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!!

Fall Dental Office Management and Leadership Ideas for October 2022

Fall Dental Office Management and Leadership Ideas for October 2022

Hello Friends,

October is the start of your final quarter for the year. What do you have planned to help make this your best fourth quarter ever?

Here are some office management reminders and leadership ideas for October 2022

October is Employee Ownership Month – Encourage and lead your employees to take on an ownership mentality. The benefits: Taking ownership of your work helps with motivation in your job role, as it empowers you to ask questions, develop ideas, provide solutions to problems, be proactive instead of reactive, and ask for constructive feedback.  Employees can be the driver behind the success of the practice. It is vital that you provide your team with the support and resources they need to develop and become more engaged.

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 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.

Employee Appreciation Gift – Taco Day 4th – Bring in tacos for lunch for the team to enjoy.

Boss’s Day: October 17th – Plan now to make this a special day for your boss(es).  (Usually, it is on the 16th but moved it to the 17th because it fell on a weekend day.)  Plan now to make this a special day for your boss(es).

Practice Management Reminders & Ideas: 

Insurance Use it or Lose it Reminders – Did you get your end-of-year insurance dental benefit, HSA, and FSA use it or lose it reminder letters/emails/texts/calls out? 

Stay on Time & Take Control of your Schedule – If you’re often running behind schedule, investigate the reason(s) why. If you know the why… change whatever it is causing you to stray from the schedule.  If it’s your schedule that is the problem, remember this, you have control of who, what, when, and how the appointments are scheduled. Arriving at the office with plenty of time before the first scheduled patient, reserve time/holds for new patients, perio patients, and emergencies, expect your patients to arrive on time, never wait on hygiene exams, calculate the actual amount of time it takes to do procedures, and control the schedules, these things will help you stay on time and enjoy smoother, productive, and less chaotic days.

Do you like the ideas 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!

Looking for Marketing and additional Practice Growth Tips & Ideas for October? Check these out:

Here: October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month Dental Office Ideas

Here: Tips and Ideas for October’s National Dental Hygiene Month

Here: Marketing and Practice Growth Ideas for October

Wishing you all the very best October!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty – Dental Coach

P.S. Before you go, I would LOVE for you to PLEASE leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook. Simply click the following links:    GOOGLE   and/or  FACEBOOK Thank you so much!!

I would love the opportunity to work along with you and your team to help you set and exceed your practice goals. If you would like to schedule a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to learn how our coaching program works, please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.