For Dental Service Organizations (DSOs), patient financing conversations are crucial for educating patients about their options. However, these conversations can be awkward and uncomfortable – especially for patients who need financing but have concerns about qualification. This is where AI-powered communication comes into play, modernizing the way healthcare providers educate patients about financing options.
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of using an AI tool to automate patient financing conversations, helping to improve case acceptance rates, and enhancing the overall patient experience.
The Challenges of Manual Financing Conversations
In-person or over-the-phone conversations face common problems. It can be difficult for administrative staff to explain financial options and address patient concerns effectively. This is especially true for employees who haven’t been thoroughly trained on them.
Moreover, the manual nature of these conversations makes them time-consuming and difficult to standardize. When multiple patients are at the front desk, and the staff is busy answering phone calls, it’s not ideal for having a conversation with either the patients in the office or those on the phone.
In addition, many patients prefer to discuss financing options privately. But it’s often difficult for a staff member to leave the front desk to meet one-on-one with a patient. If there is only one person at the front desk, for example, this may be impossible. And some practices don’t have a suitable room for these types of conversations.
The Concept of Automating Dental Financing Conversations
Automation in dental financing conversations involves utilizing AI-powered tools to streamline and simplify the process.
The software uses the latest Artificial Intelligence technology to converse with patients via SMS or web chat. Patients who call the practice or visit the website can immediately move the conversation to SMS. (For the vast majority of patients, this is preferable to leaving a voice mail and waiting for a call back.)
Patients Expect Self-Service and Convenience
Increasingly, people expect self-service options for interacting with healthcare providers. Self-service patient messaging platforms use AI to enable patients to execute the majority of transactions.
In the SMS thread, the bot engages in complex, human-like conversations, helping the patient with myriad issues. These include booking, canceling, or rescheduling an appointment, checking insurance providers and accessing the payment system. Practices can customize the workflow to provide financing education at various points in the conversation.
AI dental software is ideal for providing information about financing and allowing patients to apply. It’s convenient, discrete and available around-the-clock. Patients can learn about financing in the same channel they interact with the practice.
Furthermore, it provides consistent, branded messaging about financing options. When financing providers’ policies change, the practice can update the necessary information in the bot settings. This ensures that the practice is always providing accurate, up-to-date information to each patient.
Benefits of AI-Powered Communication Tools for DSOs
Let’s discuss the multiple benefits of using AI software for patient financing education.
Overcomes Patient Reluctance
Many people are reluctant to speak with a staff member about financing due to the awkwardness of financial conversations. AI software for DSOs provides a comfortable environment for patients to get information and apply for dental patient financing.
Ensures All Patients Are Informed
AI-powered tools ensure that every patient that calls and interacts with an AI SMS bot will receive information about financing options. Even your best employees don’t remember to offer financing in every patient conversation.
Simplifies the Application Process
Patients can easily apply for financing by clicking a link in a text thread during their conversation with the AI bot. This simplifies the application process and improves accessibility for patients.
Helps Improve Case Acceptance Rates
By automating and improving the way practices educate patients on financing options, DSOs can enhance their case acceptance rates, a key performance indicator.
“When you consider that most expenses in a dental office are fixed, an increase in financing means an increase in case acceptance, which means an increase in revenue.” Decisions in Dentistry
Time and Cost Savings
Automating patient financing conversations reduces the need for manual intervention, saving time and effort for dental staff. This also allows teams to focus on providing high-quality service to patients when the issue requires a live human.
Dental Patient Financing: Key Findings
- An estimated 68.5 million adults in the United States do not have dental insurance. CareQuest
- Four in ten U.S. adults say they have delayed or gone without medical care in the last year due to cost, with dental services being the most common type of care adults report putting off. Kaiser Family Foundation
- The number of adults without dental coverage has increased due to additional household members losing coverage and the Medicaid redetermination process. CareQuest
- According to the American Dental Association, the cost of dental services is rising due to price increases for supplies and materials, higher lab fees and increased labor costs. ADA
- The average out-of-pocket costs for dental treatment for the average adult is $51,000 to $95,000. Dental Lifetime of Care Study by Synchrony
- Those who are covered by health insurance are not immune to the burden of health care costs. About one-third of insured adults worry about affording their monthly health insurance premium, and 44% worry about affording their deductible before health insurance kicks in. Kaiser Family Foundation
Automating dental patient financing conversations through AI-powered communication tools is essential for improving efficiency and productivity in DSOs and dental practices. TrueLark is the premier provider of AI-powered patient communication software and we serve DSOs across the country. Practices can customize the AI bot and add links to dental patient financing companies. Many TrueLark DSO clients have experienced a meaningful increase in case acceptance rates by including the information and application link in AI-led SMS conversations.
Knowing there are options to financing dental care often increases case acceptance rates and can significantly reduce the amount of time patients need to make a decision about proceeding with treatment. ADA
By addressing patient reluctance, ensuring consistent messaging, and simplifying the application process, AI tools revolutionize the way patients are educated about financing options. Embracing the power of AI in patient communication enhances the patient experience, streamlines a mission-critical process and relieves the front desk staff. This is an important way DSOs are scaling with AI.