Dental debt collection is crucial for any dentists’ or orthodontists’ office. However, patients are often unable to pay for their out-of-pocket health care costs up front, leaving dentists out in the cold.
According to Healthline, more than 100 million people in the United States do not have dental insurance. In 2013, the average per-patient dental costs were $685, while the 90th percentile of patients were paying as much as $1,624 for special procedures. Costs have only risen in the past four years and may continue on that trend.
There is hope for both patients and dentists, however. By offering a variety of payment options and making paying bills easy and convenient for patients, dentists will have a much better chance of receiving their hard-earned compensation.
The following are a few ways that professionals can improve dental debt collections.
Set up an online payment portal
People prefer to pay their bills online these days through their desktop computers and mobile devices. By creating an online payment portal that will process cards, eCheck, ACH withdrawals, and FSA and HSA payments, dentists are giving patients the option to pay 24-7 at their own leisure. Patients can also store their information so that payments are automatically taken out at a certain time every month. That leaves little room for human error and will guarantee that dental debt collection actually occurs.
Provide payment plans
Not all patients are able to pay up front. Instead, dentists and orthodontists should let patients sign up for payment plans and send in as much money as they can every month. Patients must be able to access and modify these payment plans either online or over the phone.
Offer phone support
Some patients, especially older ones, will prefer to speak to a customer service representative over the phone or use an automated phone system that operates 24-7. As a dentist or orthodontist, you should provide these choices for people who are less internet-savvy.
Use 1st, 3rd Party, and Early Out Collections
Not all patients are willing to sign up for payment portals or use phone support. Instead, they will just let their bills go unpaid. The only way to persuade them to make payments is to use 1st, 3rd party, and Early Out dental debt collection. When they are sent letters or contacted by third parties, and they know their options for payments, they will be more likely to keep their bills up to date.
If you are a dentist or orthodontist struggling with dental debt collection, get in touch with BillingTree today to learn how our payment processing solutions can help. Contact BillingTree or call us at 877-424-5587.