Tips and Ideas to Improve Dental Office Collections

Hello Friends,

Would you like to see more patients not only accept treatment but pay for it before or at the time of service?  Would you like to see an increase in production and office collections?  Would you like to decrease the amount of time and money being spent on making collection calls and sending patient statements/letters? Great news, I can help you!

Fear of cost moves many people to put off visiting the dentist or to cancel their appointments for scheduled treatment. Fear of presenting fees causes many team members to dread or avoid presenting treatment plans/financial expectations and asking for payment. These fears do not help the patient or the office.

I know this is true because as I coach dental office teams, during my in-office visits we quickly discover that in most cases solid collection protocols are lacking.

Today, I’ll share with you a few tips to help you increase and improve office collections. make that happen.

  1. See the true value of dentistry – With each day and each patient you and your team have the privilege and opportunity to potentially change someone’s life or at the very least, help them smile healthier. A healthy smile is part of a healthy body, healthy smiles and bodies create healthy communities.  The entire team must believe this. The entire team must also wholly believe that you’re providing the best quality care. Having full confidence in the doctors and hygienists’ ability to provide quality care and to create beautiful and healthy smiles is a must. Give every patient the opportunity to say yes or no to your very best care!
  2. Be confident with fees – The entire team should role play presenting small and large treatment plans and financial arrangements until everyone is comfortable saying the dollar amounts out loud and with pride.
  3. Financial Guidelines & Expectations – Have written financial guidelines that is kindly reviewed with the patient at their first appt. Have them sign and take a copy with them. For your existing patients, review with them any changes to your financial expectations, have them sign and give them a copy to take home.
  4. Avoid assumptions and judgment – Don’t make decisions for the patient as to whether they can afford the treatment based on your assumptions or reality.  Always offer the best treatment and flexible payment options and allow the patient to decide what they want to accept or not.
  5. No surprises! – Present the patient’s treatment plan and estimated financial portion before treatment is started. If you accept and/or participate with their insurance, have up to date eligibility, a breakdown of benefits and the insurance fee schedule on file for the patient and enter into your practice management software.
  6. Payment due before or on the day of service – No billing the patient for co-pays or payment for services. (Hint: Collecting prior to appt. will reduce cancellations and no-shows. Another Hint: If you didn’t collect at the time of scheduling, collect their portion before the patient goes back for treatment, especially if they’re having a lengthy or difficult appt.
  7. Make it easy for them to pay – In addition to accepting cash, check, and charge cards, offer third-party financing. Avoid in-office payment plans!
  8. Incentives – Offer incentives for patients to pay when they make the reservation.
  9. Dealing with forgetful patients – When a patient says they forgot to bring money…they can either call the payment in over the phone when they get home or give them an envelope with payment due date for them to mail in a check. Call the patient if payment isn’t received by the due date.
  10. When Insurance is involved – Always give the full treatment fee, the estimated insurance amount and the patient’s estimated portion that is due today. Let the patient know you’ll send in the claim and inform them if anything changes with the estimated insurance portion. Watch your insurance aging report closely. Promptly follow up on any unpaid claims, insurance rejections, and requests for add’l information.

There you have it, 10 tips to successfully collect payment before or at the time of service.

Once you plan to consistently collect payments before or at the time of service and hold your team accountable to follow through with that plan, you’ll wish you started it sooner.

Do you know what your accounts receivable totals look like? Do you know how many insurance claims are over 60+ days old? Do you know how many of your patients have made a payment within the last 30 days and how many are past-due? If you do not know what your office numbers look like, please examine, record, and measure these and other important key practice indicators. You need to know where you’re at currently to know how to best care for your patients and what your potential for increasing collections looks like. To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence  – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities.  I am happy to assist you with this at no charge.

Here are a few more tips to help make this a true success for you.

  • Daily, Weekly and Monthly, monitor your patient and insurance accounts receivables, collection and credit reports.  (Carefully review write-off’s, discounts, credits, charges, and payments.)
  • Avoid “Statement Groundhog Day” – Stop sending statement after statement to patients that are past due on making a payment. They ignore them and it costs you a lot of money. Get collection letters out and make some calls.
  • ALWAYS send out clean insurance claims! If your administrative team needs any training in this ever-changing insurance world with how to estimate co-pays, send out claims (daily), post insurance payments and adjustments…get them the proper training asap!
  • Insurance Claims Aging Report – Run your insurance aging report and start from the oldest and work down to the current claims… how old are some of those claims? What is the status of the claims? Where is your money? Now is a great time to clean up that report.
  • Don’t assume… know by who, when, what and how your money is being handled. It’s important for the entire team to understand why this information is necessary.
  • Set goals, share with your team what your production and collection goals are and how it benefits them to all work together as a team to reach or exceed these goals. Consider offering a small bonus or incentive when these goals are reached.

Print out these tips and suggestions and review them at your next team meeting.

If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I  would love for you to please leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.

Friends, if your office is struggling with collections or out-of-control accounts receivables please don’t wait to seek help. The longer that money sits out there the less you collect.  You deserve to be paid for the amazing dental care you provide.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

Dentist Office Management and Leadership Ideas for September

Dentist Office Management and Leadership Ideas for September

Hello Friends,

How are things looking for your office in September? Do you have holes in the schedule? Or are you booked solid? Are you on track to have your best September ever?

No matter if your schedule is full of patients or full of holes there are things we can do to improve the practice – things that show the team how much they matter and things to show your patients that you care.

If your schedule isn’t looking as great as you’d like, or if you’re experiencing too many broken appts, or if your schedule is busy but not necessarily productive – you’ll benefit from the ideas that I am sharing with you. (That is of course if you implement them 😉 )

We know that a full hygiene schedule today typically means a full doctor’s schedule tomorrow – why is that? Approximately, 75% of restorative needs are discovered during hygiene patient visits.

Unfortunately, when there is that open chair time with no production to collect on, your overhead expenses continue without letup.

This isn’t just about money though – our focus should always be on helping our patients smile healthier and happier. When Your Patients Are Healthy – The Practice Is Healthy. To help make our patients healthier we need them to schedule appointments.

The ideas that I am sharing with you for September will help you reactivate and reappoint patients, attract more new patients, build relationships within the community, as well as exceed your current patients’ expectations.

Note: If you’re looking for marketing (growth) tips and ideas for September please check them out HERE.

Do you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month?  I would love and truly appreciate it for you to please leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK . Thank you! 

Leadership Ideas:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

By your actions lead your team in the direction you want your practice to go and grow.

Think beyond what you’ve always done to get by or your current perceived limitations– get creative with your methods for staying in touch with your current patients, reaching out to inactive patients, welcoming more new patients, and learning new things as a team to keep things fresh and motivating.

Employee Appreciation Idea – September is Self-Care Awareness Month – We’re finding many employees/team members experiencing burn-out and overwhelm for numerous reasons. We are also dealing with an employee shortage which is adding extra stress on the loyal employees. Self-Care has never been more important than it is right now! Give a small gift of appreciation to your employees that encourages self-care.  It could be a gift card or actual gifts. (ie: spa products, chocolate, books, essential oils, teas, water bottle, etc.) In addition, be alert to create opportunities to express your appreciation to your employees (and for the employees reading this – let your doctors know that you appreciate them too) – with your words, a short handwritten thank you note, etc.

Practice Management Tips & Ideas:

Unscheduled Treatment Plans & Hygiene Continuing Care – Reach out to all your patients with incomplete treatment plans or that are past-due in hygiene. Encourage them to schedule their appointment during the months of September, October, and November.

It is important to reach out to these “unhealthy” patients even IF you have crazy full schedules. They need to know you haven’t forgotten about them and that you care about their health.

Friends, do you know what your schedules look like for the fall months? Do you know how many of your active patients have a future appointment and how many do not? Do you know how many new patients you are welcoming into the practice AND how many patients you’re losing each month?  To help you get that data quickly, like within minutes – if your PMS is either Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or Open Dental you can request a complimentary, no-obligation practice data snapshot here: Game-Changing Awareness from Dental Intelligence  – Within minutes we’ll identify your practice’s strengths and uncover hidden opportunities.  I am happy to assist you with this at no charge and with absolutely no obligation to do anything further with me. 

Insurance Renewal Letters – Send out your Insurance and HSA/FSA “Use it or Lose it reminder texts, emails, and letters. If you would like a sample letter please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Dental Office Insurance Renewal Reminders Betty Hayden Consulting

Wishing you all the healthiest and happiest September!

Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Are you receiving my complimentary Dental Practice Management and Marketing Ideas via your email each month? If not, please follow today or send me (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. 

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

We’re on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest stop by and say hello. 

Back to School Dental Office Ideas

Back to School Dental Office Ideas

Hello Friends,

The back-to-school season is upon us. While we typically reach out to the schools during February’s Dental Health now is a great time to start building relationships with school staff & the families that attend these schools.

Here are just a few easy, inexpensive & effective ways for your dental office to reach out to your local schools.

Community Involvement – Use your office as a community donation site for school supplies or new & gently used books to be donated to local children and/or schools in need. Advertise in office, on your social media pages, to local businesses, and the news media via press release that your office is collecting donations for school supplies or books.

This is a GREAT way to bring in potential new patients… when folks come into the office to drop off their donations, be sure to warmly welcome them, give a brief tour of the office, hand out small thank you gifts that are imprinted with your office information or have a raffle they can enter to win a prize.

Social Media Platforms – Share  school-related and dental health content to your social media pages, such as:

  • Back to School Tips
  • Healthy Lunch/Snack ideas
  • What to do in a Dental Emergency?
  • Ortho care while at school
  • Dental Health (importance of, regular check-ups, sealants, mouthguards, fluoride & braces)
dental ideas for local schools tooth decay is preventable dental coach betty hayden

Gifts for School Staff – Choose one, two, or more schools (depending on the size of the teaching staff) and deliver some treats to show your appreciation for the work they do in caring for the children in your community. Some ideas: Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Toothbrush goodie bags, Lip balm, send over a coffee or ice cream truck, etc. Be sure that your office information is clearly imprinted on any toothbrushes or small gifts. See my Pinterest boards for gift ideas

and/or

Host a Favorite Teacher Contest  – Invite local students to nominate their favorite teacher. The winning teacher gets FREE teeth whitening and a certificate stating they won for the favorite teacher contest. The classroom with the winning teacher gets a gift card for school supplies or pizza/ice cream lunch.

You could easily ask for donations from local businesses to add to the winning teacher’s prize or for the classroom.

This can be promoted via your office website, newsletters, postcards, emails, office social media sites, local newspapers, and signs in your office.

Have fun with it and be sure to share lots of pictures on your social media pages.

Give-Away – Or have a school-themed gift that you’ll raffle off.  Promote via your social media sites. Allow for your current patients and potential patients to TAG their favorite teacher in the post for a chance to win the gift. Encourage them to share the post on their pages.

Book Fairs – Many schools will be hosting book fairs this school year.  These fairs typically bring in many families.

Create fun, interesting Bookmarks for your local schools that include your office contact information. Deliver these bookmarks as a gift to the local schools to use during their book fairs. Easy! Right?

Tooth bags – Make up little bags or boxes with a “congratulations on your lost tooth” message from your office with space to write the child’s name. Deliver these to local elementary schools for them to keep on hand for when a student loses a tooth during the school day. Both of my kids have come home with a tooth wrapped in a napkin or in a plain Ziplock bag. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to advertise your office?

I have witnessed firsthand just how effective marketing to local schools can be. The opportunity to bring in many new patient families to your practice is huge.

Please feel free to share with me your ideas for marketing to local schools or if you have any dental marketing questions that I can help you answer, I am here for you.

If you enjoy the complimentary ideas that I share each month, I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. Or send me your email address to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

We’re on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest stop by and say hello. 

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

August 2021 Dental Office Management Tips and Ideas

August 2021 Dental Office Management Tips and Ideas

Hello Friends,

I am happy to share with you some management and leadership tips and ideas for August. The ideas that I share are designed to help you produce more, collect more, stress less, and have more fun as a team all while helping your patients smile healthier and happier.

Be sure to spend some time reviewing your YTD numbers with your goals for the year. Are you satisfied with how your numbers are trending? If not, now is the perfect time to make some adjustments.

If you’re looking for dental marketing (growth) tips and ideas for August – visit: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2021/07/13/dental-office-marketing-tips-and-ideas-for-august-2021/

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month.  Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Here are some Dental Management and Leadership Tips and Ideas

Let’s start with you and your team…

Treat your employees how you would like them to treat your best patient!

If you want to see a positive change in your practice, you must consistently lead by example… be the change. It starts at the top. You set the tone for the day, make certain that it’s a happy & productive one.

Employee Appreciation Ideas –

Bagel Day – August 8th / Bring in bagels for the team… or bagels and donuts. (I love donuts)

Just Because Day – August 27th / Surprise the team with a small gift, gift card, or treat… just because.  They need it!

Unscheduled Active Patient Ideas – It doesn’t do any good to have active patients if they’re not scheduled for a future appointment. Make plans to reach out to all your unscheduled patients and invite them to schedule an appointment for their hygiene visit or if they have unscheduled treatment plans.

Incomplete Treatment Reports – Run your unscheduled treatment report for the last 6 months and reach out to patients to encourage them to schedule their appt to complete the treatment as planned.

Hygiene Continuing Care Opportunity – August 1 -7 is Simplify Your Life Week – Social Media post idea:  Simplify your life by crossing off “Schedule my all-important dental visit” from your To-Do-List by calling us today at…

Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Hope you enjoy these ideas and are able to use some of them to help make the month of August a productive and fun one for you, your team, your patients, and the community.

Would you please do something for me? If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I will love for you to please take a minute to leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.  Thank you!!

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest