Australasian Dental Practice

Monday, 22 July, 2024

01 Jan 2006 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 20

Macquarie Bank enters patient finance arena

Macquarie Bank, Australia's leading Investment Bank, is the latest institution to enter the patient finance market following their acquisition of Australian Patient Finance in late 2005. With Macquarie's support, APF is looking to be the premier provider of finance for dental and elective medical procedures in Australia.

"Increasingly, dental practices are finding the need to reduce time spent chasing patient accounts which has resulted in practices having to ask for upfront payment for treatment," said Macquarie's head of Australian Patient Finance, Richard Berkman.

"Often a patient doesn't have the capacity to make an upfront payment, with many patients loading up their credit card or asking for a 'payment plan.' Offering patient finance from a reputable organisation can be a better option for patients and also remove the administrative headaches faced by many practices that in the past have set up informal payment arrangements with their patients."

Mr Berkman highlighted the fact that over the past 12 months, there has been a rapid rise in the patient finance market with a number of providers now offering dental practices a choice of patient financing options.

"Your choice of patient finance company can also have a huge impact on reducing the overall administrative costs for your practice," he continued. "Most dental practices have no interest in doing the finance company's work for them, taking applications and enquiring into their patient's financial position. Practices are looking for patient financing solutions that are easy to administer and do not chew up their staff's valuable time. And not all patient finance companies are alike in this regard.

"At Australian Patient Finance, we understand that busy dental practices do not have time to arrange finance for patients. So we handle the process for them from start to finish. Our experienced credit officers professionally handle the application process, dealing directly with the patient over the phone. Payment is then made directly to the practice's bank account prior to the treatment with no charges to the practice. This allows dentists and their staff to focus on running their dental practice at the same time as helping patients achieve a better financial solution."

Mr Berkman said Australian Patient Finance's focus is on quick and efficient processes with superior service and support for the healthcare community.

"Patient financing provides patients with additional payment choices that may offer them substantial savings, reduced financial pressure and greater peace of mind. When offered responsibly, financing provides patients with the option of paying for their procedure via monthly instalments to suit their budget. With structured regular repayments, patients are not at risk of losing the cost of the treatment in a pool of debt that can, as so often happens with credit cards, spiral out of control. Most importantly it gives the patient another means to have the treatment they need, when they need it."

Mr Berkman said that when choosing a patient finance provider, practices need to be aware that not all patient finance companies operate the same way.

"Make sure you ask about and consider the administrative implications for your practice. The right patient finance provider should mean more streamlined administration processes, a more profitable practice and the best financial solution for your patients.

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