Shelley Clegg shares Amy Barnes’s experience of switching to Medenta during the pandemic, and why now might be the best time to consider your options…
There are a few key buzzwords that we’ve become accustomed to during 2020 – ‘unprecedented’ and ‘uncertain’ would come very near the top of the list. With that in mind, it’s completely understandable that practice owners and key decision makers for the business are uncomfortable with the idea of making big changes.
The restrictions surrounding how the profession can practise during the pandemic – which are out of their hands, from AGP procedures to fallow time – may make introducing further changes at the practice seem like a step too far.
That being said, when you choose the right provider who will support you through the process, changing finance provider doesn’t need to be a scary prospect.
Amy Barnes, Business Director for The Lytham Dental Clinic, shares her big reasons for jumping ship to Medenta in order to help keep her business afloat – no pun intended.
Shelley: Why were you originally looking for patient finance at the practice?
Amy: We’re a fully private practice based in Lytham, run by my husband as the Dentist and myself as the Business Director.
Our town is an affluent retirement area but we were interested in increasing the cosmetic treatment offering at the practice and attracting younger patients without alienating our existing. Treatments such as orthodontics, composite bonding and whitening held a lot of potential for our business.
In order for us to be more appealing to this demographic, we understood that we would need to be more accessible in terms of the payment options offered, as many patients would not be able to pay for £3000 treatments in one go. That’s when and why we set up finance with our previous provider.
Shelley: What made you want to switch to Medenta?
Amy: We weren’t very happy with our provider at the time.
The subsidy rates offered by them just weren’t suitable for our practice. This had a knock-on effect to the kind of offer we could put forward to our patients as we only offered up to 12-month finance agreements.
With the subsidy rate we were being charged with this provider for up to 12 months, in contrast we could offer up to 24 months interest free finance with Medenta which was a much more suitable choice for many of our patients.
We made the switch towards the end of lockdown when we were beginning to reopen, as we knew we would be in a position where we would need new patients once we were able to practise again.
Shelley: How did you find the process during this time?
Amy: Very quick, the whole process took two weeks. Even if we weren’t in lockdown during the time, the process was reassuringly simple and supportive of my team which was just what I needed.
The process simply started with a phone call from me to say ‘yes’ and then our Business Development Manager at Medenta sorted all the paperwork, which took away the worry about any extra administration I would need to do.
We were really well trained by our Business Development Manager from the very beginning, so the whole team felt, and continues to feel, very comfortable in communicating finance to patients. We have a good idea when a patient is interested in finance and can pick up on buying signals from them.
Shelley: Are patients taking you up on treatments with finance now?
Amy: We’ve got a bit of a running joke at the practice that patients have been spending too much time looking at themselves during their Zoom meetings!
There is a definite interest in cosmetic treatments at our practice at the moment, as these new methods of communication are bringing personal appearance to the forefront and making people more aware of how they want their smile to look.
Having the online application process is great as patients are understandably feeling quite anxious about the current pandemic. The fact they can easily complete their finance application at home with minimal contact with our team is a win for both us and them.
Shelley: How much of a difference has patient finance made to your practice?
A lot! The range of finance options provided by Medenta has been a gamechanger for us. Being able to offer a whole range of terms for 10 months up to 24 months and even a range of finance-bearing options has been fantastic.
So many patients who were unsure of proceeding with their treatment due to the cost were able to go ahead thanks to the 24-month interest free finance option. They love that and that’s what’s important to us – making our treatment financially accessible.
In this climate, we don’t want to be burdening patients with heavy amounts of debt for their treatment.
Shelley: Thank you so much for your time and for sharing your experience on switching to Medenta.
If you’re interested in learning how Medenta can help you to improve your patient experience, give us a call on 01691 684175.
Shelley Clegg has been a Business Development Manager at Medenta, a long-established provider of patient finance, for three years. She has 40 years’ experience in dentistry including over 20 in practice where she held roles such as dental nurse and practice manager. Shelley has also been the business manager for a group of 10 practices and a Regional Support Manager at Practice Plan.
Medenta offers some of the lowest subsidy rates in the market and is one of the few providers of finance solutions to also offer a comprehensive support service, including an online patient application portal and an e-learning suite. For more information call: 01691 684175, or visit: www.medenta.com.
Amy was a successful primary school teacher for around 10 years before moving careers to become the management behind The Lytham Dental Clinic. She has transferred the skills learnt through teaching and has effectively applied them to the world of dentistry.
Medenta Finance Limited is a credit broker and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Medenta Finance Limited (Registered in Scotland No SC276679) Registered address: 50 Lothian Road, Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9WJ. Tel: 01691 684175.