The Coronavirus pandemic has had an immense impact on dental practices across the country. Months of shutdowns and emergency appointments that patients can’t afford have probably decreased the cash flow in your office.
On top of COVID-19, there are many other reasons that dentists have outstanding accounts receivable, such as:
- Poor training
- Unclear payment policy
- Unmotivated team members
- An insufficient accounts receivable system
Regardless of the cause, our experts at Dental Practice Enhancement can help!
Here are five tips for increasing cash flow in your dental practice:
1. Create a script for your team members
Sometimes, all it takes to get a patient to pay on the same day is for someone to ask! This can be difficult for team members who aren’t properly trained or prepared for these situations. Scripting can be extremely helpful for these staff members.
For example, instead of asking patients “would you like to pay today or later,” ask, “how will you be paying?” This phrasing is much more effective and will almost guarantee that more patients make same-day payments.
This interaction is best when the patient is already comfortable with the team member. Make sure your team is prioritizing patient relationships from the time they walk through the doors.
2. Offer a same-day payment discount
Discounts are a great incentive for payments! Black Friday is proof of that. Though a discount may seem to counteract cash flow, it will actually save you time, money, and a headache.
When patients pay on the same day, your team won’t have to chase down the rest of the money and you won’t have to spend money paying a team member to make extra phone calls or send more letters in the mail.
3. Send various reminders
When patients can’t pay on the same day, it’s important that your team members stay on top of sending reminders. Set up automatic texts or emails that are sent out at least once a month.
Phone calls should be a last resort as they can be unpleasant for the patient and your team member. However, they are necessary in many cases.
It’s important to prepare your staff for these circumstances by offering training and scripts. Showing compassion and offering other payment options will help the patient feel more comfortable. If the patient still cannot pay the full amount, ask when the payment should be expected and remind them of their final payment date.
4. Offer third-party financing
Patients who don’t have insurance will be happy to hear that your practice accepts third-party financing. Companies like CareCredit® offer patients the option to make small payments over a long period of time while you receive the full payment on the same day as the treatment.
This is a win-win situation for everyone! Make sure your team members are trained and prepared to explain all of your financing options so the patient can make an informed decision.
5. Hire a dental practice management company
When your practice is suffering, one of the best things you can do is ask for help. A management company like Dental Practice Enhancement can help train your team members about how to handle collections as well as how to decrease accounts receivables through virtual or in-person training.
Call (833) DPE-FOR-U to learn how we can help you.