If your practice doesn't collect 99% of fees owed, any gains in production will be compromised. The key to meeting this target is a step-by-step collections system that keeps patient accounts up-to-date.
Collect fees at the time of service. The front desk team should request payment either when patients check in or when they check out. Place appropriate signage throughout the office emphasizing patients' responsibility for fees. Include the policy on your website, and make sure all new patients are aware of it. Collecting at the time of service immediately improves cash flow, raises the overall collections rate, and saves on costly collection attempts later.
Don't neglect overdue accounts. As soon as accounts become one day overdue, call the patients. They will quickly learn that the practice is on top of its accounts receivable and that they are expected to make their payments promptly.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at www.levingroup.com/gp.
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