The most cost effective way for your dental practice to control outstanding accounts receivable is by requesting that your patients pay at the time of service. This sounds easy enough, but it will require training of and help from your clinical team as well as your front office staff.
It’s common in some offices for dental assistants or hygienists to escort the patient out the door (right past the front desk!) once their appointment is over. This happens regardless of whether the patient has already paid or not. It’s easy for your clinical team to assume that once the procedure is finished, the appointment is over.
This problem is easily remedied by implementing a new rule. Instead of allowing your patients to be escorted out the door when the appointment is over, require hygienists or assistants to walk patients to the front office at the end of the visit. This way, you won’t miss an opportunity to collect payment at the time of service.
Another thing you may want to consider is providing your patient with an estimate for their cost of treatment. This is another task that can be delegated to your front office team, but you may need to shift responsibilities around. If the front office team is responsible for too much then they may be too busy, causing your patient to feel overwhelmed. People don’t like to wait, and if your patients are stuck waiting, they may not schedule follow-up treatment or have time to review payment estimates.
You can fix this problem by delegating scheduling to your clinical staff. When scheduling issues are discussed in the back, the front office team can more quickly provide cost estimates and collect payment.
If you’d like more information on increasing the profitability of your dental practice, please contact CTC Associates today!