Continuing the Conversation: Increasing Your Case Acceptance

modern practice podcast

On this episode of The Rectangle Health Podcast, host Gary Tiratsuyan welcomes Michelle Dowling, Executive Vice President at Rectangle Health, and Tyler Johnson, CEO of Healthcare Finance Direct back to the show.

Michelle and Tyler discuss how patient financing, Rectangle Health’s patient financing program:


Gary Tiratsuyan 00:00

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the Rectangle Health podcast. I’m your host, Gary Taratian, and I’m very excited for today’s episode, where welcome back Michelle Dowling, executive vice president of marketing at Rectangle Health, and Tyler Johnson, CEO of Healthcare Finance Direct. If you missed part one of our miniseries, Increasing Your Case Acceptance, head over to Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or our podcast to check it out. Michelle, Tyler, welcome back from Dykema, and welcome back to the show.

Michelle Dowling 00:31

Thanks, Gary.

Gary Tiratsuyan 00:32

Last time were together, we dove into the current state of healthcare payments and how patient financing is going to be a real game changer in the industry. I wanted to ask you both, and I’ll start with you, Tyler. What was the reaction from practices and practitioners you spoke to at the Dykema Conference towards patient financing?

Tyler Johnson 00:49

Yeah, I think people were excited. I think that was just the overall theme. One of the things that this partnership is bringing is just ease of use for that treatment coordinator that in office staff just to drive adoption and to build a program that something that they can champion. One of the things our mission at Hfd is to serve the underserved, and a lot of times the focus is serving that underserved patient. But one of the things that this partnership does with Rectangle Health is it serves that underserved treatment coordinator, that person that, again, doesn’t want to have to navigate multiple applications or give somebody a partial approval, all the things that lead to a negative experience in office. Just the ease of use that comes with this partnership definitely gets people excited and ultimately is going to drive adoption in office.

Gary Tiratsuyan 01:31

Amazing. Tyler, thank you. It’s really great to hear that there was a strong and positive response. There’s also a real level of comfort, especially for the underserved, that they can receive the care they need. Michelle, what was the feeling you got as you spoke to attendees?

Michelle Dowling 01:44

I agree with Tyler. Practices are excited to hear about this program. They’re excited to have options for their patients and the financing options for patients with little credit history, truly unlike no other program in the market. And they can particularly see this benefit in the current economic environment and looming recession. This program offers the ability for providers to continue to treat patients, maintain or increase case acceptance despite the ongoing tough conditions. And patients want and need these additional ways to pay, and they need the option not to just pay in full. So treatment acceptance may be low when out of pocket costs are large. Patients may not be returning to the practice because of the lack of payment options. And on the other hand, practices may feel too risky to offer financing to pay for treatment.

So patient financing focuses on healthy patients and the patient’s well being. Financially, the overall feeling we’ve received when we talk about this program is that the interest is high. It’s been very well received thus far. And at the conference we had clients and attendees asking about the program. Because these organizations are currently using some debt, some care credits, multiple vendors, they want to have a conversation so they can consider the differences in the program. And what we know about this program is that it should be part of the practice and the organization’s overall strategy. They have some tools in place today. However, if they can consolidate vendors and delight their patients with something that serves the majority, eliminates manual processes for them, they’ll see true benefits in case accepted.

Gary Tiratsuyan 03:22

Yeah, that’s a great reaction all around. And I want to kind of piggyback off that last question. Michelle, of those conversations, what were the most common AHA or wow moments practices or practitioners were having? As you described. patient financing.

Patient Financing: Buy Now, Pay Later

Michelle Dowling 03:38

Sure. With the prevalence of buy now, pay later in every area of our lives. I think some of the wow moments is that as we built the program specifically designed for healthcare and we have a specific healthcare partner, while it leverages some similarities to buy now, pay later. It’s truly intended to give providers the ability to offer their patients flexible, affordable financing and get patients access to the treatment they need with customized payment plan that accommodates their financial ability. So we say to practice to try it out, see how your patients will like it, your staff will like it because in addition to the patient receiving the care they need, the application process is simple. And as a company, Rectangle Health believes in simplifying the business side of healthcare. And we believe technology is the best way to do that.

What better way to go the provider and offer them solution that will allow nearly any patient that walks through their door a way to get treatment and they can get paid for services rendered? That was the wow.

Gary Tiratsuyan 04:39

That’s really awesome. Michelle. It really speaks to how well the patient financing program was built. Tyler, I want to shift a little bit to you and speak to the flexibility this program gives to providers. Can you speak a little bit about that?

Tyler Johnson 04:53

Yeah, and I actually want to piggyback off of what Michelle just said about the overall wow moment that I think that I’m getting consistently is I think providers are just overwhelmed with the value that they receive, especially in this macroeconomic times. Everyone has really busy It roadmaps operational roadmaps initiatives that they want to take on. And I think that the value that this partnership brings provides so much value in office, not just on the financing side, but obviously everything that Rectangle brings to the table. And just to have that all in one, the aggregation of you don’t need multiple vendors, it’s a one stop shop.

I think that is something that really just, again, gives that AHA moment to that provider to where something that they maybe wanted to do a year from now is something they want to do now just because of that overwhelming value. As far as the flexibility of what this program does, see, I’ll speak to that. It’s just to speak off of what Michelle just said. The driving case acceptance, depending on whatever you want to do if you want to, drive more volume if you want to on the per practice level, there’s so many different custom configurations that can be made depending on what you want to optimize for, depending on different products or services that you want to sell in office. The flexibility is there. The integrations with the practice management software is on the back end.

It definitely provides flexibility to customize the program as you see fit to drive whatever goals are for your practice.

Gary Tiratsuyan 06:16

Thanks so much, Tyler. I think that’s a perfect segue, actually, into the next question about cash flow. Given the nature of the patient financing program, what does this do for a practice’s bottom line? Michelle, I’ll start with you.

Michelle Dowling 06:30

Over the course of the last few months, Gary, we’ve been talking to practices practitioners, both small, large organizations, industry leaders, influencers, you name it. We understand that the established patient healthcare financing options, what they are and what issues they’re seeing with those options. One of the most important data points we’ve learned is probably obvious, but the higher adoption rate or approval rate a financing company or program can offer, the higher the revenue for providers. So we know that’s straightforward, but it begs the question if there are more patients the provider can see and it increases their bottom line. A program like this seems simple, but in reality there’s so many reasons why there’s friction and deployment and difficulty in the current environment.

What’s exciting about this program and what it means now to providers is that they’re happy to take a meeting with us to learn more about improved rate. It means that they’re looking for options to what historically has been presented in the market, so they’re open to hear what we have to offer. And if we think about what the healthcare practice goes through every day, the office manager is dealing with trying to collect what the patient owes, either through their software or billing system, sending statements, and likely a myriad of other variations. Most likely they have a financing option, but they’re not sure when to present her to use it. They’re dealing with complexities like this while administrating clinical side of care. And in the middle of the day, they’re billing, they’re calling patients, they’re on the phone exhausting, and it’s tedious for the staff.

And when they’re short staff, it’s even more challenging. So having multiple vendors across multiple platforms is a lot, and it’s an inefficient use of time and money for the practice. So we’re excited to offer one product through one endpoint, through a combined partnership offer one set of reporting and now we have this patient financing option to serve and create a better healthier patient and staff experience.

Gary Tiratsuyan 08:19

Yeah, that’s really amazing. Michelle and Tyler, I’ll turn to you with patient financing. And speaking to that bottom line, this program ultimately helps practices generate revenue they otherwise wouldn’t have. Right?

Generate Untapped Revenue

Tyler Johnson 08:32

Absolutely. Yeah. So there’s two ways that it really drives an increased bottom line is, number one, it allows you to serve that customer that you otherwise couldn’t reach before. That customer that maybe didn’t want to schedule an appointment to come in because they knew they couldn’t afford that root canal or whatever that it is they needed. And so one, it drives your marketing efforts, your ability to reach and appeal to that customer who otherwise wouldn’t be coming in, but now they have an affordable way to pay for that treatment that they need. And then number two, that customer that does come in sitting in your chair, that’s not a break even scenario. I mean, there’s time and effort that goes into that customer and customer acquisition cost that comes into that is oftentimes fairly high.

And so you don’t want that customer to leave. If that customer leaves again, that’s not a break even. You’re upside down on that customer. And so one of the things we like to say is that customer that you don’t have is worth seven times more to your bottom line than the customer that you do have. The customers that are paying cash for card or even the prime customers that maybe have been historically approved by Care credit, those customers are already paying for your overhead staff, the bills, all of that. But that customer that’s walking out your door, even if you have to take a steeper discount to take, to say yes to that customer, actually drives more to your bottom line.

And so it’s something that especially, sure, we’ll touch on this soon, but in this economic times that we’re in, definitely need to be able to reach that customer. And if you can’t, your competitors will. And so you definitely need to be able to utilize this tool.

Gary Tiratsuyan 09:54

Thanks, Tyler. I’ve said it before and I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I think this program stands to be a game changer in the industry from the business side and more importantly, from treatment. And care perspective is really pulling at the heartstrings because those patients that otherwise would have walked out worried, unsure of next steps, really in physical pain because they need the care, are now able to walk out confident, knowing they’re going to receive the treatment and comfortably cover the cost. We’re looking at happier patients and loyalty towards these practices too. You were right. We will look at the current state of the economy. This program will certainly help both the practice and the patient. So looking at the economic landscape, Tyler, how will patient financing help practices stabilize in otherwise uncertain times?

Tyler Johnson 10:39

Yeah, great question. So it’s twofold, right? So the patient is competing right now with rising cost on board for things even outside of healthcare, whether it’s at the pump or groceries or rent. And like you said oftentimes procedure that they need root canal, that they might lead physical pain, that customer really needs to be able to say yes to that treatment and being able to give them the flexibility to break that payment up. Over time, there’s going to be more people that are going to need to do that in this downturn. And from a provider’s perspective, they still need to treat patients, right? I mean, hit their goals. The demand for health care doesn’t drop, but people’s ability to pay for that treatment goes down. You definitely need in your arsenal to be able to say yes to every customer.

And the other thing that happens too, is as the recession looms, the prime lenders, like a care credit, traditionally start declining. More customers, there’s less people with good enough credit scores to qualify for traditional loans, traditional means of paying. And so having a solution that serves every customer and you hit on it a second ago, not only does it help you in the moment and it helps us over the next couple of years as we go through a recession. Who knows how long it lasts? Maybe minor, maybe big. But the lifetime value that does for that customer is huge. Especially in dentistry and other elective medicine. You can’t underestimate the value of the lifetime value that provides and the loyalty that you’ll gain to be able to serve that customer.

If you’re serving them well in this downturn, that could end up being a customer for life. And so that is something that really does matter, helps you in the short term, but even more importantly in the long term for both you and that patient.

Benefits of Patient Financing Programs

Gary Tiratsuyan 12:08

Timing of this program and the partnership between HFD and rectangle health is spot on for lack of better a term. Michelle, we’re looking at staffing shortages, inflation, uncertainty, fear in the market. So given these circumstances, what are your thoughts on not just patient financing, but the program as a whole, helping practices see patients and keep cash flow running?

Michelle Dowling 12:33

Sure. I think we’re showing them that our consolidated financial technology can offer their staff and the providers many advantages in terms of time savings, increased revenue, patient approval rates. But most importantly, and you said it before, is improved patient outcomes. We’re going much deeper than surface level with care and LP later. And it’s powerful when you combine it with practice management bridge because what it does for the provider offer office is that it opens the door to patients that need that treatment but may deny themselves because they can’t afford it. We can’t stress this enough, right? Practices that are able to say yes to treatment that ability is so meaningful. Imagine the relief for some families, for these individuals that treatment can make, and when practices can extend that care and improve their patient’s health by doing what they always intended to do.

Practices aren’t a collection agency. They should never have to decline patient care. They need solutions to sustain their practice. So a patient is able to get care through a message that’s a method that doesn’t deny, doesn’t do a hard credit well, that’s what we built. And to get patients treatment through flexible payment options. These acceptance rates for established organizations in today’s world aren’t always great. So they were losing patients and patients are going untreated, neither of which are positive outcomes. And what we’ve done in our partnership and what we believe the answer lies in providing these options for the practice to lay out to the patient working in their collective best interest.

Gary Tiratsuyan 14:00

With the landscape being what it is, patient financing is certainly going to ensure patients get the care they need, but also ensure practices are healthy in a financial sense and can continue to provide care. Just want to give our listeners an opportunity. If you’d like to learn more about patient financing, follow the description below. Tyler and Michelle, thank you both so much for coming on the podcast and speaking with us today. Thanks, Gary. Appreciate it.

Michelle Dowling 14:22

Thanks, Gary. Thanks, Tyler.

Gary Tiratsuyan 14:24

As a reminder to our listeners, you can tune into the Rectangle Health podcast on Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and on our website at Till next time, everybody.

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