Do's and don'ts for collections: Make getting paid less painful

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

Just as with any business, one of the main reasons you run a dental practice is to make money. So it sounds illogical that you would wait long periods of time to collect payments or, even worse, not get paid at all. But that's the situation many dentists find themselves in when they avoid issues surrounding payments and collections. Collecting a debt can be uncomfortable but avoidance isn't the answer. Create an effective collections plan and stick to it.


Collect 99% of all money owed to the practice. Production, no matter how much it increases, doesn't count unless the practice collects its fees. Review your policies to tighten up collections. Require payment, including co-pays, upfront. File accurate insurance claims quickly and stay on top of the insurance companies. Pursue overdues diligently with the Rule of Threes: three phone calls (preferably by cell) a week for three weeks, then three emails a week for three weeks, and finally three letters a week for three weeks.


Don't procrastinate on overdue accounts. The longer you wait for overdue payments, the less likely you are to collect. Contact patients who owe money to the practice when they're one day past due. This will send a clear message that you're serious about collections.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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