Should you offer in-house financing to dental implant patients?

If the biggest obstacle to closing dental implant cases is the high out-of-pocket costs to patients, does it make sense to offer in-house financing options? Is it too much of a hassle?

We know offering in-house financing for dental implant patients isn’t always an easy decision. Running a dental practice is hard enough work that many dentists see offering in-house financing as an additional and unnecessary complication.

But what if it turned out that offering in-house financing could actually simplify your practice? What if in-house financing could help you serve your patients better while simultaneously making your life better?

We reached out to Dr. Bruce Baird, Founder of Compassionate Finance, which helps dentists offer customized payment plans to patients, for answers. Here are three key insights from our interview with Dr. Baird.

In-house financing helps you avoid discounting your rates.

Insurance companies and outside financing companies all require you to cut your rates. For example, PPOs can require discounts of up to 40%. Even then, you still need to chase patients for their out-of-pocket payments and manage insurance company red tape.

But dentists are conditioned to take that risk because it’s been going on for decades and insurance companies typically don’t default on their payment obligations. Outside finance companies might not discount your rate directly, but they can charge high fees that function to take a significant piece of revenue off the top.

Offering in-house financing allows you to charge what you want and keep all your revenue. Also, any added work to handle the financing is negligible and more than offset by the amount of additional revenue you can earn, even before accounting for earned interest.

In-house financing can help create substantial revenue growth.

Even down payments on financed procedures add up. According to, Dr. Baird, because outside financing fees and insurance discounts are so high, many dentists who finance in-house can earn as much in down payments as they did in some full days of production without in-house financing. Moreover, you receive the down payments right away so some dentists can end up getting paid more and faster by offering in-house financing.

In-house financing also helps patients move forward with needed procedures they couldn’t fit into their budgets without financing options. This will this help you increase revenue while helping your patients get the care they need sooner.

In-house financing creates passive revenue streams.

Generating passive revenue isn’t something many dental practices consider a possibility. With in-house financing, it is. As time goes on, dentists who offer in-house financing start each month with predictable recurring revenue for work completed in prior months. Some dentists make $70,000 a month from in-house financing payments alone, Dr. Baird said.

The predictable revenue that flows in without having to do additional work allows dentists to better predict and manage cash flow. It also gives dentists more freedom to take vacations or cut back on hours without worrying about revenue stalling.

Is in-house financing too risky?

Dentists often push back against in-house dental patient financing because of a concern that patients might default. That concern is a reasonable one. Patients could default on their payment plans and leave dentists in the unenviable position of having to chase patients for payment for services already performed.

While this is certainly a possibility, not offering in-house financing might be an even bigger risk, according to Dr. Baird.

If you properly vet patients for creditworthiness and set payment terms to cover costs with a down payment and make the monthly payment amount affordable, your chances of loss go down. 

Additionally, when practices agree to discount rates by 40% for insurance companies, they are essentially agreeing to waive 40% of revenue for every PPO patient. Thus, as long as your collection rate on procedures you finance in-house is greater than 60%, you’d be ahead of that game. While some patients may default, it’s highly unlikely that 40% of them will, especially if you take steps to structure your in-house financing offers to reduce your risks.

Finally, we know the biggest obstacle to having patients move forward with dental implants is having an affordable way for patients to pay for treatment. Thus, offering in-house financing gives you the opportunity to get more patients to say yes to the life-changing dental implants they need. Many patients wouldn’t be able to move forward with treatment without financing.

Is in-house financing for you?

In-house financing options can be a great way to help patients move forward with dental implant treatment. Have you looked into it for your practice before? If so, did you choose to offer it? What’s been your experience?

If not, what gave you pause? Were you concerned about administration? Were you worried about patient defaults? What if offering in-house financing could be less risky than what you’re used to with your PPO relationships or outside financing companies?

Share your experience with us in the comments or on our Facebook page. Be sure to like the page to keep up with the latest podcast episodes and video interviews with the world’s top influencers in dentistry that you definitely don’t want to miss!

If you want to hear more about in-house financing, listen to our LiveCast with Dr. Bruce Baird or visit Compassionate Finance’s website.

Also, let us know any questions you have about in-house financing in the comments or by sharing this post on social media. As always, be sure to tag us, on Twitter, @DrivenDental, and our Facebook page when you share on Facebook.

That will make sure we see your post and can thank you publicly or know to answer your questions! Together, we can help make dental practices more profitable and better experiences for dentists, team members, and patients!

Nick Pavlidis
 

Nick Pavlidis is a recognized author for several dental implant articles.

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