By Keith Drayer, Vice President of Henry Schein Financial Services
In today’s tough economy, there are many professionals who are are faced with the challenge of accounts receivable. Uncollected receivables are a financial burden to any small business. You and your staff have given your professional time and services, only to lose revenue opportunity. Accounts receivable issues are a growing concern for many practices. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem that utilizes 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 a patient doesn’t pay their bill within 60 days or hasn’t set up a payment plan or is not following it, they are 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 are implementing state-of-the-art methods to treat your patients’ needs. You also need to employ the most up-to-date methods to keep your practice fiscally fit.
In the past, collection agencies were one of the only options and were viewed as the last resort to collecting your money. They were expensive and often cared little about your relationship with your patients. You had no control over how they treated your patient, and you never knew if they collected your money or not. Often the collector, who is paid on a commission basis, “cherry picked” your accounts and attempted to collect only the larger ones and did not work the smaller ones. And, many of your accounts that were collectable were deemed too small to work. Thus, you lost money when you didn’t need to.
The providers who utilize a systematic third-party approach to collect their money will see an increase in their bottom line.
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. Utilizing 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 utilize every possible legal tool to collect your money.
Henry Schein Financial Services offers MaxCollect Patient Collections which will provide 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 10-15%); (3) every account, regardless of size, is pursued for collection; (4) credit bureau reporting; and (5) a simple legal process, if necessary. The providers who utilize a systematic third-party approach to collect their money will see an increase in their bottom line.
About the Author:
Keith Drayer is Vice President of Henry Schein Financial Services (HSFS). HSFS provides health care practitioners with business solutions that enable them to achieve their professional and practice goals. HSFS’ portfolio of resources is designed to give our customers the financial advantage critical to success in today’s changing marketplace.