PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Wellfit and HFD Team to Offer Dental Financing

dental costs

Healthcare technology platform Wellfit has teamed with FinTech HFD to offer consumers more health financing solutions.

“This collaboration signifies a pivotal step towards enhancing accessibility to healthcare financing solutions across the entire credit spectrum,” the companies said in a Tuesday (April 9) press release.

With the partnership, Wellfit can expand its capacity for offering tailored financing solutions, which will let providers approve nearly 100% of patients who apply. The release notes that HFD specializes in serving people with lower credit scores.

(The company qualifies its use of “nearly” by saying applicants will be declined financing with any program due to “Open Bankruptcy or Terrorist Watch List.”)

As PYMNTS noted last month, dental services account for a $155 billion market that is forecast to grow to $254 billion by 2032.

“Against that backdrop, it’s critical, especially in an inflationary environment, to include financing at the point of treatment to marry patient care with dental services and help ensure that practices collect on the monies owed,” that report said.

Ed O’Donnell, CEO of Versatile Credit, said in an interview with PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster that financing can go a long way toward smoothing the initial conversations between dentists and patients when it is time to discuss costs before the treatment is delivered.

O’Donnell — whose platform matches lenders and patients to draft payment terms that stretch out over time — said funding options should be offered at the point of care, not just as each dentist visit is concluded.

“It’s awkward for everyone,” said O’Donnell. “It’s awkward for the patient and is often awkward for the financial person in the office.”

But by spreading out payments, those conversations become easier, he added, with everything made transparent as the relevant data is inputted through the user’s cellphone or iPad and no one passes sensitive information back and forth across a desk.

Financing can be helpful for consumers seeking other forms of health and wellness offeringsErin Gadhavi, senior vice president, general manager, wellness at Synchrony, told PYMNTS in an interview in January.

“Fifty percent of U.S. consumers consider wellness a top priority, but services like acupuncture, fitness programs, nutritional support and counseling are often considered elective and not covered by insurance,” she said.

“Offering financing for those products and services is attractive to consumers. Patients can make an informed decision related to their care, but also with respect to their budget — leading to a more engaged and healthier customer base.”