In theory, billing your dental patients is a straightforward process—you provide treatment, charge a fee and the patient pays you for your services before they leave your office. Ideally, you want to collect 50% of your daily collections over-the-counter at the time of service—either by cash, check or card.
Unfortunately, the reality isn’t always so simple. Instead of receiving payment immediately, many times you’ll go unpaid long after a visit is over. And once an account ages 90 days, the likelihood of you getting paid at all decreases by 50%. By implementing several best practices and digital tools, you can reinvigorate your billing process, making it easier and more effective for you and your patients.
The primary reason why dental offices don’t receive payment at the time of service is that they simply don’t ask. While it may seem like a daunting or awkward conversation to have, many patients are surprisingly receptive to paying once asked. Preemptively establishing in clear terms exactly how and when you will charge patients facilitates this process. Quoting fees before treatment, putting financial policies in writing and gently guiding patients to pay at checkout go a long way towards creating an ideal experience for both parties.
Digital tools such as Dentrix practice management software likewise improve billing for patients and staff. By integrating programs like QuickBill into your workflow, you can to draft and send statements with ease, while Dentrix Pay makes payment convenient for patients. With features such as automated billing, payment reminders and detailed reporting, you can achieve faster reimbursements with less stress. From the receptionist to the dentist, each team member plays an integral role in making billing a positive and pleasant part of the patient experience. Dentrix has partnered with dental practice management consultant Lois Banta to offer “Improving Collections and Billing in Your Dental Practice,” part of a series covering each step of the patient journey. Available as a downloadable eBook, this guide is designed to help you incorporate Dentrix into your digital workflow and train your team to bill better and collect more.