As a healthcare provider, you’re dedicated to helping people. But due to the nature and costs inherent to the healthcare industry, your patients often end up with a large bill. Point of sale financing for healthcare may help your patients make financial arrangements to pay their bills.
According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, roughly three in 10 Americans have problems with paying their medical bills. Those struggles have led many to avoid getting the medical care they need.
One way you can help with this is by offering multiple payment options for your patients. One option is point-of-sale financing for healthcare, which allows customers to apply in your office and get approved.
Read on to learn more about point-of-sale loans and how they can help your practice.
What is point of sale financing for healthcare?
Point-of-sale financing is an instant approval loan that your patients can get at your office to pay their medical bills. Point-of-sale loans have a set interest rate, monthly payment, and repayment period. Loan terms can range from a few months to a year.
Like a credit card, customers can immediately use a point-of-sale loan to cover their medical bill while still at your office. And like personal loans, there’s a set repayment schedule rather than a minimum monthly payment.
How point-of-sale financing can help your practice
Point-of-sale financing is a great option for any of the following types of medical providers:
- Nurse practitioners
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Physician assistants
Like other patient financing companies, point-of-sale loans can be tailored to your business and the unique needs of your patients. Here are some of the benefits you’ll see with this type of healthcare financing.
3 benefits of point-of-sale financing
1) Can boost your sales
In 2012, Forrester Consulting conducted a study to learn more about the impact of PayPal’s Bill Me Later feature, which acts as a point-of-sale loan. In it, the research group found that merchants increased their sales by 32%. They did so by offering a point-of-sale loan along with their other payment methods.
That’s a lot of sales that they wouldn’t have otherwise generated if they offered the same payment methods as everyone else.
As a healthcare provider, you may already offer a handful of patient financing solutions. But adding one more can make it easier for your patients to choose the one that best fits their needs.
2) Will improve your cash flow
In most cases, you’ll send out an invoice to your patients, giving them up to a few months to pay. While you might get some patients to pay on time, others may take as long as you’re willing to give them.
While you may have already incorporated this process into your cash flow expectations, point of sale financing for healthcare can eliminate that need altogether.
That’s because, when a customer gets approved for a point-of-sale loan, you get paid up front. The lender, then, takes care of collecting payments.
So, not only do you get improved cash flow, but you also don’t have to deal with the headache of collecting payments.
3) May attract more patients
Point of sale financing for healthcare offers customers simple and easy financing, quicker purchase rates, and easy customer application. If healthcare patients know that you offer more generous payment options, they may be more willing to become a patient. What’s more, they may be willing to request costlier treatments.
In fact, the Forrester Consulting study found that the Pay Me Later feature resulted in a 75% increase in customer orders. Why? Because the monthly payments made the purchase more affordable.
What to consider when looking for healthcare financing
There are plenty of point-of-sale financing companies out there. But finding the right one is essential to ensuring that you give customers the flexibility they need without paying too much in fees.
Some costs that may be associated with point-of-sale financing for healthcare include a monthly or annual service fee, training fees, equipment fees, setup fees, and cancellation fees. Medical providers should consider these before they dive headfirst into point-of-sale financing.
One fee to consider that many point-of-sale financing for healthcare programs charge is a discount fee of 10%. That’s a huge cut, especially once more and more patients start using the payment method.
In other words, if you bill $1,000 for a procedure, you’d only get $900 from the patient.
So, it’s important to shop around for a program that won’t charge you an arm and a leg. SuperMoney’s point-of-sale financing platform, for instance, doesn’t charge any dealer fees or discount rates. This means you keep the profit.
You’ll also want to work with a company that does most of the legwork for you. With SuperMoney, you’ll get a specially designed landing page for your website where patients can apply online if they don’t get a chance to in person.
They’ll fill out a form and get pre-approved offers from several lenders. Once they pick a lender and officially apply, they can get approved and receive the funds as early as the same day.
On your end, you can track this whole process to ensure that your patient gets the funds promptly. Then, you get paid and don’t have to worry about the rest.
The bottom line
Point of sale financing for healthcare can make a big difference for your practice. It can also provide a lot more payment flexibility for your patients. As you think about ways to help your patients afford their medical bills, consider point-of-sale loans as a way for them bridge that gap.
Not only can it help make health care more affordable to the people you serve, but it can also help you better manage your practice.
Ben Luthi is a personal finance writer and a credit cards expert who loves helping consumers and business owners make better financial decisions. His work has been featured in Time, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance, U.S. News & World Report, CNBC, Success Magazine, USA Today, The Huffington Post and many more.