The new patient finance solution helps dental professionals serve underbanked patients, who represent approximately 48.9 million adults.

PrimaHealth Credit, a California-based fintech startup, has expanded its patient financing solution to serve underbanked patients. One in five households in the United States are “underbanked” and have limited options to finance elective care procedures, leaving many to forgo needed treatment such as dental, orthodontics, LASIK, and cataract surgery. The company enables providers to serve credit-challenged borrowers with a financing alternative.

“As a former operator of healthcare practices, I saw first-hand how patients struggle to pay for out-of-pocket expenses, particularly credit-challenged and underbanked consumers,” says Brendon Kensel, founder and chief executive officer of PrimaHealth Credit. “My vision is to help more patients access the healthcare they need by offering affordable monthly payment options.”

With patients becoming increasingly responsible for a larger share of their healthcare expenses, providers have struggled to offer payment plans for out-of-pocket expenses and are ill-equipped to gauge credit-worthiness and manage collections. The situation is particularly challenging for patients with limited or poor credit, who cannot secure payment plans. Underbanked patients represent approximately 48.9 million adults according to the 2017 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households.

According to the company, PrimaHealth Credit’s platform aims to help providers solve the challenges of assessing a patient’s ability to pay, collecting recurring payments, and reducing aging accounts receivable. The platform enables providers to professionalize existing in-house patient finance programs or to implement a new one. Patients use a simple mobile application, receive instant credit decisions, and, if approved, can select from several payment options.

“Our first priority is to provide excellent care to our patients, so we’re grateful to have an alternative financing solution for those who need it,” says Stacey Schmitt, chief financial officer at Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics. “PrimaHealth Credit has been easy to use for our staff and has helped us serve more patients, increase our production, and has contributed to delivering a five-star patient experience.”

PrimaHealth Credit enables orthodontists to make affordable monthly payments available to most patients. Core to the offering is a proprietary credit analytics platform that can gauge a patient’s creditworthiness in ways that more traditional assessments overlook, says the company. This credit model analyzes over 200 attributes, including both traditional and alternative data, to make it possible to evaluate patients regardless of their credit standing or access to traditional banking services. The company accepts either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and its proprietary credit analytics engine instantly assesses an applicant’s ability to pay.