Improve Dental Office Collections and Clean Up Unhealthy Accounts Receivable

Improve Dental Office Collections and Clean Up Unhealthy Accounts Receivable

Hello Friends,

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 chasing past-due patient and insurance balances? Great news, I can help you!

What do your past-due accounts receivable look like? The accounts receivable (A/R) balance is the amount owed to your office for services already provided (and paid for by you!), but not yet collected from the insurance company and/or patient. 

A healthy dental office will have an accounts-receivable ratio of 1.0, meaning your total accounts receivable are equal to your average monthly production. What does your A/R ratio look like?

How about your 90-day Collection Percentage on both Gross and Net Production? How much of your production are you collecting and how much are you writing off?

Sadly, I far too often see dentists working harder than ever with very little to show for their work. During my in-office coaching 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 office collections and clean up unhealthy accounts receivable.

  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 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 are 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 is 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. Offer online payment options– allow your patients the convenience to make payments online. (This way, while you and your team are sleeping you’re collecting payments from your night-owl patients 😉 )
  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 a payment due date for them to mail in a check. Call the patient if payment isn’t received by the due date. Better yet, send them a text/email to pay link so they can easily and quickly take care of the balance online.
  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. Reminder: Collecting co-pays on the day of service is an insurance requirement. Tip: 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. Don’t wait, start today to implement these changes.

Here are a few more tips to help make this a true success for you and enjoy healthy accounts receivable.

  • Daily, Weekly, and Monthly monitor your patient and insurance accounts receivable, collection, and credit reports.  (Carefully review write-offs, 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), and 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.
  • Benchmarks – Do you and your team know what healthy benchmarks they’re striving for? If not, establish those benchmarks and get everyone on the same page.

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

Do you appreciate the ideas and content that I share each month? If you do, would you kindly leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook, please? Simply click the following links:   GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much!

Friends, if your office is struggling with collections or out-of-control accounts receivable 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. If you’re unsure where or how to get started – feel free to reach out to me for a complimentary 30-minute consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Growth Tips & 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

Before you go – would you kindly leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook, please? Simply click the following links:   GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much!

Dental Office Leadership and Management Ideas for December 2022

Dental Office Leadership and Management Ideas for December 2022

Hello Friends,

December is going to be a busy time for you, your patients, and your employees. Take some time now to plan how you all will keep a full and productive schedule all month long without any extra stress

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Management Tips & Reminders for December…

Watch the Schedule – Be alert to any patients that are coming in with the doctor or hygienist and have incomplete treatment or are due in hygiene. If the schedule allows, encourage them to take care of both at the same time. This means carefully reviewing all charts in advance of the appointment.

Social Media – In advance, schedule your social media posts for the last 2 weeks of December and the first week of January. One less thing to stress you out during the crazy times. 😉

Appointment/Retention Incentive – It can be challenging to get patients to keep their dental appointments during the holidays – consider having a drawing for a gift basket or gift card to a local business that your patients can enter to win when they come in for their dental appointment before December 23rd.

Homecare Products – December is a great time for Special offers on Electric Toothbrushes and Waterpiks

Gift Certificates – Remember, Gift Certificates/Cards for Teeth Whitening, Ortho, or Wellness visits should always be available for your patients to purchase as gifts for their loved ones.

Travel Toothbrush Bags – Many of your patients travel during the holidays – Surprise them with a small gift for their travels. Put together toothbrush bags that include a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and a “what to do in a dental emergency” handout. You could also include other travel-sized items such as lotion, Advil, lip balm, etc.

If you’re looking for marketing & additional practice growth tips and ideas for December 2022 – please check them out here: December 2022 Marketing Ideas

Do you appreciate the ideas and content that I share each month? If you do, would you kindly leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook, please? Simply click the following links:   GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much!

Leadership & Team Building/Appreciation Ideas

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

Review the performance for 2022 – What worked well? What did not work well or requires change? What are your ideas for Improvement? What are your plans for implementation? Remember, change what needs changing, and control what you can control.

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.

National Sock Day: December 4th – Purchase some silly socks for the team and take a picture of everyone wearing the socks and post it to your office Facebook/Instagram pages and Google My Business listing.

National Chocolate Day: December 28-29th – Surprise your doctor(s) and/or team with a chocolatey “I appreciate you” treat.

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.

Wishing you a fabulous and productive month!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

Would you kindly leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook, please? Simply click the following links:   GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much! – Looking forward to hearing from you!!

Dental Practice Growth and Marketing Ideas for December 2022

Dental Practice Growth and Marketing Ideas for December 2022

Hello Friends,

Wow, I can’t believe we’re already at the end of the year! It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I was sharing practice growth tips and ideas for the start of this year. Where are you at with your practice growth goals for this year?

Doctors, if you are not happy with where your practice is at and 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, or would like to learn what opportunities for improvement exist in your practice... please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

The ideas that I am sharing for the month of December when implemented, WILL help you attract more new patients, build relationships within the community, as well as exceed your current patients’ expectations. Get people talking about you! As always, my goal is to also help you all stress-less and have more fun at work!

To encourage patients to keep their scheduled appointments during December, consider having a drawing for a gift basket (ie: filled with cozy winter items & hot cocoa supplies) or a gift card to a local business/restaurant that your patients can enter to win when they come in for their dental appointment before December 23rd.

Patient Appreciation Gift Ideas – Cookie Day: 4th and Hot Cocoa Day: 12th – All month long you can give away individually wrapped cookies with a packet of hot cocoa mix and a tag/label attached that says “Warm Wishes for a Sweet Winter“.

National Hand Washing Awareness Week: 4th-10th

Purchase small bottles of hand sanitizer with your office information on the label.  Give away to your patients during this week or throughout the month.  “Hands down we have the best patients around.”

Travel Toothbrush Bags – Many of your patients travel during the holidays – Surprise them with a small gift for their travels. Put together toothbrush bags that include a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and a “what to do in a dental emergency” handout. You could also include other travel-sized items such as lotion, Advil, lip balm, etc.

Gift Certificates: Remember, Gift Certificates/Cards for Teeth Whitening or Dental Treatment should always be available for your patients to purchase as gifts for their loved ones.

Community Involvement: Donations – Open your office as a Drop-Off Location for donations of non-perishable food items or winter gear for families/individuals in need.

Do you like the ideas and content that I share each month? If you do, would you kindly leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook, please? Simply click the following links:   GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much! – Looking forward to hearing from you!!

Social Media Post Content Ideas to Improve Engagement during the month of December

National Pear Month  

National Cookie Day: 4th 

Monkey Day: 14th 

Winter (Winter Solstice): 21st

National Chocolate Day: 28th-29th 

Wishing you a happy & healthy December!

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 (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

Would you kindly leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook, please? Simply click the following links:   GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much! – Looking forward to hearing from you!!

Dental Office Management and Leadership Ideas November 2022

Dental Office Management and Leadership Ideas November 2022

Hello Friends,

Would you like to increase your production, collections, and new patients? How about reappointing more of your unscheduled/inactive patients? If yes, these ideas that I am sharing with you, when implemented, WILL help you increase production, attract more new patients, build relationships within the community, have a happier team, as well as exceed your established patients’ expectations. 

Leadership Ideas

November is Gratitude Month – Gratitude helps to strengthen and motivate your team, encouraging employee loyalty and engagement. Don’t assume they know that you appreciate them just because you give them a paycheck every week. Show them by your words and actions that you value and appreciate their contributions to the success of the practice.

Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life. “—Northrup Christiane

See Why Gratitude Matters for several ways for you to express and show gratitude for your dental team.

Team AppreciationNational Nachos Day 6th– Bring in Nachos for lunch from a local restaurant or do a build-your-own nachos lunch potluck style.

If you’re looking for Marketing and other Practice Growth Ideas for November – Check these out: Dental Marketing and Practice Growth Ideas for November 2022

I’d love to hear from you! Would you kindly leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook, please? Simply click the following links:   GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much!

Practice Management Reminders and Ideas

Incomplete and Unscheduled Treatment Reminders – Do you have any patients with incomplete and unscheduled treatment plans or ones that are due/past due in hygiene? Do what you can to help them see the need and value in scheduling an appointment this month before the end-of-the-year rush really shifts into high gear!

End Of Year Dental Insurance Benefits (or HSA/FSA) Use it or Lose it Reminders – Have you followed up with a call(s), texts, and letters to your patients that haven’t responded to your use it or emails?

Scheduling – What steps have you taken to ensure your schedules will be able to accommodate those patients that wait until the last minute to use their dental benefits before the year ends? Do you have time reserved for New Patients, SRPs, and deliveries?

Daylight Saving Time Ends: 6 (First Sunday) (Turn Back 1 Hour  @2:00 AM)

Black Friday – Offer Special Pricing on Teeth Whitening, Electric Toothbrushes, Ortho Consultation, or a New Patient Visit.

For the last several years, a few times each month here on my website I share complimentary dental office leadership, marketing, and management tips and ideas. Are you automatically receiving my email post updates in your inbox? If not, take a second and sign up. Or send me your email address (bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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Please, before you go…  Would you kindly leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook, please? Simply click the following links:   GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much!