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Not just their current balance from today's appointment.Some patients will simply pay the bill and be done.Some dental practices struggle to manage their billing systems.
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How do you reinstitute an organized dental billing system? Just get back on the wagon and send your statements.
The key is to add a custom statement message to address those patients that will receive a statement and have not come into your practice in several months or years.
As tempting as it may be to spend hours and hours cleaning up old accounts to make sure everything is exactly right, the best way to catch up on your dental billing system is to establish guidelines for collections moving forward.
Determine that you will send statements monthly from now on.
The simple fact that they care enough about paying their bills and took the time to call you is a wonderful situation. Even if the patient intended to be furious and tell you how awful you are - it's hard to yell at someone who just said you were kind!
My introductory line to patients when I return calls regarding statements is, "Hi this is Jill and I'm returning your call - since you were so kind as to call us when you received a statement. Usually, the patient is shaken to a kinder tone by this intro and then they will explain they received a bill that they didn't expect and they want to know what this bill is from?
Your custom statement message may read "For balances over 90 days, please contact us at [email protected] you have account questions." For Dentrix users, here is a kickstart to sending statements: Expect to receive many, many phone calls after you send out statements for the first time in several months.
Please allow me to stereotype for a moment, but many seniors pride themselves on keeping up with their bills. When you receive phone calls from patients upset that they received a letter stating their account balance is older than 90 days, they may feel offended and come across as angry on the telephone.
Staff cannot explain why a balance or credit exists.
Giant accounts receivable exist especially in the over 90 days category. Enormous outstanding insurance outstanding amounts - again, in the over 90 days category. So - what do you do when you've fallen off the wagon with billing?
In talking with the patient, its okay to come to an agreement where the patient will pay you the 7 and you discount the difference. Most dentists apply a missed appointment fee - and many patients end up with a balance from this fee only.