well.

There are regulations here regarding the presence of a physician when treatments are being provided. Before launching a new program, be sure to check with your consultants, attorneys, accountants and others. Make sure you understand the rules, the opportunities and the pitfalls before implementing one or more of these types of profitable patient-care programs.

  • Some of the main areas of focus are:
  • Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Weight Management Programs
  • Aesthetics such as Botox and fillers
  • Hair replacement, and hair removal
  • Regenerative Therapies such as PRP

Each of these can be delivered by a trained technician without hands-on physician involvement. In this, they have some kinship with services offered at medical spas.

One key here is patient satisfaction, and in this area, doctors can learn much from successful dentists.  When a dental patient comes in for a cleaning or other service not provided by a dentist, the smart dentist (and, because of the competition, there are a lot of smart dentists out there now) makes a point of visiting with the patient.

In this brief visit with the patient, he’ll make a show of “checking” on his hygienist’s or technician’s work, even while chatting up the patient.  This demonstrates both a caring attitude and a “I’m here to make sure that you get the best quality services” attitude.

That is an attitude that must be demonstrated in these non-physician services.


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