How To Quickly Increase Dental Office Collections

How To Quickly 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!

Dental Office Help to Increase Collections

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 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: 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 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.

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.

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

National Orthodontic Health Month Tips and Ideas For Your Ortho Office

National Orthodontic Health Month Tips and Ideas For Your Ortho Office

Hello Friends,

Today, I am sharing some tips and ideas for ortho offices to celebrate October’s National Orthodontic Health Month.

October’s Theme:  Orthodontic Health Month!  Healthy & Beautiful Smiles!

Tips and Ideas for Orthodontic Offices from Dental Coach Betty Hayden

  •  Brace Friendly Candy – Share on your social media platforms what candy to avoid and what snacks/treats are brace friendly.

 

  • Reviews / Testimonials – Encourage patients to leave a review/testimonial on Google, Facebook, etc.

 

  • Invisalign – Use this as an opportunity to promote Invisalign. This time of year people are thinking about gift ideas and want to get their smile camera-ready for their end of year parties.

 

  • Before & Afters – all month-long feature before and after ortho photos on your social media pages.

 

  • Q & A Video Sessions– use your social media platforms to post short videos of the doctors and/or team members answering frequently asked questions.

Community Involvement ~

October is National Field Trip Month – Don’t wait for Children’s Dental Health Month in February to invite local schools to bring in their students for a Field Trip to the orthodontist. Bring them in during the month of October instead.

I know a lot of offices will be focusing on Candy Buy Back Events, so I will share some ideas for those events and some other ideas just in case you’re looking for something a little extra to exceed patient expectations.

Candy Buy Back ~

Options:

  •   Collect candy in the office. Open to the Public

Or you can do this,

  • Team up w/local school(s) and set up collection bins in each classroom where the kids can bring in their candy and the classroom with the most candy wins a gift card or get a local pizzeria to donate pizza for a classroom pizza party for the winning classroom.

Gift Ideas for Referring Dentists and their Teams ~

World Smile Day – October 4th  – Put together smile themed gift baskets.

Or do a team smiles photo contest. Office photo with the most FB likes wins.

October is Apple Month – Deliver some apple treats to the offices. Such as:

  • Basket Of Apples w/ Caramel Sauce
  • Apple Cider & Donuts
  • Apple Pie

Team Building Activity  ~ Get your team together to make apple sauce, apple pie filling, caramel sauce, or an apple/cinnamon sugar scrub. Put it in little jars with a ribbon and label with your office information. You can then give away as gifts to your new patients and or referring doctors/specialists. How fun is that?!

There you have it some fun and effective tips and ideas to celebrate October’s Orthodontic Health Month.

Do you enjoy the dental leadership, management, and marketing tips and ideas that I share each month?   I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK

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Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)

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Dental Office Open House Tips and Ideas

Dental Office Open House Tips and Ideas

Hello Friends,

One of the most asked questions that I receive is ideas for hosting a dental open house event. So if you have an open house planned for your dental office or are considering hosting an open house event, here are some ideas to help make your open house a huge success!

Dental Clinic Open House Celebration Ideas

Consider adding a theme to your event.

Event Theme Ideas:

  • Luau
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Back-to-School
  • Hearts – We “Heart” our Community or We “Heart” our Patients
  • Decades (ex: 50’s)
  • Spring – Flowers (Thank you for helping our office grow)
  • Celebration of Health
  • Fall
  • Women’s Night Out
  • Office Anniversary Celebration
  • Spa/Pampering
  • Shopping (w/local vendors)
  • Carnival
  • Cocktail Party (Wine & Appetizers)
  • Superhero

 Target Audience: 

Determine in advance who is your target audience.

  • Professionals/Specialists
  • Community (Local Businesses/Non-Patients)
  • Current Patients

 Cross Marketing Opportunity:

Team up with local businesses!

  • Hair Salons, Specialty offices, Restaurants, Etc.
  • Display a thank you board/sign listing the local businesses involved in the open house.
  • Have an area that they can display their business information
  • Have them donate a prize to be raffled off or used in a drawing.
  • Ask them to advertise your event at their place of business.

Word of caution, make sure that if you choose to team up with any other local businesses that it doesn’t distract the guests away from your office.

Advertising your Event:

  • Invitations
  • Local Newspaper (Invite them to the event!)
  • TV News (Invite them to the event!)
  • Radio (Invite them to the event!)
  • Social Media Sites (set up a Facebook Event)
  • Website
  • Current Patients (Ask them to bring a friend for a prize!)
  • Newsletter
  • Email
  • Online Local News Sites
  • Local Chambers
  • Local Businesses (Library, City Hall, Day Cares, Salons, Restaurants, Schools, EVERYWHERE)
  • Employees (Make sure the entire team is on board w/the event and talking about it)
  • Flyers
  • Banner on building

Call To Action/Community Support:

Collect Donations for…

  • Winter Gear (Coats, Gloves, Scarves & Hats, Blankets)
  • Books
  • Canned Foods
  • School Supplies
  • Aluminum Can Tabs (Ronald McDonald House)

or offer:

  • Complimentary Oral Cancer Screenings
  • Smile Makeover Contest

 Give-Aways:

Welcome letter/flyer (Include in it: Info about the office, services offered, a special call to action offer & a thank you for coming in)

Items imprinted with your office information, such as:

  • Toothbrush Bags
  • Lip Balm (www.lipbalmexpress.com)
  • Tote Bags
  • Pens
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Water Bottles
  • Flower Seed Packets
  • Magnets
  • Keyrings
  • Xylitol Products
  • Umbrellas

My favorite company to use for imprinted giveaway items is: Bizarre Marketing – www.promostuff4u.com

Activities:

  • Face Painting
  • Photo Booth with photo props
  • Balloon Twisting
  • Bounce House
  • Craft Table
  • Games
  • DJ/Karaoke/Live Music
  • Dental Health Presentations

Drawing/Raffle for Prizes:

Having a drawing(s) allows you to collect the names and contact information of the guests. Be sure to collect Name, Address, Email & Phone #.

Prize Ideas:

  • Electric Toothbrush
  • Teeth Whitening
  • $/% Off of a Dental Service
  • Gift Cards
  • Television/Tablet
  • Bicycle
  • Waterpark, Sporting Event, Concert, or Theatre Tickets/Passes
  • Gift Baskets

Team up with local businesses for contributions/donations of Prizes. Be sure to remind them that their name will be included in your advertising for the open house.

Offer an incentive (such as; gift card) to the first so many people who RSVP to your event.

Office Appearance:

  • The office must be clean and clutter free!! (Inside & Out!)
  • Restrooms – make sure they are checked during the open house for cleanliness and that they are well stocked)
  • Decorate the Office
  • Music Playing (recorded or live)
  • Have stations/displays set up throughout the office to encourage a tour of the entire office.
  • Monitors set up in reception room and treatment suites playing videos of services offered. Before and After Photo Slideshow.
  • Display “About Our Office & Services” Brochures

Team Members:

  • Well dressed and groomed
  • Name Tags
  • Friendly & Outgoing
  • Specific assignments (designated greeter, tour guide, speaker for dental presentations, etc.)

Food/Drink Ideas:

  • Bottled water with an office label
  • Punch/lemonade/Tea/Coffee/Wine/Beer
  • BBQ Foods
  • Appetizers
  • Wine/Cheese
  • Desserts
  • Ice Cream Truck (great for outdoor events)

You may be able to get a local business to donate cookies, cake pops, cupcakes, sandwich trays, fruit and vegetable platters, etc.

Day of the Event:

  • Smiling faces
  • Name tags for your guests
  • Give tours (Depending on the size of the event you could set up tours as a scavenger hunt)
  • Be ready to schedule dental appointments
  • Greet everyone
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Record a video of the event. Consider doing a Facebook live during the event.

 After the Event:

  • Send Thank you’s to all of your guests and any businesses that participated in the event.
  • Send a follow-up article & pictures to the local paper.
  • Call prize winners to come into the office and collect their gift – be sure to take their picture(s).
  • Post pictures of the event on social media sites.

Remember, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!

To-do lists are your friend! Include a timeline & who is responsible for what & when.

Your goal should be to make your guests feel welcome, special, and appreciated. No one wants to show up to an event where they are not welcomed or confident they’re even in the right place.

Make it a Fabulous Open House Event my friends!

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

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