While collecting from patients is an entirely different ball game, your practice’s success with this area is HEAVILY dependent on their success with presenting finances with confidence. Without maintaining the key steps listed in the financial presentation system, collecting from patients will certainly be tougher.
Overall, your team should always strive to:
- Follow the MAGIC FORMULA for scheduling patients. They should schedule appointments before financial discussion, review the limitations of insurance (if applicable), give estimates, and assure patients that they are estimates only, and then present all of the payment options that your practice offers. This should be done with every patient and every case consistently.
- Always follow the same financial presentation formula, regardless of the patient’s financial or social status. It is not compassionate to prejudge a patient based on what you think their situation is. Everybody deserves the opportunity to treat their dental health issues and achieve greater health and quality-of-life. The most compassionate approach is to treat everyone with consistency and equality.
- Focus on the VALUE of treatment at all times. Even your business team should focus on the value of treatment. By instilling confidence in the patient about just how valuable their treatment is, it will be far easier to express just how much of a priority it is. Patients will feel more motivated to complete their treatment, and also more confident in your team’s ability to handle their health.
- Approach the patient and any of their concerns with empathy and understanding. Your business team should always strive to show empathy and understanding to your patients, especially when they are sharing their financial concerns. Finances can be a very stressful part of dental treatment. By demonstrating that your team cares, patients will feel more comfortable finding the right option that best suits them.
Another extremely important factor to consider is that you should always strive to avoid financial surprises. By presenting the financial costs and estimates for a newly proposed treatment to patients before they leave, they will have plenty of time to prepare for the financial costs of their treatment, and will not be unpleasantly surprised on the day of, which can result in last-minute cancellations, as well as conflicts when it becomes time for them to send their payments.
Another great thing to utilize for your practice that will help make it easier and more accessible for patients to send their payments is the option for online bill payment. After all, billing patients can be expensive: you have to consider the postage and stationary costs, as well as spend the time to print and send out the physical reminders.
By offering electronic bill reminders and online bill pay options, you will save both your business team time and your patients time.