Many dental offices struggle with their dental collections process. Dental procedures can be quite pricey, so naturally, dental practices extend their patients some form of financing. Whether you agree on an in-house payment plan or outsource your financing to a different company, there are some things that you can do, that when done correctly, will help you collect on your accounts receivables more efficiently. After all, money today is always better than money tomorrow.
Effective Dental Collection Strategies
Discounts for Early or Time Of Service Payment
While you may be hesitant to offer discounts to your services, this is a great way to get your patients to pay their bills. If you extend a discount to your patients for simply paying when they schedule their appointment, you will not need to worry about collecting payments at a later date. Profitability may decrease slightly, but it is nothing compared to the cost of having unpaid debts on your books.
We see it all the time; clients are nervous to ask their patients to pay their bill, afraid of ruining the relationship they have worked so hard to build. You may be surprised how well simply asking the client to pay in full at check out works. While this may not be possible for the patient in some cases, just asking will often elicit a payment. Each time after that, it will get easier and easier, as the patient realizes that payment is expected at the time of service.
Relationships matter! We cannot stress this enough. We have all received a call from a telemarketer simply reading off of a script. Nine times out of ten, you will hang up within five seconds. Patients are less likely to pay their bills if they merely see you as a vendor or a company they owe. On the flip-side, the patient is more likely to pay their bill on-time and in full, when they view you as a friend or an important part of their healthy lifestyle.
An easy way to do this is to smile, be friendly, and take an interest in their lives. Know their names and a little bit about their lives (what the client is comfortable sharing.) Kindness goes a long way, and showing empathy and genuine interest in their lives shows that you value them as a person, not just a patient. Trust us; this will only help your collection efforts.
Make It Easy
Simplicity is the key here. We can all agree that the ability to pay online at any time of the day makes it easier for the client to pay their bill? No more forgetting to mail a check or not having the time to call in during business hours. If your patient can pay their bill at any moment on your website, the more likely they will pay it on time and in full.
In the spirit of making it as straightforward as possible for the client, consider contacting your patients using their most preferred method of communication. Reminding someone who doesn’t check their email, to pay their bill via an email, doesn’t make sense now does it. If a client would prefer a reminder via text, then send them a text! If they would prefer a call, then do that. While it takes a little more effort on your end, the patient will more likely pay their bill on time. This is also an excellent way to build a relationship.
Rely on Kinum, Inc.
Another strategy for dental debt collection is to rely on a company that specializes in doing just that, such as ourselves. Kinum, Inc. has developed a method for collecting accounts receivables that will assist you in faster debt recovery while keeping your costs to a minimum. We have the experience and expertise needed to effectively recover payments for your services, including legal intervention when needed. We help clients in all industries, dental practices included, free up time that could be spent elsewhere instead of chasing money.