How to Prevent Misunderstandings About What Patients Owe

How to Prevent Misunderstandings About What Patients Owe

Communication in the form of:

  1. Every patient gets a computer generated treatment plan with estimated co-insurance(patient portion) and deductible. This will increase over the counter collections for services rendered.
  2. Financial agreements are signed for any amount of treatment.  This shows that you have discussed the treatment with the patient and the patient understands and gives permission to proceed.  Do not offer in house payment plans, instead have the patient apply for CareCredit or other lender of choice.  Dental practices are not banks or lending institutions so don’t have the proper collateral to loan money.
  3. Collect co-insurance at the time of treatment.  If you are in network collecting the patient’s participatory amount is required in the contract.  This reduces the number of statements going out and contributes to a healthy cash flow to support the practice overhead.
  4. Offer a 5% courtesy bookkeeping adjustment for cash payments over $300.00. 3% if this is paid by credit card.  This encourages payment in full at the time of treatment and many patients appreciate the courtesy.
  5. Diligently follow-up on all insurance claims that have aged to 30 days. Patients can easily track insurance filing through the insurance company portal and if the claims are paid promptly the patient trusts the practice is doing things correctly.
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