Patients Help Financing

CareCredit has grown to be the best-known financing option for patients. In July 2015 they conducted the Consumers’ Path to Healthcare Purchases Study. In this study they surveyed 1,954 people. Out of this 682 used CareCredit for dental care. It was the highest ranked out of vision surgery, optical care, cosmetic procedures, and veterinary care. (Rothstien Tauber, Inc., 2015) They discovered about 75% of patients only use offices that accept their insurance. From there, 58% of patients research the procedures needed and 67% of patients researched financing. Most of the participants, about 76%, noted that they sought offline information. If patients do not know their financing options in person, it is safe to assume their consumer personality type would make the decision for them.

When I worked for a corporate dental office it was customary for us to offer CareCredit to every patient that needed extensive treatment. We would code the procedures and create an estimated cost based off the insurance benefits. Meanwhile, the patient would wait in the operatory. We broke down the total and directly asked the patient how they were going to pay for services? From there we waited for the response. For many of the patients it was a long stare off into the darkness of $3,000 worth of dental work. That was after their estimated insurance benefits.

Our demographic was mainly the working class. These are individuals who make about $30,000 to $50,000 per year. Many of the patients had a healthcare savings card or they could place the cost on their personal credit card. On the other hand, there were many patients who could not. They needed the burden of taking care of their teeth to fit into a budget. I would break down the cost of treatment over monthly payments with the use of CareCredit. They just needed to get credit approval. One by one, patients would take their chances with the credit check. In the best-case scenario, the patient would get approved. Then they would get the treatment they needed.

Financing has become increasingly popular in the dental world. CareCredit effectively implemented a system that allowed them to take advantage of these findings.

Once they snap out of their long stare at the cost of treatment, there must be a decision. There are many people who are emotional spenders. These are people who show up to the dentist looking to get everything taken care of regardless of the cost. According to Survey Results 8 Global Consumer Types for Marketing 2018, the emotional spender makes about $34,000 per year on average. They accept treatment quickly. It is very easy to get an emotional spender to apply for financing. This tends to be males about 34 years old. On the other side of that we have the Cautious Planner. This personality type is thinking about the long run. They tend to be females about 46 years old making $32,000 per year. They are not comfortable taking out a line of credit. Furthermore, expensive dental care may fall low on the list of importance. (Shridhar, 2018)  The only way the Cautious Planner will finance is in the case of an emergency. So, at times the need for dental care must be presented in that way. In either case, the option for CareCredit was given, only verbiage changed.

Financing has become increasingly popular in the dental world. CareCredit effectively implemented a system that allowed them to take advantage of these findings. Over one third of patients using CareCredit, use it for dental care. Those numbers have remained steady. With the changes in the cost of healthcare and insurance premiums, we can only expect an increase in financing needs. Also, more patients are looking into cosmetic dentistry. All companies like CareCredit must do is set up shop.

Angel Jones

Angel Jones is an Insurance Coordinator at Shen Dental Care, PC. This practice has two offices. One in Mount Prospect, IL and one in Villa Park, IL. She completed her Associates in Art at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Il. While there she was also certified as a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist through the National Healthcare Association. She is now nearing the end of her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Northern Illinois University.

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