By Keith Drayer
Vice President, Henry Schein Financial Services
In today’s tough economy, many dental professionals are faced with the challenge of accounts receivable. Uncollected receivables are a financial burden to any small business. You and your staff gave your professional time and services, only to lose the revenue opportunity. Accounts receivable issues are a growing concern for many dental practices. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem that uses a systematic approach to collections. Why not collect more funds and save valuable staff time while balancing the patient-practice relationship?
The biggest mistake providers make is not recognizing the signs of early default. When people don’t pay their bills within 60 days or don’t have a payment plan, they’re telling you that they are not going to pay! Should you use your staff’s time trying to collect these accounts? As a dental provider, you implement state-of-the-art methods to treat your patients’ dental needs. You also need to employ the most up-to-date methods to keep your practice fiscally fit.
In the past, collection agencies were viewed as the last resort to collecting your money. They were expensive and cared little about your relationship with your patients. You had no control over how they treated your patients, and you never knew if they collected your money or not. Often the collectors, who are paid on a commission basis, “cherry picked” over your accounts and attempted to collect only the large ones and did not work the small ones. Therefore, many of your accounts that were collectable were deemed too small to work. Thus, you lost money when you didn’t need to.
What is needed is a proactive, systematic business model that will work all of your delinquent accounts equally. Providers must take an approach that will reduce losses as well as speed up cash flow from past due accounts. You need to work with your patients quickly and effectively. Outsourcing your collection problems to a service bureau can be much more cost effective than working them in-house, and certainly more effective. Using a third-party collection method that will keep you in complete control of the collection process is a must. The third-party system should be respectful but firm, and should use every possible legal tool to collect your money.
Providers who use a systematic third-party approach to collect their money will see an increase in their bottom line. Henry Schein Financial Services offers MaxCollect Patient Collections, which provides your business with an effective means to achieve debt resolution with your patients. Benefits of this method include:
1) collected funds remitted directly to the dentist (not an agency),
2) low fees, as little as 5% (average cost 10% to 15%),
3) every account, regardless of size, is pursued for collection,
4) credit bureau reporting, and
5) a simple legal process, if necessary.
For more information, contact Henry Schein Financial Services at (800) 443-2756, [email protected], or visit www.henryschein.com/hsfs.
By Keith Drayer