Presenting finances with confidence in a dental office involves establishing clear communication with patients and providing them with transparent information about the costs of their dental procedures. Here are some of the steps that can help create a successful financial presentation system:
- The clinical team confidently explains the benefits of treatment and how it can improve their oral health, appearance, and overall quality-of-life. This will help patients to see the value in the treatment they are being offered, and feel more confident in their decision to proceed. Feeling the confidence of a dental team that understands the value of treatment will instill the same level of confidence (and motivation) in the dental patient.
- Confidence is passed on between the different teams. Always follow the same order when presenting treatment to patients:
- Educate your patient in the clinical area.
- State # of appointments needed to complete the treatment.
- Communicate this to the business team prior to transferring the patient.
- Transfer the patient to the business area.
- The business team will schedule FIRST, before discussing finances if it is possible.
- The business team has their financial presentation ready to go.
- The business team provides a clear & concise breakdown of the treatment costs. When presenting the treatment plan, your team will break down the costs into individual items, and explain each item in simple terms. This will help patients understand the treatment’s value and its associated cost tremendously.
- The business team provides and reiterates the benefits of the treatment. Your business team should focus on the VALUE of treatment, just as your clinical team has done. They should explain to patients the benefits of the treatment and how it can improve their oral health, appearance and overall quality-of-life. This will help patients see the value in the treatment, and feel more confident in their decision to proceed.
- The business team will, after scheduling the appointment, provide different payment options consistently to ALL patients. Be sure to include all of the available payment options that your practice accepts, such as payment plans or financing options, to help make the treatment more affordable. This will show patients that you understand the issues that finances may present, and are committed to helping them receive the care they need regardless of their financial situation. It is important that this is done as soon as possible PRIOR to the appointment, not on the day of the appointment itself!
- The business team is transparent and honest about the costs. This will help to build trust with your patients and ensure that they feel confident in their decision to proceed with the treatment. This may include discussions about insurance topics, such as maximums, insurance limitations, and what is needed in order to obtain coverage.
- Use visuals for more complicated cases. This helps patients understand the treatment better, as well as feel more well-informed when they need to choose between different options (EX: dentures vs. hybrid bridge).
- The business team provides empathy and understanding. Your team should always show empathy and understanding when discussing the financial aspects of the treatment. They should avoid prejudging. The best way to show empathy is to ensure consistency when presenting finances: treat all patients equally, providing them with all of your financial payment options regardless of what may be assumed about their financial status. This is the kindest approach. After all, everybody deserves to improve their oral health, regardless of what life may have thrown at them.
We’ll go over some of these concepts in more detail below. While these ideas above are essential in the larger picture, your business team should have their own system that they follow when presenting finances to the patients. The business team is especially integral to your success in this aspect of your dental business. Your business team should always do the following: