Dos and don'ts for improving collections

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Get paid for what you do

In a slower economy, it is more important than ever to collect money. Practices should collect 98.5% or more of all fees charged to patients. Uncollected accounts receivables are like a secret tax on practice profitability.

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Collect at the time of service. Office policies on collections should clearly explain that payment is expected at the time of service. Patients should remit their co-payment during the appointment and be informed that any balance not covered by insurance is their responsibility. This amount should be billed and collected within 30 days.

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Don't procrastinate on overdue accounts. Patients who owe money to the practice should be contacted when they are one day overdue. The Levin Group Production Method has a series of one-day rules that focus on revenue and collection -- important factors for any practice. The best way to prevent collections problems is to inform patients that they will receive a series of phone calls beginning when their payment is one day overdue.

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