Frequently Asked Questions
Does VetBilling guarantee the payments?
If you follow our Best Practices we can guarantee you will always be cash flow positive with every payment plan. You will never lose money on any payment plan when you follow our Best Practices.
Plus, your practice will save that 5 to 15% third party financing and buy-now-pay-later companies charge your practice. And they charge you those high merchant fees on clients that have good credit. Good credit clients are the clients you should be handling in-house to avoid paying those high merchant fees.
What is the upside to offering payment plans?
There are many positives that come from offering payment plans. Our partner practices tell us that offering payment plans through VetBilling yields the following benefits: increased revenue due to increased case acceptance; increased client compliance with treatment recommendations; improvement in team morale due to less conflict with clients; reduction in negative online reviews and complaints related to the cost of veterinary care.
If I offer payment plans won't every client want one?
Not true. For our high volume practices, only 10 to 15% of their client base use a payment plan when the practice offers their client that payment option. The average pet owner acceptance rate is from 3 to 5% when the practice advertises and extends payment options.
I am worried clients will not pay.
The data does not support this claim. When our veterinary partners follow our best practices guidelines they achieve repayment rates of 95% or better and they save the 5 to 15% third party financing companies are charging and the 5 to 10% other payment option companies charge.
Why should I offer a payment plan to a client when there is a client in the lobby that can pay in full?
Most of your clients will continue to be able to pay in full for most of your services, but when a pet experiences a costly unexpected illness or injury, some clients find it difficult to pay in full all at once. Being equipped with the ability to offer these clients a flexible payment plan signals to them that the kindness and compassion you deliver in medical care for their pet also extends to the payment options you offer. When clients perceive your practice as “financially friendly,” the veterinary-client-patient relationship is strengthened, resulting in increased loyalty to your practice.
I will lose money because my margins are already low.
That would be a correct assumption only if 100% of your clients were on payment plans. When you use 3rd party financing companies, merchant fees amount to 5 – 15% of the invoiced amount. VetBilling does not keep any percentage of your treatment fees. In addition, with less than 10% of your clients needing payment plans, any potential loss through default is offset by eliminating or reducing discounting, pro bono services, economic euthanasia, and bare-bones treatment plans designed to minimize client costs.
How is VetBilling different?
VetBilling offers so much more than third party financing companies or any other billing and collecting company.
- We are a people company not a finance/billing company. Bringing easier access to veterinary care to all pets while increasing practice revenue is our motivator.
- We offer many more services. Payment plans, prepayment plans, wellness plan billing, pet savings accounts and more.
- Our platform gives you more tools then those other financing companies use to qualify your clients.
- We do not take that 5 to 15% third party financing companies charge you.
- We believe you should have 100% control of which pets you can help. You should not allow other companies to tell you who you can and cannot help. It is your business not theirs.
- We have been helping companies grow since 1986.
- Our AI is “Actual Individuals” working with the latest technology and the best customer service to help you preserve the client-practice bond.
Why should my practice offer a prepayment plan or payment plan through VetBilling.com?
With the rising costs of veterinary care, there are times when clients are unable to pay their bill in full, and they need alternative payment options. While third-party financing plans like CareCredit®, can help, they are not the right solution for every client and/or every practice. Just because your client was turned down by a third party financing company does not necessarily mean they are a poor risk for a payment plan.
VetBilling provides a payment solution platform that will help you capture revenue from clients you might otherwise lose, or who may not have another means of payment at their disposal. We optimize your practice’s ability to collect from these clients through our platform that provides a Credit Score Recommendation (CSR) tool, validates all your client’s personal and bank information and we provide complete customer support for you and your clients.
We provide the practice with more tools to qualify your clients than those third party financing companies and you do not lose that 5 to 15% they charge your practice? Click here to see how we compare to CareCredit or Scratchpay
We like to think of our system as something that allows veterinarians to focus on the passion that inspired them to enter veterinary medicine to begin with. We firmly believe that veterinarians can get fairly and fully compensated for their services by offering a payment plan option that enables them to demonstrate their compassion, without sacrificing the financial health of their practice.
Our payment solutions will create more new paying clients than any other service you are already paying monthly or yearly for. Practices already pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars per month on other services that do not create new paying clients, like discount programs, loyalty reward programs, telemedicine, cloud based record keeping, texting apps, fear free, after hour call centers and many other services that may be beneficial but do not drive new paying clients to your practice.
How does a prepayment plan work?
A prepayment plan is a great solution for non-emergency type of treatment plans, and it is a guaranteed payment solution that helps the pet owner and makes your practice more efficient.
For example, a non-emergency dental procedure costing $600 is a great candidate for a prepayment plan. The pet owner can start making payments of $100 per month, and you can schedule the procedure six months into the future. Or you could schedule the procedure within three months and allow the remaining three months be billed after the procedure.
If there are additional costs after the procedure is performed, you can collect the difference or restructure the remaining payments to include the new balance owed.
You determine how much of the cost of the procedure you want prior to the treatment: 100% or 50%. Knowing that the pet owner has made good on the terms of the prepayment plan gives you peace of mind that future payments will be successful.
This is also a great way to increase compliance and schedule your staffing needs. You already know in advance what procedures you will be performing in the future.
How does the Wellness Plan billing work?
We are billing experts. You are the medical experts. Do not pay another company those large set-up fees they charge to implement wellness plans. You can design the plans and we will handle all the billing, collecting and financial functions to make sure you get paid.
If you need help in designing the wellness plans, we can provide you samples of what other hospitals include in their plans. You know your community and clients best. Do not use a cookie cutter wellness plan that may not fit your practice. If you would like a consultant to help you design the plans, we can point you in the right direction.
Sign-up a client on a Wellness Plan using our easy platform, take the down payment and/or first months payment, and we will bill and collect the remaining 11 or 12 months. Your plans can automatically renew for another 12 months at the same rate, at an increased rate, or the plan can expire and the pet owner would have to re-enroll on another plan. You decide, and you have the control.
How does a Pet Savings Account work?
A Pet Savings Account (PSA) is a great alternative to wellness plans, is much easier to implement, and is more user friendly for the pet owner. Plus, a wellness plan does not help if there is a surgery or an unexpected emergency, whereas a PSA will help the pet owner.
The pet owner decides how much they would like to add to their PSA each month, then the payments are automatically deducted from their bank account and deposited into your bank account. You post it as a credit to their account. The pet owner can use the credit for any service or product purchase at your practice. The PSA gives the pet owner a lot more flexibility. As with wellness plans, your staff does not have to keep track of which procedures were used or not used with a PSA.
A PSA bonds your client to your practice.
Contact us so we can fill you in on the details. We’re happy to answer all your questions about how a PSA will benefit your practice and the pet parents you serve.
How much does VetBilling charge for these payment plan solutions?
Your clients simply pay a modest one-time enrollment fee to set up the payment plan, and a nominal payment plan fee is added to each recurring payment until their balance is paid in full. VetBilling does not take that 5 to 15% CareCredit or ScratchPay takes from you. There is a small monthly fee for admin support and use of our optional CSR tool. Credit card payment plans will incur credit card merchant fees. We are the only company that offers a complete suite of payment solutions with full service billing, collecting and customer service so your clients will say YES to your treatment recommendations.
How hard is it to set up a payment plan or prepayment plan?
It’s not hard – it’s really easy with our new platform! You complete a simple payment plan agreement, including their bank information. All information is checked and verified through the platform. You can also use our optional Credit Score Recommendation (CSR) tool that will instantly perform a soft credit check on your client. Your client signs the Agreement via text or email from their smartphone or you can print and sign a hard copy if they do not have a smartphone. The Agreement is automatically sent to VetBilling and we take over from there. No more work for your practice. We handle all the billing, collecting, customer service.
What happens if the payment doesn’t go through, or the client stops making payments?
If for any reason a payment is returned or declined, VetBilling will contact the client to collect the funds. We use phone calls, e-mails, text messaging and paper notices to advise clients of late payments, and we’ll continue to provide follow-up for up to 120 days or longer, according to your preference. Your clients could receive up to 20 contacts per month. We work your accounts in a professional and efficient manner.
Clients cannot “turn off” or cancel their automatic drafts. Any cancellation of a payment plan contract must be authorized by your practice.
Our professional support staff works tirelessly to ensure you get paid.
We make polite and understanding calls addressing why a client’s payment might have returned. We update expired cards, correct inaccurate billing information, and request payment on outstanding balances.
We employ several methods* to keep clients on track with their payments:
- Immediate response when a payment returns or declines
- Variety of contact methods: telephone calls, e-mail reminders and late notices
- Constant, consistent and courteous customer contact, up to 20 contacts per month if necessary
- We do report to the credit bureaus, if you select this option
Our goal cannot be overstated: we want to collect your money and keep your client current on their payment plan, without jeopardizing your relationship with them.
What if the client needs to make a change to their payment plan after it’s been set up?
That’s easy too. Just use the platform to “rewrite” the payment plan agreement with the new charges and VetBilling will continue the billing at the new rate. There is no charge to you or your client to rewrite a payment plan. Many of our clients use our platform to have the client sign a payment plan estimate and when the treatment plan is completed rewrite the plan to the final dollar amount.
How do we know our client is paying?
VetBilling has an online client portal that can be accessed 24/7, containing all the financial information relating to your client’s payments. You can view each client’s individual payment history, see when their next payment is due, identify failed transactions, and much more. You can export this data for easy posting to your accounting and practice management software. We’re also just a phone call away whenever you need assistance during business hours, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm ET.
How do our clients keep track of their payments?
Clients also have an online portal which can be accessed at any time, to view or print their individual payment history, and update personal or banking information. The client cannot, however, cancel their payment plan. Cancellations, as well as changes to the payment plan, must be authorized by the practice.
What is Credit Score Recommendation (CSR)?
The optional Credit Score Recommendation (CSR) is a very powerful tool a practice can have at their finger tips. It is a “soft” credit check that does not affect or show on your clients credit file. Stop guessing if you want to extend your clients a payment plan. Make educated decisions based on their credit history.
Once the practice receives the authorization from your client to review their credit history our CSR will instantaneously return a recommendation. Our CSR will return a letter grade from “A” to “G”, (“A” being the best), based on their past credit history and how they pay their bills. This will allow you to determine the length of the payment plan you should offer and the amount of the down payment you should collect. It is a recommendation, your practice can design your own procedures based on the letter grade and/or your clients credit information. We will process any payment plan regardless of your clients credit history.
What is your success rate when collecting payments?
We have a success rate of 90% – 100% when processing payments through our secure, PCI-compliant network. For our clients that use our optional Credit Score Recommendation (CSR) our collection rate is far above the industry averages when they follow our recommended guidelines for maintaining a high payment compliance. We have been processing payments since 1986 and have all the necessary tools to make sure we achieve the highest payment compliance.
What if the client wants to pay off their balance before the payment term ends?
There is no penalty for your client paying off the balance early. Your clients are not locked into their payment plan, so if they wish to pay off their balance prior to the plan end date, you will get your money more quickly and that is always a good thing.
How does the practice receive the funds?
Funds collected from client payment plans are electronically deposited in the practice’s bank account.
How much control do I have over all of VetBilling's payment solutions?
The practice is in complete control of how all of our payment solutions are structured.
VetBilling will set up payments for any client, for any amount, for any length of time. There is no minimum or maximum. This means that you can customize a payment plan according to each client’s particular needs.
VetBilling will not turn down any payment plan you send us.
Practices using the CSR tool may override the system’s recommendation against offering a payment plan to a client with a low credit letter grade. Perhaps this is a longtime client for whom the practice wishes to make an exception, due to extenuating circumstances known only to the practice. VetBilling will process and administer any payment plan you forward to our office regardless of your clients credit rating or lack thereof.
Do you offer customer support services?
VetBilling provides complete customer support and credit bureau reporting.
The practice can decide whether to have VetBilling handle your customer support needs for up to 90 days or longer, according to your preference. There is no additional costs to have us handle the customer support. We DO NOT handle your old delinquent accounts. All accounts must be a new payment plan and not delinquent when forwarded through our platform. To maintain the highest payment compliance, it is necessary for VetBilling to have a relationship with your customer from the first day they sign your agreement.