Bringing cash-paying patients into your practice can be tough. Finding a payment plan or payment method that is convenient for these patients can be even tougher. Advances in technology have created new payment options for cash-paying patients, including apps, sites that track payments and even cryptocurrencies (similar to Bitcoin) that are solely dedicated to dentists.
Why Do Cash-Paying Dental Patients Need Payment Options?
Cash-paying patients can be dream patients for dentists. With these customers, the dentist doesn’t have to negotiate with insurance companies or worry about fee schedules or provider coverage. Cash-paying patients come in, receive any procedure they need or want, get a bill, pay the dental office and leave. It’s that simple. Not to mention, these patients often need multiple treatments when they come in.
Dentistry IQ notes that “according to the ADA, the average practice has between $500,000 to $1 million in treatment plans that are never scheduled. This means not only are practices making less money, but they’re also providing fewer patients with the best levels of oral health.”
One can safely assume many of these patients not following through with treatment plans were cash-paying patients.
“Nobody saves in advance for dental care. That means that in order to really compete for discretionary dollars, you have to be able to offer the patient something other providers of high-value items do: a manageable way to pay for it,” says Spear Education.
So how can dentists use some of these convenient new payment options to attract these perfect patients AND increase their treatment plan acceptance rates? Dental offices have used proven strategies to cater to this group of patients using the following methods:
1. Create a Payment Plan
Many dental offices have implemented payment plans to ease their patients’ financial burden. Payment plans are particularly effective for cash-paying patients and can increase treatment plan acceptance rates. Simply work with the patient to devise a plan for splitting up their payments or the work they need done.
2. Use Sites and Apps like PayPal to Bill Patients for Their Service
Developers have taken interest in this method of billing because it simplifies payments for consumers and businesses alike. Check out apps like PayPal to bill your patients. These kinds of apps can be a big help for practices since everything is recorded, secure and able to be exported for accounting purposes.
You can even customize PayPal for your dental practice so patients can log into their account on your website to pay their bill. Using PayPal to process these payments means that your patients’ bills and payment information remain secure.
3. Accept Cryptocurrency like Dentacoin
Another option that is shaking up the finance world is the introduction of cryptocurrency into the marketplace. Cryptocurrency is essentially a peer-to-peer currency that is traded via the Internet. It is reliable, fast and secure. There are many forms of cryptocurrencies, but one that has popped up recently is Dentacoin. Dentacoin is a brand-new system for providing and paying for dental care. A blurb on their website talks about their model and plans for the industry:
“A decentralized, highly secure blockchain-based database of all patient dental health records will help dentists provide the most accurate diagnostics and thus plan proper treatment and prophylaxis programs. Dentacoin aims at implementing a brand-new ‘Hippocratic’ dental assurance model where patients will no longer pay for treatments, but for prevention. Lifelong, fully-covered dental care will be provided to the patient with very low monthly rates, paid in DCN. If patients adhere to the recommendations provided by their dentists and pay their monthly rates, dentists are obliged to keep them healthy by covering all treatment costs. A self-executing Smart Contract will guarantee shared responsibility, no manipulations and very low fees. The usual benefits of insurance companies will be shared between patients and dentists.”
It is an ambitious plan, but, if successful, it could usher in a new era of patient-practice relationships.
4. Offer an In-House Dental Plan
In the meantime, the most widely accepted and successful solution for drawing in cash-paying patients and building a strong relationship with them is by bringing their costs down through in-house dental plans. An in-house dental plan can apply to people with insurance, as well, and can be used as a supplement to a traditional insurance plan. An in-office plan builds patient loyalty through providing a flat discount on services for its members.
One of the main issues dentists face with these kinds of plans is the difficulty of keeping them industry-compliant. To solve that problem, we created Launch Loyalty. Launch Loyalty is king when it comes to building a custom, compliant in-house discount plan for dental practices nationwide. The innovative Launch Loyalty tool allows dental practices to quickly and easily create a plan designed to help patients save money on dental treatment that’s critical to maintaining good oral health. Dentists can design and deliver private-labeled plans that increase patient loyalty, boost treatment plan acceptance rates and attract new patients. Launch Loyalty is the smartest way to build and manage an in-office discount plan.
Cash-paying patients are excellent customers for your dental practice. They come with less hassle but are tougher to attract. Payment plans, apps and even unique solutions like cryptocurrencies can help, but a custom, compliant in-house dental plan is the best method to meet the needs of these patients.