Three Tips to Improve the Dental Payment Experience
Many dental practices want to improve their patient payment experience, but struggle with where to start. Here are three tips for dental practices looking to modernize their patient payments.
Dental practices have realized the reverberating effects of delivering a great patient experience on their case acceptance, patient attrition, and new patient acquisition, and are focused on making the patient experience great. Paying for their care is a critical pain point in a dental patient's journey. And improving the patient payment experience will go a long way to help practices achieve their goals.
FeatherPay has worked with many practices to help modernize their patient payment experience. Here are three tips to help dental practices start their journey:
Tip #1: Look for ways to make the payment experience "digital first"
While most dental offices take their payments in the office, providing patients with the ability to view their bill and pay it digitally is a key way to improve the patient experience. Digital engagement with patients is important for two reasons:
- Patients largely prefer digital communications. Patients are used to digital communications, 95% of patients report having daily access to text messaging, and digital communications allows the patient to fit response into their schedule. Many patients prefer digital communications and mobile payments as well. One FeatherPay client implemented text-to-pay and after 90 days 20% of patient bills were on a mobile device.
- Digital communications improves billing performance. In a 2021 study, 31% of patients said they pay medical bills faster when they are notified to do so by text or email. This number is further improved when they can pay the bill directly from the text using digital payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Tip #2: Invest in making sure that patients are informed about their payment options
Most practices offer several different ways for patients to pay for their care. However, many of these same practices do not proactively communicate those options to their patients or train their staff on how to talk with patients about their options. As a result, patients are often unaware of all of their options. Or patients find themselves unable to distinguish between different payment options. Both of these factors lead to patient attrition and lower case acceptance.
Presenting patients with multiple payment options and training staff to effectively answer questions about them has been shown to improve case acceptance by 10% or more.
Tip #3: Look for ways to give patients flexibility in their payment
Many patients need flexibility in paying for their care. This need for flexibility comes in two forms:
- Flexibility in payment timing. Some patients can’t pay their full bill all at once and need to spread their payments out over time. This can be done using a third party lender or an internal payment plan, depending on the situation.
- Flexibility in payment method. Many patients would like to spread their bill across multiple different payment types. A common example is leveraging the remaining funds on an HSA or FSA card. And then, paying for the rest in cash or using two different credit cards to maximize their cashback. FeatherPay’s dental clients observe that about 10% of patients with bills over $1,000 use multiple payment methods to complete their transaction.
The point at which a patient decides how to pay for care is critical for both practice financial performance and the patient experience. Developing an empathetic, flexible approach will help dental practices deliver the patient payment experience that leads to better outcomes.
If you are interested in improving your patient payments experience, then FeatherPay may be able to help.
FeatherPay is a patient payment platform that accelerates revenue and lowers operational costs for dental practices. And on top of that, it also delivers a great experience for patients. FeatherPay consolidates all the different ways your practice enables payments, whether for treatment plans, invoices, membership plans, or other practice services. We combine into a single experience for patients and administrators.
Practices that use FeatherPay have seen a 5-20% increase in their revenues. Furthermore, they also see improvements in operational metrics such as same-day care, patient times in the office, and unpaid patient liabilities.