Wednesday, 28 February, 2024

01 Jul 2005 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 42

Mediplan restructures to meet the demand

Mediplan, the first patient funding company in Australia, has recently completed a restructuring process in order to meet the demands of dental patients and practices alike.

Having opened its doors for business in 1999, Mediplan became the first company to supply specific finance and funding plans for dental and medical patients throughout Australia. Acting as a broker at that time, Mediplan secured traditional style loans for dental and medical patients through various underwriters such as St. George Bank and the Bank of Scotland.

"It became clear to us that the amount of patients and practices wanting, and needing, funding plans had been significantly underestimated," said Mediplan's founder and Chief Operating Officer, Stuart Johnson. "Within a short time, more than four hundred practices had signed up to become Mediplan Providers and, through word of mouth, new practices were signing up weekly.

"Under the broking structure however, some of the traditional banking limitations applied to the loans we offered. Traditional underwriting also meant 'red-tape' and at times, approvals could take up to five days. The frustrations created by these processes were steering Mediplan towards creating our own unique financial product designed specifically for patients of dental and medical procedures."

According to Mr Johnson, the Mediplan team needed extensive infrastructure to create such a product and has now completed a unique software implementation program to enable the fast processing of applications and ease of management for disbursements to the health care profession. Secondly, and just as importantly, significant self-funding was required and through Mediplan Holdings Ltd and some of the country's largest financial institutions, the required funding capacity was secured.

As a result, on June 1, 2005 the new Mediplan line-of-credit was released!

"Mediplan was the first company to provide funding for dental and medical procedures in this country," Mr Johnson said. "We have supplied more than $26 million to patients in the past and our restructuring means we can now supply funding without the limitations of 3rd party financiers.

"Through Mediplan Holdings Ltd we have secured sufficient financial strength to provide patient funding plans to every dental practice in the country.

"Mediplan is, and plans to remain, the leading patient funding provider in Australia!"

Mediplan has expanded its scope and now offers line-of-credit funding plans from $1,000 up to $25,000 for dental and other medical procedures.

The line-of-credit provided is designed to be a simple solution for dentists and practice managers as they need do nothing other than have their patients call Mediplan. The loans officers take care of the rest and treatment funds are credited to the practice's nominated bank account prior to treatment commencement.

In most cases, applications are approved on the same day and Mediplan officers work closely with practices and patients to ensure good organisation and treatment scheduling.

The management team and staff have collectively more than thirty years experience in working with dental and medical professionals and understand the care required when dealing with patients.

"It is very different from providing finance for a fridge or a new television," said Peter Boston, Director of Member Services. "Patients have certain expectations and a strong emotional connection with what they are going through. They need to be handled with care and understanding and encouraged to maintain their enthusiasm."

David Cathie, Director of Sales, said he believes patient finance to be an integral part of any dental business now and even more so in the future.

"As dentists and practice managers know, one of the primary reasons patients do not proceed with treatment is often because they don't have access to available funds or do not want to utilise their existing funds. Mediplan solves this problem and provides the best solution for patients and dental practices alike."

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