Dental Accounts Receivable Protocol For Every Practice
Dental Accounts Receivable Protocol is absolutely necessary for every dental practice! Well, maybe I should say that protocol is necessary for dental office success. Without it, the dental office may survive. However, you might see inconsistent monthly collection numbers. Or, even worse, the accounts receivable could be increasing each month.
Is your dental office riding the collection roller coaster? Are you seeing ups and downs each month? Do you wonder each month what is coming in? It’s fixable. We just need to get a solid system in place for you! Business systems run businesses. Even the business of dentistry. A system problem is a fixable problem.
How do you know when you should worry? Now, that’s your first clue! If you are wondering if you should worry! Your gut feeling that there could be a problem, means there is a problem. Don’t ignore those feelings and signs. But the best way to check is to look carefully at your numbers. Numbers never lie!
Let me give you an easy guide! Your total accounts receivable should be equal to or less than your average monthly production.
Take Some Action!
Let’s take some action! If you haven’t yet seen my Weekly Management Systems, now is the time! I’m excited to be able to share this with you. I’ve got this down to a science! Weekly Management takes all the dental front office systems and brings them together in a very efficient and productive way!
Dental Accounts Receivable Protocol Step 2
Look For Trends
Let’s say you have the Weekly Management Systems. You are using this system to work through all accounts over 30 days. This is where it is critical for you to know how and why each individual account got here.
Watch carefully here for trends. Do you know that old Rod Stewart song? “Every Picture Tells a Story”. Your accounts receivable is your picture. Your picture is telling your story.
Several years ago, I was working as a Financial Coordinator in a large multi-specialty practice. Suddenly, there was a big spike in the accounts receivable reports. After working through each account, I found a new trend.
One of our cosmetic dentists, just one, had thousands of dollars in unpaid crowns and veneers! And no patient payments had been made towards these procedures. Insurance payments had come in, but no patient payments. And there should have been patient payments made at the time these crowns were prepped.
Crazy Things Happen!
What interested me most, was that it was just one of two cosmetic dentists in this practice that was affected.
I talked with this one dentist to let her know what was happening. The dentist met with her front office person and we learned what was happening. The front office person admitted she was not collecting payment for crowns and veneers for this dentist. She said she was mad at the dentist for not giving her a day off that she wanted. This was her way of getting back.
Crazy things happen! You may not find something like this happening in your office. But what is happening?
Find out what that is and get it fixed immediately! Is insurance billing and patient billing happening correctly? Is there a misunderstanding of insurance benefits somewhere? Are finances communicated well? Find your disconnect!
Dental Accounts Receivable Protocol Over 60/Over 90 Days
These Should Be Your Smallest Outstanding Balances
Insurance Ageing Over 60/90 Days: In a financially healthy dental practice, you will occasionally see an insurance claim resting in the 60/90 day report. It would probably be the insurance company requested additional information for review. It could also be because there is an incorrect patient ID# or other information that needs to be corrected. Get it fixed and get this claim off your reports. Working claims over 30 days due will prevent the roll over into the 60/90 day categories.
Patient Balances Over 60/90 Days: Ideally, these accounts are those with a financial agreement in place. I would avoid using the phrase “payment plan” whenever possible. When something has happened to create an unpaid balance in your dental office, go for payment in full. If necessary, discuss a financial agreement where the patient is able to extend payments out over time. Payment plans or “pre-payment plans” are great tools to consider. Pre-payment options allow payment over time prior to treatment.
Avoid chasing money later! No one likes that. Take my experience and training and put it to use in your practice today. Adjust and customize and create a consistent collection rate of 100%!