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  • Michelle Shimmin

Flexible Financial Arrangements for your Patients

Flexible financial arrangements means to creatively facilitate your patients starting treatment. Discuss with the patient what works for them. Evaluate your business to develop strategic business decisions that fit into where you are geographically and economically located. Know your competition, know your area demographics and patient base and make decisions accordingly.

I am not a proponent of doing zero down payments, however sometimes the monthly payments are more important to your families and sometimes the down payment is more important to your families. It can be as simple and easy as understanding the financial needs of the family and getting creative to facilitate what works best for them.

I do not recommend grouping the months in financing with the estimated months in treatment. We do not want our patients to associate the months in treatment with the number of payments. This is especially true if you provide an accelerated treatment option to your patients. You want your patients to see the value of the investment amount and then separately, as a courtesy to them, you can break their amount due into “x” amount of payments. You do not want your patients to feel if they finish sooner than expected, which of course is a goal in every practice, that you owe them an amount of money back since they did not go the entire length of treatment. Assist your patients in knowing that we base our treatment fees on complexity of treatment, appliances used, and results expected. Do not hide the estimated months of treatment from the patient. Be clear in what you are recommending and how long you expect it to take. Just be cautious in verbalizing and printing this at the same time or with the financial arrangements. You also should still have a part in your formal contract that states if treatment goes beyond the estimated months of treatment based on non-compliance there will be an additional cost.

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