How to Increase Dental Office Collections

How to Increase Dental Office Collections

Hello Friends,

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.

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!

how to collect dental patient copays betty hayden dental coach

Today, I’ll share with you a few tips to help 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 policy Have a written financial policy 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 policies, 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. Remember this, Sympathy vs Empathy: Sympathy is feeling for the patient… deciding for them that they can’t afford the dental care, Empathy is feeling with the patient… yes, this is more than they were wanting to pay, however, you’re going to give them hope… you’re going to offer third-party financing, break up the treatment plan if possible or allow them to make payments as a credit until they have enough money to get started with treatment. 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 treatment plan and financial portion before treatment is started. Make sure your numbers are as accurate as possible, especially when estimating the insurance portion. If you accept their insurance, have up to date eligibility, a breakdown of benefits and the insurance fee schedule on file for the patient.
  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: Collect co-pay before the patient goes back for treatment, especially if they’re having a lengthy or difficult appt. No one wants to stand at the front desk fumbling for money or to write a check with gauze hanging out of their mouth after an extraction, or numb and exhausted after a long appt. Make it more comfortable for them by collecting their payment and making any necessary follow up appts before they go back.)
  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 co-pay 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 time of service.

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

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.)
  • Each day, look at the day prior, what were your total production charges & collections? Pay close attention to the total patient responsibility vs patient payments, these numbers should be close to the same. If not, why not?
  • 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!
  • 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.

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

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Please follow and like us:
Dental Insurance Maximum Renewal Letter, Reminders, and Ideas

Dental Insurance Maximum Renewal Letter, Reminders, and Ideas

Hello Friends,

The month of September is a great month to get your “Use it or Lose it!” letters and emails out to your patients. This is for all of your patients that have dental benefits that renew on January 1st .and patients with FSA or HSA dollars that expire at the end of the year. Especially helpful for your patients that are /pastdue/due/or due this year for their hygiene visit and/or with treatment that is yet to be started or needs to be completed and their remaining dental insurance maximums are getting ready to expire.

remaining dental max letter

Time to remind them to Use it or Lose it!  Get your letters, emails and text messages out to your patients reminding them to use any insurance benefits they have remaining for the year to complete any needed treatment or for their continuing care hygiene appointment before they lose them.

Some offices choose to mail these letters out in early September. I think October works well too.  Remember, the closer it gets to the end of the year the more difficult it becomes to get them to schedule and you may not even have room in your schedule to accommodate them.

Your goal is to get them from the filing cabinet/computer to the schedule!

Personalize  – When mailing out remaining maximum letters, be sure to customize for each patient according to their treatment plan. This will help to re-create the urgency and value for treatment.  For some patients, it will take some type of additional incentive to get them to act. Perhaps, include a gift certificate for $ off of their treatment if it’s completed and paid for by December 31st. Not redeemable for cash. Or the opportunity to enter a raffle for a really great prize!

Here is a scripting idea for your “Use it or Lose it! letters:

Dear (Patient name),

It’s that time of year again, when you are busy with school schedules, getting ready for fall weather, and/or scheduling upcoming Holiday plans. During this busy time, you may not be thinking about your available or unused dental insurance benefits.

Whether you have insurance benefits remaining or if you have funds set aside in a flexible spending account (FSA) or healthcare saving account (HSA), now is the time to schedule treatment so your co-payment amounts can be applied to this year’s deductions.

Make sure to use all available benefits to complete any outstanding treatment or for your all-important preventive dental hygiene appointment. Almost all plans do not allow you to rollover unused dollars to the next benefit year. So, Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em!

Call us today to schedule your appointment. We find that the upcoming holiday season is always our “busy time” and we are certain it is a very busy time for you too. 

Beat the end of year rush and get in early, our phone number is ………

Please know we are here to assist you and answer any questions you may have regarding your dental treatment.

Yours partners for better dental health,

Take this opportunity to add a P.S. message to the end of your letter, telling your patients all about your specials on teeth whitening. Many people at this time of year are looking to whiten their teeth for their end of year celebration family photos, or to buy gifts for family and friends.

For example… 

P.S. Now is a great time to whiten & brighten your smile for your end of year celebration photos. We have some fantastic whitening specials! Teeth whitening gift cards also make a wonderful gift.

P.P.S. Did you know we are on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter? “Like” us on Facebook at … and “follow” us on Instagram, and Twitter at …- This way you can stay up to date with all our office events & news plus have a chance at exclusive offers & contests.

Mailing Tip –  Use a bright-colored envelope and neatly hand-write the name and address. Use a “live” stamp. This will take a little more time to do but your patients are more likely to open an envelope that looks like it’s  from a friend and not their dentist.

Phone Calls – About a week after you mail out your letters, go ahead and start calling them to see if they received the letter and to schedule them an appointment.

Document – Be sure to document that a letter was mailed, phone calls were made and what type of response you received from each patient.

Important Reminder – Before sending out these letters and making calls to your patients be sure to review your upcoming appointment schedule… Where is your open chair time? Will pre-blocking some open time be helpful? Also, before scheduling last minute appointments that require lab work, be sure to communicate with your lab guy/gal that they can, in fact, get these cases back to you in time.

Wishing you all a full schedule for the end of the year!

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 for me on GOOGLE and/orFACEBOOK

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 and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

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

Please follow and like us:
Ten Tips to Increase Teeth Whitening Acceptance

Ten Tips to Increase Teeth Whitening Acceptance

Hello Friends,

Many of your patients are thinking about all of the pictures that they will be smiling for at their end of the year office parties and family dinners. Help them get their smiles camera-ready with teeth whitening. Beautiful bright, white teeth for Winter. “Smiles as White as Snow”

Ever wonder why it is that some offices have a lot of success with teeth whitening sales and other offices not so much?

Here’s why…. No whitening system or whitening goals will ever be reached or work if the entire team isn’t on board with it and actually consistently offering it.

Dental Services, Teeth Whitening, Dental Marketing

Here are 10 Tips to Help Make Teeth Whitening a Successful Service in your Office…

Step One: 
White Teeth for Doctor(s) and Team Members –
Complimentary whitening trays for each & every team member. They need to have a beautiful white smile and an experience to share with your patients.

Step Two:
Take a Shade –
Let your patient know that you’re going to start the appointment by taking a shade match of their current tooth color for your records. You can show them where they are on the shade guide. This very often leads your patient to ask you about teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatment options.

Step Three: 
In office Messaging
In addition to being ENTHUSIASTIC when talking to your patients about the teeth whitening services you offer…Team members can wear buttons and/or have a nice 5×7 framed sign in each treatment room at patient’s eye level offering teeth whitening…

Get a Whiter, Brighter Smile with
Teeth Whitening!

Whiten yellow teeth & virtually eliminate
tobacco, coffee & tea stains!
Ask us how

Step Four:
Scheduling –
When scheduling hygiene appointments over the phone include these powerful words:
Would you also like to whiten your teeth at this appointment?

Step Five:
Listen to your patients –
What are they telling you about upcoming events in their lives? Wedding? Job Hunting? Recently Single? Holiday time? Special Events? Vacation? Class Reunion?
What a great time to ask if they would like to have a bright, white smile for their special event, job interview, etc.

Step Six:
External Marketing –
Include offers for teeth whitening and patient teeth whitening success stories with your… Newsletters, Postcards, Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc) Website and Blog Posts. 
Video testimonials are a powerful marketing tool for your social media platforms.

Step Seven:
Tracking –
Be sure to set up computer reminders to call, text, email or send a postcard to your patients that have purchased teeth whitening trays around the time when they will be due for a refill.

Step Eight:
GOALS
Set a monthly whitening goal! Talk about daily goals at morning meetings. Consider offering a team bonus or incentive for every whitening case.

Step Nine:
Use only the BEST teeth whitening products and techniques!
Quality matters. As does comfort! Make this appointment as comfortable & sensitivity-free  as possible for your patients. 

Step Ten:
Buy sunglasses –
Because your office is going to be filled with such bright smiles you’ll need to wear shades!

Bonus Tips:

#1 – Offer a fun promotion in the community to local businesses. A drawing to win Free Take-home Teeth whitening trays to one or more people. Offer this at local salons, restaurants and schools.

#2 – BOGO Special Offer – Buy One, Get One 50% Off Teeth Whitening. This special offer increases your opportunity to bring in new patients. 

#3 – Make it convenient for your patients to say yes. Your patients are busy, assure them that this appointment will be quick. It’s helpful for all your team members to be cross-trained to take impressions and make trays.

#4 – Teeth Whitening makes a Great Gift! Make gift giving easy for your patients by suggesting that teeth whitening makes the perfect gift! Have Gift Certificates ready for purchase. See Dental Gift Certificates

I’m certain that if each step is followed closely and consistently you will see success with your teeth whitening goals.

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 inbox each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Feel free to tell your dental friends all about us so they can start benefiting from these dental ideas too. If you liked these ideas, please let me know by hitting the “like” button. Thank you!!!

Yours for Greater Success,
~
Betty

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

 

 

Please follow and like us: