Consistent Dental Office Collections With Weekly Management
Consistent dental office collections are a direct result of consistent administrative systems. It really is that simple! Frankly, we do get out of it what we put into it. When we operate in a spirit of chaos or a “hit and miss” mentality, our results reflect this. However, we can turn it all around today. With just a little discipline and desire to make a fresh start.
So how do we begin? Let’s print the entire aging report. An aging report that includes everything. We want to look at outstanding insurance claims as well as patient balances. And let’s identify if we have a problem. Now, let’s take a look at some numbers. We want to know what the entire outstanding accounts receivable total dollar amount is. Then, compare that to the average monthly production number. What’s healthy? We want our total accounts receivable to be equal to or less than our average monthly production number. If our entire accounts receivable is more than our monthly production, Houston, we have a problem!
When There’s A Receivables Problem
Let’s say we find our outstanding receivables are greater than our monthly production numbers. How do we begin to fix this? Let’s break it down. Before we do anything, we want to stop the more current balances from rolling over into the over 60 or over 90 day categories. And the best way to do that is to begin working overdue accounts at the over 30 day mark.
There are those who think that’s too soon. I am not one of those people. In fact, 30 days is the starting point for me. I definitely do not wait until the over 60 day mark to start tracking monies due. But rather I strive to have nothing in my over 90 day categories and very little in the over 60 day. You can too!
Consistent Dental Office Collections Course
Consistent dental office collections are more possible through my online course here! This is a very simple course that walks the dental office team members through all the necessary steps to keep accounts current. And includes some fabulous tips! For example, daily patient billing. Because it is through more consistent billing that the collections become more consistent. And also keeps accounts from rolling over into those over 60 and over 90 day categories.
Consistent Dental Office Collections With Compassion
Consistent dental office collections can be compassionate. And collections are more successful when they are compassionate. We want to always assume the debtor or insurance carrier has the best intent. There may be some confusion on their part. And our role may be just to bring clarity. So we want to be kind and clear in our requests for resolution and payment.
We can be kind and still request payment. And there may be times when we need to make payment arrangements with patients. Or even offer to call them back at a better time. The patient balance we work to collect is already overdue. And yes, we want to get this issue resolved. However, we will do better with this whole collection concept with kindness and consideration.
Systems With Good Judgement
As much as I love business systems, I also admire good judgement. We must consider each individual scenario as just that. It’s an individual scenario. Especially with our patient balances. Take the time to listen, to hear, and to be the solution and not part of the problem. We want to consider how the balance got to where it is. Not to lay blame. But to help. Was an estimate incorrect? Was insurance billed right? Did the patient receive a statement? Look within before making that first call.
Outstanding insurance claims may reflect internal problems. This often shows when new front office team members join the team! Or when dental assistants transfer to an administrative role. But that’s because it is a task that new administrators may not fully understand. There are details that can be missed in data entry. Or understanding the importance of payor id#’s or group #’s or even member id#’s is misunderstood. So, keep an eye on commonalities in the insurance aging reports.
Consistent Dental Office Collections During Economic Recession
Consistent dental office collections means payment at the time of service. And accurate patient copay collection with impeccable dental insurance claim management. With superior financial management each and every day, there is rarely an outstanding patient balance to collect. Especially with pre-payment options in place! We truly want to be in a place where we are not chasing money from our patients after the date of service.
Patient statements go out each and every day. We don’t wait to send statements just once a month of once a week. And there aren’t many statements to even worry about or follow up on. And as much as we don’t want any of our dental patients to suffer a financial set-back, we don’t want to be directly impacted either. It’s important that we remain financially healthy and sound so that we can continue to care for our communities. And perhaps when we do find an opportunity to help a patient in need, we are in a better position to do so.