According to research, once a patient leaves the office premises, the chances of collecting the money from the patient comes down to nearly 36%. Sometimes the patients even avoid seeking dental help due to the higher bill amount. As a provider, you can offer conditional discounts to the patients on the bill. It will increase the chances of getting the payment on time and improve your client retention rate.
Most of the practitioners will ask for the bill payments during or after the rendered treatment. Although, some dental offices will ask the patients to make the payment before their office visit, which later could likely not be a pleasant experience for the patients. It can affect them so much that they may not want to see the doctor again. Dentists offering payment plans can implement a few strategies that are likely to prompt the clients to pay their bills on time and leave the office with a happy face.
Looking at a bigger picture the strategy is to offer discounts to your clients. Practitioners can offer a discount of 15% on immediate bill payment or the dental offices can even provide one or a combination of several perks to the patient. For example, as a provider, you can offer the patient a discount of a certain percentage on the final bill if they make partial payments before utilizing the rendered services. Let us not forget any relief in the expensive bills can be a sigh of relief for the patient because of which they are more likely to visit next time whenever they need any dental assistance. Also, it is crucial while you are explaining to the patients about the discount offer, you are at the same time able to convey the message that the dental office understands and cares for their pockets too. While gaining the trust of the people you are going an extra mile to win them forever.
Legal discounting procedures:
Another thing is that a discount procedure offered to any patient can be more than just help as it can act as a strategy for getting timely payments. Sometimes a patient cannot afford dental aid, and as a provider, you may offer discounts on humanitarian grounds. In cases like that, the insurer may raise questions against the practitioner and the services. It may even be subject to professional misconduct if copayment & coinsurance have been waived. Dental assistance may not always yield the desired outcomes. A lot depends on the gravity of the financial condition of an individual. Insurance companies are more likely to doubt a caregiver’s intentions if a particular patient receives a heavy discount especially when other patients don’t. This is why it is important to convey the same to the payer, along with the discount offer, to avoid any confusion or legal procedures later.
Educating the patients:
Sometimes patients who already have insurance plans will ask for discounts for the amount they have to pay. In this case, with the revenue cycle lengthening and reimbursement shrinking, educate patients about the deductibles they owe for the bill. An articulately and clearly expressed fact may help the dental office avoid loss in their revenue.
Be consistent with an approach:
Every patient’s financial condition is different and so is their approach towards collections. This is why in order to avoid a haphazard approach attempting to offer discounts to the patients something well documented is required. A written standard procedure for financial relief, including individual circumstances and a range of income should be created so that no invoice goes unpaid.
Conclusion: Implementing the above points can help improve the revenue and timely payments from the patient’s end. Yet, constant analysis and changes are required from time to time for quick fixes and improvement of the revenue model.