Springstone Patient FinancingSM is designed to meet the specialized needs of high-end dental practices. The company’s vision is to combine the convenience of the Internet with caring, personal service—helping every patient receive the procedure they seek and offer a refreshingly pleasant experience for both patients and practices. Geared toward practices with case fees over $4,000, Springstone delivers concierge-type service, personal loan review, tuition financing for the dental community, and other extras not traditionally offered by patient-financing providers. The company is located in Southborough, MA.
Many already know them
The founders of Springstone started in patient financing in 1995 and between them have over four decades of experience in patient lending. As part of the team that launched Dental Fee Plan (which later became Capital OneR Healthcare FinanceSM), they have taken the best of what they learned to help thousands of dental practices offer more effective financing. “As a boutique financing company, we are nimble enough to respond to the unique needs of the country’s leading cosmetic dental practices,” said Mike Gilroy, Springstone’s president.
The Springstone difference
Springstone was the first patient-financing program to offer installment loans up to $40,000 and terms to 84 months. Springstone is also the only program with “credit based” rates that are fixed and start at only 5.99% APR. In addition, a full range of promotional plans are available for case fees ranging from $499 to $25,000 (no-interest if paid within 6, 12, 18, or 24 months). Financing larger cases allows more patients to seek comprehensive, full-mouth reconstruction. It’s also easier on patients and practices because there is no need to stage treatment to accommodate financing.
Friendly payment terms
Traditionally, promotional plans have been assessed retroactive interest when a payment is only one day late. With Springstone’s promotional plans (no-interest if paid within 6, 12, 18, or 24 months), retroactive interest is not assessed unless a patient misses two consecutive monthly payments, or as with other programs, does not pay the balance in full by the end of the promotional period. This approach provides patients with time to correct a missed payment and can prevent significant charges that upset patients.
Savings for larger cases
Springstone also offers the only “Case Size Savings” program in the industry. Many loan-processing costs are fixed. While there are some additional risks with a larger unsecured loan, it doesn’t cost twice as much to process a $30,000 loan as it does a $15,000 loan. Springstone gives practices a discount for larger loans.
Savings start for cases over $4,000 and apply to all extended plans plus 12-month no-interest plans. The company’s 12 month no-interest product offers a reduced everyday administrative fee of 7.9% for every case over $4,000 using their easy online process. The 7.9% fee is 20% lower than other major programs for a 12 month no-interest loan—by far the most popular term. “These savings can amount to 2% in additional production for a practice’s financed case—a big difference in this economy,” explained Gilroy.
An email is sent for each funding that shows the instant savings, and the practice can log into their online “Practice Center” 24/7, where they have access to all of the details regarding the application, including cost and savings.
Personalized loan review
While patient financing costs are important, doctors are also concerned about approval rates. Human underwriters review loan applications that are on the margin, looking for ways to make applicants eligible. Springstone looks at more than just an applicant’s FICO score when they consider an application. That helps spot when consumers are headed for trouble. “We don’t want to be the loan that puts them over the edge,” said Gilroy.
Springstone’s approval rates are on par with the other major players in patient financing—however, patient rates on their extended plans are often lower. “If a patient is paying their other bills, then typically we can approve them. And those are the kind of responsible and compliant patients most doctors want in their practice,” explained Co-founder and COO Jim Donovan. “Beyond simply approving those patients, however, we offer them attractive-enough rates that they are comfortable starting treatment, which is really the goal.” Springstone’s rates are based on a patient’s credit history, so applicants receive the rate that they have earned, starting as low as 5.99% APR. Rates are also truly fixed, so they can never increase during the life of the loan and are never higher than 17.99%. While many patients enjoyed fixed interest rates in the single digits, over the last year the company’s average approved dental applicant received a rate of 10.7% (9.7% for cases over $10,000). These average rates are significantly lower than other program’s starting rates of 11.99% for extended plans—and can run well over 20% for some applicants. Simply put, better rates for patients helps close more cases!
Online, but easy to reach
Springstone’s online “Practice Center” puts all patient-financing activity for practices at their fingertips. Both applicants and team members can apply or check loan status online in real time—and even print their own loan documents 24/7. Email confirmations are sent to applicants and the practice at each step in the process, and funding is quick and clearly documented to avoid bookkeeping headaches.
While the company leverages technology to provide fast decisions and instant access to information, they also recognize the value of human interaction. “Our people and our service levels are Springstone’s biggest assets,” said Michael Donovan, Springstone’s co-founder and CIO. “We know it’s important to be able to talk to someone if you need to, and not get hung up in a phone tree.” The company’s management team has been known to personally call practices and applicants to answer questions or to thank them for their business. Since they opened their doors in 2003, Springstone has had a perfect, complaint-free rating with the Better Business Bureau.
The dentistry practices enjoy
With the ability to handle case fees up to $40,000, Springstone is tailor-made for cosmetic and implant dentistry. Patients can finance abutments with their specialist and then re-finance restorative work with their general practitioner. All it takes is a quick phone call to Springstone.
Springstone believes in giving back to the dental community and does so by supporting the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s Give Back a Smile Program, and Dr. Gary Radz’s Paulina’s Promise organization.
Springstone is endorsed by the American Association of Orthodontists. According to the AAO, they chose Springstone for their strength, stability, industry expertise, responsiveness and professionalism. The company also has working relationships with many of the leading dental groups.
Springstone is excited about the future. They will continue to focus on upgrading technology to further increase user friendliness. Some things on the radar include a smarter online application, online chat functionality, and mobile applications for the iPad and smart phones. “We value the input of our doctor clients as we look to the future for patient financing,” says Gilroy. “Our goal is to provide the best customer experience in the industry, and we believe we are well aligned to achieve this goal.”
How it works
Patient financing doesn’t need to be complicated—however, as with most things in life, the devil is in the details!
Presenting payment options
Springstone offers detailed advice about payment plan design and verbal skills in the Practice Tools section of the Practice Center, so your team can be comfortable and confident when discussing financial arrangements.
The application process
A convenient online process lets either team members or patients place applications. Most are decided in seconds.
Your team can confirm treatment fees with the click of a mouse through their Practice Center. If the loan amount has changed, no problem—it can be adjusted on the spot.
Printing loan documents
Documents are available online, 24/7 for both team members and patients. Signed loan documents are then faxed into Springstone.
Once signed, loan documents are received by Springstone, and payment is completed by direct deposit in 24-48 hours. For accounting purposes, detailed information on each funded application is sent by email and is available on the Practice Center page.
Springstone Financial LLC
2 Park Central Drive
Southborough, MA 01772
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