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How health-care financing works for practices and patients

(DTI/Photo Citi Health)
Dental Tribune USA

Dental Tribune USA

Tue. 22 November 2011


A 2011 report released by the Institute of Medicine, Advancing Oral Health in America, indicates that uneven and limited access to dental health care and coverage is a major factor contributing to the poor state of oral health across the nation. Especially in today’s economic climate, it’s no surprise that financial concerns are a major obstacle for patients in getting the dental treatments they need.

Not everyone is covered by insurance, and patient costs are high. As a result, patients will often delay treatment or ignore provider recommendations and choose less than ideal procedures.

But when outside financing options are available, patients have the opportunity to start treatments they might otherwise delay. And, they will usually choose more comprehensive procedures because they can spread payments out over time.

Providers, nonetheless, still find themselves asking why a patient financing program would benefit their bottom line, especially when they already accept major credit cards. The financing experts at Citi have partnered with Henry Schein, the largest distributor of health care products and services to office-based practitioners, to demonstrate the advantages available to practices and their patients through the Citi Health Card Program.

Boost business

There has never been a better time for dentists to increase both optimal treatment acceptance and procedures, all while reducing costs for their practice. Thousands of health care providers in various industries already use patient payment plans to bring more success to their practices. And for over 16 years, Citibank and Henry Schein have backed such convenient plans.

The Citi Health Card is a perfect example. Its payment plans are designed to increase sales, create patient loyalty and generate first-time purchases. In addition, the program improves cash flow by expediting the payment process for providers, as treatment fees are electronically deposited within two to three business days. Because of this, providers are able to stay focused on patient care, rather than collections.

Also, the card offers the lowest no- interest and budget plan merchant discount rates in the dental industry, giving practices the potential to save money over other credit card or payment programs. And, there are no enrollment fees, minimum volume requirements or special equipment requirements.

New features include an Internet-based system for faster application and transaction processing, system-generated transaction receipts, online reporting and management tools, and security features that protect staff access and account information.

Ultimately, dental practices and patients who participate in the Citi Health Card Program have the freedom to make treatment decisions based more on health care concerns and less on financial ones. Patients can finance treatments or additional procedures, and it’s just one more reason for them to stay loyal to a practice.

Help patients

Having a separate account for health care treatments gives patients peace of mind by allowing them to concentrate on their health instead of financial concerns.

The Citi Health Card gives them flexible payment plans that enable patients to get the care and treatments they need right now, and down the road. Patients value the flexibility of low monthly payments and no down payment. Plus, the card can be used as needed for additional treatments and for other family members.

The program also provides patients the benefit of having a separate revolving credit card for health care expenses so they can keep their bank-card credit lines available for everyday use.

Get started

Citi Health Card’s patient financing program makes the patient application process easy. Providers or patients can submit consumer applications by phone or online, and eligibility decisions are made quickly so treatments can begin immediately.

Get support

Participating providers receive comprehensive program information, including simple training guides and sales presentations for patients. Complete training and support materials are available online, and enrollment comes with access to online resources that help train new staff members and maximize the benefits of the program.

The program also features dedicated customer service support as well as daily and monthly settlement reporting.

Dental providers who are interested in enrollment or additional information should contact Citi Health Card.







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