Between the pandemic and the dip in the economy, we’ve all been affected financially in the last few months, including your patients.
Even before the pandemic and recession hit, 3 in 10 Americans had no emergency funds, and more than half couldn’t afford an unexpected expense of $1,000 or more.
Let’s face it, even when the world isn’t as nuts as it is now, patients have trouble paying for large-ticket healthcare items.
With the average price of hearing aids costing between $1,500 and $3,500, it’s no wonder many patients wait 7 years (or more!) before they purchase hearing aids.
So how do you attract patients in a recession with unemployment at record highs?
How do you help them afford the care they need?
Give patients what they want and need: flexible payment options including financing.
How popular is financing?
“We have over 12 million cardholders and the number keeps growing,” says Christina Tamagni, Practice Development Manager for CareCredit at Synchrony Financial. “And the number of practices that offer is also going up.” That’s because the demand for it is there. Deductibles and other healthcare costs are on the rise, and patients are struggling with record unemployment.
People don’t feel financially secure right now. Businesses have had to close for months at a time, and no one knows what the future holds.
People are scared and are being more conservative with their spending. They don’t want to take out a huge chunk of their savings to upgrade to the latest technology.
Financing helps them avoid using their emergency funds toward an expense that may not seem urgent.
Flexible payment options are appealing and can tip the scale for patients who are on the fence about investing in hearing aids or are in denial about the urgency of the care they need.
Educating them about their hearing loss, and why it’s important to treat it, it is only the first step.
You have to also remove the fear that treating their hearing loss will put them in danger of not being able to pay for unexpected circumstances. And that’s what financing does. It offers them a lower monthly payment over time that won’t drain their emergency cash.
But that’s not the secret to increasing acceptance rates…this is…
You have to offer the right financing at the right time.
Most practices don’t know how to offer flexible payment options. In fact, only about 20 percent of practices that offer financing present it effectively.
“I worked with one practice who had multiple locations,” says Tamagni. “They had CareCredit financing, and accepted it, but didn’t talk about it with patients until the patient went to pay.”
“I worked with the manager and helped train the staff in the best practices and helped them be more proactive,” says Tamagni. “We changed the way they presented payment to their patients and the results speak for themselves.”
“Most patients prefer paying on an incremental basis because it’s easier to fit into their monthly budget,” she continues. “So offering them the ability to pay $3,000 upfront or $150 a month over time helped patients make the best decision for their health instead of deciding what they thought they could afford at that moment.”
“By changing that one thing, the practice was able to increase their sales year over year by 47 percent.”
So how do you offer financing in a way that improves sales?
Download tips on how to present your services more effectively, plus hear the full interview. Access now.