Did you know the following facts about collections?
- The average accounts receivable over 90 days: 18 percent
- The average for dental practices with patient financing: 14 percent
- The average for dental practices without patient financing: 28 percent
It’s key that you communicate with the patient in order to get paid: phone calls, emails, and letters, even contacting family members or dental specialists who may have updated contact info. Creating a series of letters sent quickly that become more intense may also help move this patient along the process as well.
Patients must be informed in the very beginning what is expected of them when it comes to payment on the account. If you don’t have a financial policy they won’t pay the bill or it goes to the bottom of the pile in favor of businesses who do have policies.
Since the chance that a patient will pay a past-due balance drops dramatically after every month from their last visit, make sure that your collections process moves quickly. You certainly don’t need to give the patient a month to pay his/her statement and then another month to pay after a letter. If a week goes by and you are not receiving a payment or any contact about the bill, then it’s time to move to the next step.
The practice owners or dentist must decide what they want to do with non-compliant patients who have “skipped” out on their dental bill. If there was a special arrangement with the patient and they have breached it you no longer have to honor the arrangement. If the owner/dentists want to do a bad debt write off or send the account to a professional collection agency the account should be audited for accuracy before either step is taken.
eAssist offers a collection service but is not a collection agency. eAssist can send a series of letters and call the patient or guarantor freeing up time for the office to help patients that are in the office for treatment. eAssist can be an active member of your team with the time to execute this difficult and unpopular task.
Really good article and easy to understand.Not an easy insurance concept to put into writing!