Dental Office Collections & Prepayment Incentives
Dental office collections with prepayment incentives is a concept I am familiar with. As I have seen this implemented in several practices very successfully. These are practices in which I have worked. One office would only schedule restorative appointments with a “paid for” appointment. The 2 dentists who owned the practice fully believed this was the only way. They wanted patients who had made a commitment to their appointment.
I have also worked with several practices where we implemented pre-payment options a little differently. Sometimes, pre-payment was offered to help with financing. When a patient needed a way to make payments for treatment. And other times, pre-payment was offered with a discount. If treatment was paid in full prior to treatment, services were discounted.
Do you want to see your collection rate improve and still offer patients a discount? You might want to consider a prepayment incentive.
Here are a couple of things to consider first:
Dental Office Collections & Prepayment Incentives For Insured Patients
If your dental office is contracted with PPO insurance plans, you may not want to extend prepayment incentives for covered procedures.
Think about offering prepayment incentives for extensive treatment plans that are not covered by your patients’ PPO insurance plan. Prepayment incentives allow the dental office to schedule non-covered treatment and offer patients a great discount.
The dental office is not chasing money when they are paid before treatment! Double bonus!! Let me give you an example
Your patient has decided she is ready to move forward in scheduling the 6 upper anterior veneers recommended. Veneers are not covered by her dental insurance.
The dental office can still offer her a discount of 10% at the time of scheduling if she pays in full. There is no insurance billing involved for the patient and no billing costs or delay.
Write out a financial agreement so there aren’t any misunderstandings. Be very clear and transparent.
Dental Office Collections & Prepayment Incentives With Payment Plans
Are you wondering how payment plans are going to improve collection numbers in your dental office? Payment plans are offered with prepayment incentive! What a deal!
When you are discussing treatment options with your patient, some may ask about payment plans. Payment plans can certainly be part of the financial agreement.
The key to making this work is that payment is received in full prior to treatment.
Let’s revisit that patient who wants to schedule her 6 veneers. She likes the idea of a 10% courtesy for payment in full. However, she cannot come up with that payment all at once.
Offer your patient a 3 month prepayment plan. Schedule her treatment 4 months out. Everyone is happy and your patient is getting the treatment she needs.
Offer Pre-Payment Plans Only If Patients Request A Payment Plan
Take this approach carefully. One step at a time. The patient who wants to schedule her veneers, may be able to pay in full with a 10% courtesy without a payment plan.
Don’t offer the prepayment plan unless the conversation you are having with your patient takes that turn. It’s very important to let the conversation unfold and the questions come from your patients before offering solutions. One step at a time! The idea is to schedule your patient as soon as possible.
One of the best things about prepayment options, is that it keeps you from chasing money after treatment is done. There is a little more work to do at the time you schedule, but not that much. The toughest part for you might be the actual conversation. But once you’ve done this a couple of times, it gets easier.