The Digital Shift in Dental Payments: How to Tell if Your Practice is Ready

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As digital commerce has become omnipresent, patient expectations around paying for healthcare are shifting in two major ways.

First, patients have become more comfortable with digital and other payment methods. In 2020, an estimated 78% of Americans used some type of digital payment.

Second, patients are expecting their healthcare providers to deliver a good payment experience across digital devices and patient engagement touchpoints. In a 2018 survey, 41% of patients said they would stop going to their healthcare provider over a poor payment or billing experience. One in five has already switched providers for this reason.

Historically, patient experience has focused on appointment availability, the office environment, and clinician bedside manner. However, there is now an expectation for your practice to have a robust digital payment capability, with an emphasis on mobile and contactless payments. This shift in dental payment is a result of a change in consumer behavior – making it crucial for practices to keep up if they want to keep their patients satisfied and their schedules full.

Patient Expectations with Paying for Healthcare in 2022

As digital commerce has become more integrated into our everyday lives, patient expectations around paying for healthcare are shifting in two ways:

  1. Patients are more comfortable with digital payment methods.
  2. Patients expect their healthcare providers to deliver a good payment experience.

In today’s dental market, the ability to meet patient demand for digital convenience is as important as ever. However, many practices still haven’t unlocked the value that comes with strong payment technology and process.

Is your practice ready for the digital shift that’s occurring with dental payments? Answer these four questions to find out.

1. How much flexibility do I give my patients in how they pay for their dental care? 

The more flexibility you have in your payment experience, the more likely you are to have patients select care and pay for care. A best-in-class flexible payment experience will do two things:

  • Support multiple payment methods, including credit/debit card, HSA/FSA, on-file credit card, Apple Pay/Google Pay, third-party financing options such as Care Credit, Lending Point, or GreenSky, and practice managed payment and membership plans.
  • Let patients combine multiple payment types to complete their payment. FeatherPay has seen that for out-of-pocket costs over $1,000, 10% of patients use more than one payment method.

2. How easy and convenient is it for a patient to make a payment? 

It should be easy for a patient to evaluate their payment options (and make payment), especially remotely on mobile devices like smartphones. Patients expect two things with their payment experience:

  • They want to know all their payment options. All the payment options available to a patient should be presented together. The patient should have complete information on how they can pay for their care.
  • They want to be able to pay in a way that’s convenient for them. A good payment system will enable support payment across multiple channels, whether in the office, over the phone, or using contactless payments and pay-by-text from a patient’s mobile device.

One DSO working with FeatherPay was able to reduce patients’ average time in the office by 10% and decrease cancellations and no-shows by sending patients their invoices to be paid before their appointment.

Tools like FeatherPay can show a patient all their payment options and enable easy payment on a mobile device

3. How troublesome are basic administrative tasks like bookkeeping and refunds for my administrative team?

A good payment system will simplify and streamline administrative tasks such as:

  • Refunds
  • Reconciliation
  • Itemized receipt creation
  • Bookkeeping

For group practices with multiple locations, it is also helpful if these tasks can be centralized or shared across office locations. This can help reduce costs and prevent staffing problems.

4. How adaptable is my payment technology to changes that occur within or outside of my market?

As your practice changes and technology continues to increase, you’ll need to adjust the methods of payment you present to your patients.

A good payment system will enable you to adapt as your practice and patient demographics change. It will provide analytics on what payment methods patients are choosing. And it will also let you enable or disable individual payment methods with ease.

The Future of Dental Payments Is Here

FeatherPay is a payment platform that drives revenue and lowers operational costs for dental practices, all while delivering a great experience for patients. It does this by consolidating all the different ways a practice enables its patients to pay into a single experience for patients and administrators.

With FeatherPay, patients can see all of their payment options, and they can combine multiple payment methods in a single transaction. Patients can pay in the office or a secure link can be texted or emailed to patients to enable payment on their mobile devices.

FeatherPay also simplifies back-office operations such as reconciliation, auditing, refunds, and patient billing, leading to more efficient and accurate processes that save time and money.

Discover how FeatherPay can help your practice save
time, money, and exceed your patients’ expectations.
Learn more and schedule a demo today.


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