3 steps to keeping outstanding collections down

By Ashley Bond, DrBicuspid.com contributing writer

October 23, 2020 -- One of the most important systems in your office is your account aging protocol. If not watched closely, your numbers can skyrocket, and accounts can be deemed uncollectable. The longer an account stays on the aging report, the harder it is to collect.

With that in mind, let me share with you my weekly three-step system to help your office control your account aging report and keep outstanding collections down.

1. Statements

Ashley Bond
Ashley Bond is the founder of Bond Dental Consultants.

Whether you mail or send statements electronically, having a solid system in place to send them is key. I find teams are most successful when they use checklists to mark off their duties throughout the day, week, and month, so nothing gets missed, and this includes sending statements.

In my experience, the most effective teams send their statements weekly. This does not mean that your patients receive a statement each week, but it does mean you generate statements each week to keep your workload down and accounts in check. You can simply have your statements marked to send to patients one time a month so duplicates are not generated. Review your statements as you print or verify, check and update any account notes, and add/edit statement notes as you send.

2. Aging reports

Aging reports ebb and flow throughout the month, so it is important to print your account aging report at the top of each week and keep track of new accounts and celebrate old accounts that have paid. If you keep all your account notes in the G-Note section (in Dentrix), make sure to select them to print on your report for easy tracking. Is a patient with a balance coming in for an appointment this week? Note that on his or her appointment. Has it been over a month since you last contacted a patient about a balance? This is the week to make your next contact. Keep your workload down and touch this report every single week.

3. Contacts

Each week, you should be setting aside time, preferably in the evening, to contact your patients with past-due balances in a private area. The sooner you are able to collect that balance, the easier it is. I advise my clients to use the following protocol for patient contacts:

  • Current balance: statement
  • 30 days past due: statement with note
  • 60 days past due: statement with note, letter, and contact
  • 90 days past due: statement with note, letter, and contact
  • Final 90+ days past due: statement with note, final letter, and contact

Thanks to technology, contacting the patient isn't a one-way street anymore. Now we are able to use texting, email, and phone calls to get in touch with our patients. Use all three! If they don't answer their phone, shoot them a text or email. Keep it simple and broad but get their attention that you need to speak to them.

For a complete script of what to say when you contact your patients, feel free to email me at ashley@bonddentalconsulting.com. Don't let your account aging report get out of control. Use these three easy steps each week and I believe you can finally get control of your outstanding balances.

Ashley Bond is the founder of Bond Dental Consultants, a company that specializes in helping practices collect 100% of what is rightfully theirs. She has more than 10 years of experience in the dental field beginning at her father's dental practice, where she saw the ins and outs of everything the business entails.

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


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