Should You Allow Your Membership Plan Patients to Use 3rd-Party Financiang?

It’s a great question — but it has an “It depends.” answer.

Here’s the way I see it…

If you are a PPO practice

If you are a practice that is already accepting PPOs and letting those patients use financing, then I say let your dental savings plan members use it too. You’ll probably find that your overall PPO write-off (standard fee — PPO fee discount — 3rd party write-off) is greater than your DSP write-off. (standard fee — DSP pricing discount — 3rd party write-off).

Your in-house plan should not have fees less than any PPO you accept!

PPO patient write-off with Care Credit > DSP patient write-off using Care Credit

If you are a Fee-For-Service practice it’s really up to you.

If your discount plan is conservative, then you may be comfortable with an additional write-off in addition to your dental plan’s savings, especially if it’s for a short payoff time frame (like the 3-month option…so your fees will be lower than the 6, 9, or 12-month options).

One important caveat…your monthly or yearly recurring plan enrollment fee should never be financed!

If you’re using plan management software for your enrollments and automatic re-enrollments, you likely don’t have the option to set up financing, and why would you want to? It is never an issue with a monthly recurring enrollment because the dollar amounts are quite low. For an annual plan, the membership fee can sometimes be a few hundred dollars, so on occasion, a patient may ask if you’ll allow them to split up an enrollment fee instead of enforcing it to be paid in full.

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