The way a dentist handles dental collections can make or break his dental practice. If this is a weak area for you and your dental team, you’ve come to the right place!
There are dozens of reasons patients don’t pay for their procedures on time, but with the right tools and processes, you can achieve dental collections success! It CAN be as simple as performing a service and receiving immediate (or almost immediate) payment.
Integrate these five tips into your dental practice and watch the payments fly in!
1. Establish a payment policy
If you don’t have a clear and established payment policy, your team is most likely making decisions based on their own feelings and intuition which might not align with yours. Create a payment policy on your own or with the help of your dental practice management team and share it in your next team meeting.
Your payment system should answer these questions:
- Do you take insurance?
- Do you charge a fee for service?
- Will you predetermine insurance benefits for accurate estimates?
- Do you collect upfront payments?
- Should you offer a discount for upfront or same-day payments?
- Are patients expected to pay on the same day of service?
- Should you offer third-party financing or in-house financing?
Be sure to type up your plan and pass it out to your team members or post it in a visible location so everyone is on the same page.
Many times, patients don’t pay on the same day because no one asks them to. Train your team members to ask politely and to always ask for the payment in full. We’ve found that asking the question, “How will you be paying?” works much better than, “Can you pay us today?” As long as your team members treat the patient kindly and respectfully, the transaction should go smoothly!
Hopefully, your dental team is made up of people who care about the practice and its success. If so, they will be more inclined to abide by and implement your policies. Asking for payment can be uncomfortable, but once your team and patients know what to expect, it gets easier.
3. Reward upfront or same-day payments
Patients will feel much better about paying upfront or the same day when they feel like they’re getting a deal. Offer a 5 percent discount for patients who pay on the same day of service. After all, by paying up-front, they’re saving your team members (and you) lots of time and effort. You should begin to see an increase in same-day payments!
4. Offer third-party or in-house financing
Many patients simply can’t afford to pay for dental care upfront. This leads them to forgo dental care all together OR leads to you chasing them down for payments. Neither scenario is what anyone wants.
Third-party financing like CareCredit® or in-house financing is one of the best things you can offer these patients. They will be able to afford the monthly payments, and you’ll be able to give them the care they need while also getting paid. It’s a win-win for everyone.
5. Hire a dental practice management company
If you’re practice is really struggling with dental collections, or if you just want your team to be trained so you can experience faster results, a dental practice management company is what you need! At Dental Practice Enhancement, we help train dental teams in billing collection from patients and insurance companies.
We also have virtual assistants who can take over your account receivables all-together. To learn more about our services and how we can improve your dental practice, call (833) DPE-FOR-U today.