Many Ophthalmologists enjoy a steady baseline of business, as the majority of services offered (cataracts surgery, canaloplasty, etc.) are essential, vision saving endeavors, and are often covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. However, other procedures or upgrades offered by Ophthalmologists, such as Lasik Surgeries and lens upgrades can benefit from in-house financing, aiding in building office visits while generating an additional revenue stream.
In addition to treating vision-threatening disorders such as cataracts and glaucoma, many Ophthalmologists can also free patients from minor vision problems through Lasik surgery. Booking a high volume of Lasik surgeries creates a strong revenue stream for the practice, and many offices will focus on outbound marketing to drive potential Lasik leads to the operating table. While insurance may cover some of these surgeries, many patients will pay out of pocket or have a significant deductible or co-pay that must be met, thus creating a need for financing assistance. Unfortunately, third party financiers have significantly reduced their approval rates, slashing the number of surgical leads doctors can accept. With financing approval rates as they are, it is entirely possible that only 10-15% of interested patients can end up booking a surgery. Not to mention that the approval often comes with a 6-10% discount fee paid to the financier.
It’s no wonder many Ophthalmologists are beginning to take financing into their own hands, allowing them to choose whom they accept, and ultimately booking more procedures. While providing loans in house means taking on a bit of risk, implementing smart payment plan practices can greatly reduce said risks. For example, requiring a down payment that covers all the hard costs (such as the surgery center or officer overhead), and protects the practice if the patient defaults. The added administrative work that comes with tracking and billing payment plans can be a concern as well, but modern advances in patient-financing software takes care of this process by automating all the billing along with providing tools to keep patients on track.
Offering their own financing allows Ophthalmologists to say “Yes” to a greater number of surgeries, thus allowing more patients to get the life-changing vision care they need. Furthermore, the money saved on third-party financing fees coupled with the incoming interest from these plans make this a both a viable money-saver and wealth generation resource for any practice.