Does the cellular phone company proclaim, “Look! Bad News is Here!” when they send your bill? No. Does the grocery store clerk say to the customer, “I’m sorry Mrs. Jones, but you will have to pay for your groceries today”? Of course not. These are businesses that expect payment for goods and services delivered. And the dental office is a business where goods and services are delivered as well. Nonetheless, for some dental office employees asking for payment is practically painful.
Typically, employees that struggle simply aren’t sure how to broach the subject. What’s more, these employees don’t know how to emphasize the value of services provided or how to present payment options. This is where two essential tools come into play #1 – A clear yet flexible financial policy and #2 Scripts.
Consider incorporating the following into your financial options:
• Establish a relationship with a treatment financing company, such as Care Credit
• Allow patients to build a balance on their account before beginning major treatment.
• Allow patients to pay for larger cases in two or three installments over a specific period of time.
• Offer a 5% discount if the case is paid in full and will not be submitted to insurance.
• Make arrangements to bill the patient’s credit card on a recurring basis until the treatment has been paid in full. This is ideal for larger cases. Orthodontic practices often do this routinely. This system streamlines payment and posting while eliminating billing for your practice.
Next incorporate the use of scripts into financial discussions with patients. Scripts help staff to clearly educate patients on treatment recommended, treatment delivered, and treatment financing options that can bridge the gap between treatment diagnosed and treatment completed.