In vital care fields like medical, dental, and optometry, affordability is a primary concern for patients. Many of the bills that come with care like this can be tough to swallow, and they can serve as deterrents for patients to come in for non-acute care that can help them avoid bigger issues later on. Luckily, there are ways to help consumers handle the costs of care and keep them coming in for routine visits.
Patient financing options are the best ways to do this since they don’t require care providers to amend pricing but still give them the freedom to do so. There are a few different ways to finance care that make things easy on customers, which include:
- In-office financing
- Healthcare credit cards
- BNPL financing
Let’s go over each, and what the best option is for most practices.
While seemingly the “easiest” way to go about patient financing, in-house can be anything but easy. This is because, instead of allowing a third-party lender to front the cash, practices have to keep track of payments themselves. Not only that, but since they take on all the risk, care providers have to be much more stringent about who and what they will finance.
Although, in-house financing can be great for preventative care or for more minor procedures that only require a few payments. It allows the convenience of financing in these instances but is much less risky for the practice with smaller bills and shorter payment-tracking. Some care providers even shift to a subscription model for lower-cost procedures, allowing consumers to pay a flat monthly fee to get a number of services without a copay.
Healthcare Credit Cards
Credit cards are another option for financing care that allows those with chronic needs to easily finance their medical or dental care without having to put in new applications for each visit. Essentially, healthcare credit cards are credit cards that offer lower interest rates for purchases directly related to medical or dental needs. These are handled by a third party so that practices can be paid immediately and don’t have to worry about tracking payments.
While these cards are great for chronic care patients, they don’t exactly make sense for patients with one-off procedures that cost a bit of money, as they are then left with a credit card they have no use for. Additionally, the borrowing limits on credit cards are far lower than those on loans, so many services are too expensive to be covered by a credit card.
Loans are another option that can be handled by a third party, allowing providers the peace of mind that they will be paid out right when they perform the service, with backend issues being handled by a lender. Loans are the go-to option for bigger one-time procedures, as they have higher borrowing limits, lower interest rates, and clearer payment structures for patients.
The only downsides with loans are those that are present for all traditional financing, like:
- Credit impact
- Credit requirements
Each of these makes loans somewhat inflexible. Smaller purchases don’t make as much sense when they carry the risk of dropping the patient’s credit score or charging them too much in interest.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) Financing
BNPL is the final third-party financing option on this list and the most convenient. BNPL is a payment plan similar to a loan but carries little-to-no interest and no credit impact as long as payments are made on time.
For smaller purchases, BNPL typically carries no interest and breaks up the total cost into equal payments. The most common BNPL model is the "pay-in-four" structure that includes four equal interest-free payments. For larger bills, BNPL plans can be stretched to much longer terms to ensure the patient can afford to pay.
Offer Better Patient Financing Options With Skeps
Skeps offers cutting-edge POS financing and BNPL services for both lenders and healthcare providers. We offer every type of financing that a patient may need, allowing for the greatest degree of flexibility for those that work with us.
Our platform can integrate with any point-of-sale or billing system, and it is easy to use, allowing medical practices to focus on helping patients while our network of quality lenders handles everything else.