Successful Dental Copay Collection With Consistency
Successful dental copay collection should be routine in the dental practice. After all, we do like to get paid for what we do! Right?! Of course!! And we want to get paid on time. It certainly doesn’t feel good to wait and wonder when someone is going to pay their dental bill. Or if they are going to pay their bill at all! And frankly, it just doesn’t work that way in the real world! Dental offices are not banks or lending institutions. The over head is just too high for that!
So, let’s set the stage for financial success. Let’s stop chasing money after the procedure is complete. And make up our minds that we can and we will. Our team, our patients, and our families are counting on us. We will definitely have a much happier, healthier day and dental practice when we can collect with consistency at the time of service. Here’s how to do just that!
Build Team Confidence With Great Leadership!
Sometimes, team members are not comfortable talking about money. How do we get comfortable with something? We do that “something” until we are. Think about it for a minute. What is something you were afraid to do or you were uncomfortable doing until you did it? And then sometimes, we need to repeat that same action more than once to really get the hang of it! We learn by experience and by doing. If you have team members that are not comfortable with financial presentations, set aside a training time. And have some fun with it! Role play. Work out the kinks. Practice what to say and how to say it! Rehearse some of those real life dental conversations you’ve had.
Identify any areas of confusion team members might have . It could be that a team member is unsure of certain dental procedures. And if that’s the case, it won’t present well. Taking this one step further, do all team members see the value in the dental treatment performed? Does everyone understand why the fees are set as they are? There might need to be some explanation of overhead costs, materials, time, and exactly what goes into each appointment too. We want our patients to understand the value of each appointment. Therefore, our team members must also understand the value. Not necessarily every detail, but at least the basics here!
Successful Dental Copay Collection: Clear Communication
Clear communication about treatment, cost, expectations, and appointments are a must! And there’s a lot of room for things to go wrong here if we are not careful and mindful. One slight miscommunication or misunderstanding in any area could lead to an unhappy patient and uncollected debt.
Treatment plans must be entered accurately and efficiently. Insurance benefits must be verified and calculated. And then, the final financial presentation and scheduling take place. Each step building on the prior step. And the mindset of each team player presenting patient treatment is crucial. What exactly do I mean by that?
Better Dental Financial Presentations!
Believe that each patient truly needs the treatment presented. Because the truth is, they do! And we want them to believe it too. We all want what’s best for our patients. Our treatment plans and financial agreements must be more than teeth and numbers on a piece of paper. The treatment plans we present to our dental patients are an improved quality of life for them! It’s important and patients need our help in understanding this to be true. And we can do this in a calm, confident and considerate manner.
Trust that patients can afford the dental treatment they need. Making an assumption that dental treatment is too expensive for a patient is easily communicated through our faces and our energy. And we might even speak differently to patients if we think or assume they can’t afford the dental care they need. Believe in your patients and believe in your team! The rest will follow. Then, be sure to offer your patient choices in how they pay! This gives them some control over a piece of something that is uncontrollable to them!
Payment Choices Improve Collections
Successful dental copay collection comes with choices for patients to make. And if you have followed my posts or enrolled in any of my courses, you know I love the idea of pre-payment with incentives! This should definitely be one of the options on your financial agreement. As well as credit card options, cash, check, and maybe even a third party lender option!
Payment plans should always include pre-payment as well. Patients who say they need a payment plan and don’t want a third party lender, can certainly make installment payments. And they must also understand that payment is due in full prior to treatment. It’s okay to schedule those patients who need a little time to pay. Just be sure they understand it’s in their best interest to schedule as soon as possible. And maybe they can find a way to pay in full sooner than they initially thought they could.
Successful Dental Copay Collection Happens At Check-In
Patient check-in is the best time to collect payment for services. (And just as a side note, collection prior to a scheduled appointment eliminates this altogether!) Avoid a patient’s discomfort after a procedure is completed when collection happens at check-in. And if there is an unexpected change in treatment, it can be handled at the end of the appointment. That’s easy!
Dental front office team members are updating information at check-in anyway! So, it just makes sense to take care of all clerical and financial needs at this time. And if you know there is going to be a second appointment needed, and that’s not yet scheduled, do that now too! And really make your “good-bye” a more pleasant “good-bye”.