Managing AR In Your Dental Practice

When it comes to collecting payments due to your dental practice, it isn’t always an easy process. Here are some dental management steps to follow to help the task work smoothly.

1. Generate a statement
2. Give the patient a call
3. Send a second statement with a letter or note
4. Give the patient a second call
5. Send out a past-due letter
6. Give the patient a third call
7. Send a final notice in the form of a demand payment letter. If this gets no response after the final notice, send a memo to the doctor for final review.
8. Take legal action via collections.

Typically you should allow two weeks between actions. For example, if you mail a statement to a patient, allow them 2 weeks to respond to it. If they have not called the office or mailed a payment after 2 weeks then they should receive another call.

Whenever you write or talk to a patient, be sure to find out all you can about the person you are contacting from the previous contact note. For example, if the patient chart has a note on it stating that the patient just gave birth, begin the conversation or letter by saying:

“Hi, Susan! Congrats on your new birth! That is fantastic! Did you have a girl or a boy?”

Then lightly move into the reason you are calling or writing. It is almost always a more effective strategy to begin a conversation or letter like that. In this way, you convey to the patient that they are not only a dollar sign to your practice, and that you actually do care about them and their life. The client will also be much more likely to pay you than if you began with, “You owe two hundred dollars, and payment is past due!”

If you do have to send a patient to collections, think about utilizing either Trans World Systems or a local attorney.

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