Has the recent economic downturn during the past few years hit your area?
When times are good maybe your practice can afford to ignore past-due accounts, or not feel the impact of uncollected revenue. But what about now?
If 2nd and 3rd notices aren’t working for you (or the collection letter template you may be using) here are some tips to help boost your dental collection efforts.
How to improve your collection efforts… and results
The first thing to understand is that you’re not alone. In fact, many dental practices struggle when it comes to collecting their outstanding revenue.
If this feels all-too-familiar what can you do?
Well, believe it or not better training for your staff handling your in-house collection efforts is not the solution.
Why is that?
Because the simple fact of the matter is that your employees do not like making collection calls, nor do they want to be placed in the awkward situation of calling on your patients regarding outstanding billing. What’s more, many times your staff will sympathize with the very people you need to collect from.
It happens… and it’s totally understandable.
Additionally, having employees make collection calls is not the best use of their time — or your money.
And finally, there are liability issues to consider. Whether you’re aware of this or not the way you contact existing or former patients must comply with all state and federal laws.
For these reasons alone it makes sense to hire an outside company to handle your collections process. The question is, how can you be sure you found the right collection agency?
As a guideline here are three basic questions you should ask a collection agency before you sign up with them:
- What methods do you use in the collection process?
- What is your track record for working with dental offices?
- How will their process integrate with your billing system?
Unlike many other businesses, medical and dental offices are in a unique situation when it comes to collecting on past due accounts.
In many cases you may have to collect from long-time patients, which creates a more awkward situation for you that other businesses don’t have to face. In fact, collecting from patients who live in your neighborhood (and who may have friends or relatives that are your patients as well) creates an understandable dilemma that is unique to medical practices.
So how do you handle this potential problem?
Clearly, your requirements call for a delicate and nuanced approach.
For that reason alone you’ll want to have a good idea of what collection methods they’ll use, such as:
- will they use a collection letter (or not)
- how many follow up phone calls will they make
- what language will they use when contacting your patients
- how transparent will they be in representing your practice (i.e. will they mention they are a collection agency, or your outside billing service, etc.)
- how long will it take before they contact your patients (i.e. how many days/months the account is past due)
- what type of reporting or updates will they provide you with
Additionally, it makes sense to ask the collection agency if they specialize in working with medical practices, and what their track record is when it comes to collecting on past due accounts.
Any company worth considering should be able to give you a good sense of their success rate, along with case studies of helping other dental practices like yours.
The issue of integrating with your existing billing system only comes into play if/when you decide to use the collection agency on an ongoing basis.
- when should you notify them of past due accounts
- how will you notify them of pending past due accounts
Finally, you’ll want to ask about their fee structure.
Many companies only charge based on their success rate.
In other words, you will only be required to pay a small percentage on the amount of funds that they are able to collect for your practice. In my book this is the definition of a win-win for both of you.
After all, collecting even a small percentage of your outstanding bills can translate into a substantial amount by the end of the year.
Find a dental collection specialist today
To find a medical collections agency that specializes in medical practices like yours simply request more information from qualified and reputable companies.
Click the link and compare free medical collection agency quotes today.
This way you can save time, money and aggravation by hiring a professional who can help you start collecting on your outstanding bills.
After all, you really have two choices. You can…
- keep doing what you’re doing (and expect a different result), or
- hire an outside company that can help you collect the money you rightfully deserve.
At the end of the day it’s your money…