How To Improve the Clarity of Dental Patient Statements to Reduce Billing Questions

How To Improve the Clarity of Dental Patient Statements to Reduce Billing Questions

A dental practice requires a dependable stream to remain healthy. A dedicated team of dentists, managers, and staff devote much of their time to delivering excellent patient care while also attracting new patients to the practice. But beyond care and service, billing and collection will help to maintain a steady stream of cash. Accurate and timely patient billing statements will aid in enhancing the financial discipline of the practice.

Brand visibility

Given the influx of credit card offers and advertisements that a patient might encounter, it is crucial that the identity of the practice can be easily identified on patient statements. A patient might mistakenly discard paper statements sent by the practice on the assumption that they are junk mail without even opening them.
To prevent such a situation, one has to ensure that the name and branding are creatively displayed on both the envelope and the statement. Additionally, using typography and color effectively can catch the patient's eye, making it apparent that this is a dental bill.

Ease of access

Although many practices have relied on paper statements for decades, patients today are used to expecting more modern options. Other bills of the patient such as those for the cellular service, cable, and electricity, are accessible through digital statements. While continuing to offer conventional paper statements, a practice must also provide alternative digital access.

This could include making patient statements available through the patient portal or email. Research indicates that digital access to information enhances patient engagement and hence a dental practice must also include digital patient statements as part of its digital outreach.

Online payment

Just as most daily bills are paid online using credit or debit cards, dental bills should also offer patients the convenience of online payment. A dental practice can still offer quick and safe card payment options by integrating payment capabilities into the patient portal, allowing secure online card payments or net banking through appropriate software solutions.

These options boost the likelihood of a patient making timely payments. As a rule, a patient statement should highlight all options available for payment.

Clarity in communication

In many instances, a patient might avoid paying the dental bills received from the practice due to confusion or lack of understanding. A dental bill can be complex and difficult for patients to interpret. The key is to indicate the final amount that the patient needs to pay. While it is important to show the part covered by the insurance provider, the patient's responsibility should be emphasized. Clarifying this will reduce confusion and lead to fewer issues with collecting payments from patients.

Educating patients on insurance coverage

To reduce the challenges of collecting payments from patients, it is essential to provide clear and comprehensive information about their dental bills. Enhancing transparency and accuracy in billing statements and clarifying the patient's financial responsibility can encourage timely payments. As bills increase due to High
Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs), a practice must inform patients about all possible payment options. This includes educating them about available payment plans, resources for making payments, and the consequences of late payments. By doing so, patients can better understand their financial obligations and feel more at ease, even when facing unexpected healthcare costs.

A practice can also provide detailed pre-treatment estimates so patients know what to expect before receiving their statement.

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