4 Ways to Increase Time-of-Service Collections
By Choice Dental Solutions, Jun 20 2018 01:00PM
As patients struggle under the weight of steep healthcare costs, it’s important for every dentist to understand the importance of maximizing time-of-service collections. While it is not always fun or simple, every successful healthcare practice makes a real effort to collect copays, coinsurance, deductibles and uncovered service costs before the patient ever leaves the office. How can you take your practice to the next level and increase your time-of-service collections?
Create the Expectation
Most patients do not have enough in their checking account to cover a root canal, let alone the steep price that comes with a dental implant. Creating the expectation of paying when the service is performed will change the conversation with your patients. Inform your patients in the office, when they arrive for the appointment and via letter when the policy changes. How much do patients need to pay when they have at time-of-service? When do they need to submit insurance information? Making things clear will ease awkward conversations with patients and increase the chance of success for your time-of-service collections.
Move Revenue Cycle Management from the Backend to the Reception Desk
Revenue cycle management can be complicated and fraught with miscommunication between the frontend and backend. It’s hard to emphasize the importance of payment at time-of-service to patients when employees don’t understand what role they play in the grand scheme of things. Train your reception desk employees on what information is needed from patients and why it matters. If they don’t know why a copy of the insurance card is important, explaining it to them will increase the chances of it being performed every time.
Add More Payment Options
Today’s patients have more ways of paying than ever before, and increasing your percentage of time-of-service collections means increasing your number of accepted payment methods. Credit cards and smartphone apps are more common than cash and checks, and practices should take note. Allow patients to pay bills online, not just over the phone or via mail. A recent survey found that 70% of patients want to use an electronic payment method, like eCheck or credit card. A whopping 64% wanted to use either Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay. One of the main draws of many urgent care facilities is their ability to accept many payment methods.
Make Prices Clear
Price transparency is a real problem in healthcare. Take a lesson from retail and don’t be afraid to tell patients upfront how much their services are going to cost. This will take training in most offices, but patients appreciate knowing what to expect. This also helps to stop sticker shock at check-out when a patient sees exactly how much their deep cleaning or filling costs.
Increase Time-of-Service Collections at Your New Practice with Choice Dental Solutions
Are you looking to expand your practice? Give Choice Dental Solutions a call at (410)773-4460.