5 Easy Ways to Boost Patient Collections
Patient collections make up 40% of total revenue for a typical practice that accepts PPOs. Yet, 70% of dentists say they have to send more than one statement before patients pay and 74% say it usually takes more than 30 days to collect. Plus, the longer a bill remains outstanding, the less likely the practice is to collect at all. Around 5% of patient receivables are written off in the average practice each year.
If you’re struggling with some or all these issues, modernizing your patient payment processes will help. Below, we’ll cover five simple things you can do now that will start increasing your patient collections right away.
1. Ensure estimates and statements are accurate and clear.
According to patients, the top reasons they don’t pay their dental balances are:
- Couldn’t Afford to Pay (51%)
- Thought Covered by Insurance (37%)
- Owed Amount Unclear (19%)
- Incorrect Bill (18%)
- Forgot to Pay (16%)
- Unsure of Due Date (13%)
Most of these issues are addressed with accurate and clear documentation. Start by confirming insurance eligibility and benefits before treatment and use an integrated system to ensure that patient and insurance information is carried into your billing software to avoid errors from manual entry. If you have ThriveCloud, this is all managed for you.
Then, review estimates and statements to see if there’s any room for confusion. Pay close attention to things like the amount due and payment due date.
2. Provide-self service options.
When consumers are asked to rate the payment experience across various industries, retail consistently rates best. One of the major reasons for this is that patients can typically manage their own payments without having to interact with or wait for a live person to help them. Instead, they pay online, via apps, or with self-service kiosks in the store.
Conversely, dental rates the lowest, coming in much lower than even utilities or airlines.
Patient portals address this. A detailed patient portal like the one found in ThriveCloud includes everything patients need to understand what their financial obligation will be in advance, know what’s due and when it’s due, and make payments as needed.
3. Bill patients electronically.
Research shows that patients pay within an hour up to 50% of the time when e-billing is used and within five minutes up to 32% of the time when pay-by-text is offered. That’s because people are constantly on their mobile devices. Electronic billing is a direct line to them. Moreover, it eliminates questions like when a payment is due or how much is due and forgetfulness – common reasons patients don’t pay.
4. Offer expanded payment options.
If you ask patients what their preferred payment method is, research shows that 100% will say that contactless credit card and debit card payments fall within their top two. Yet, a whopping 50% want expanded payment options, like the ability to pay through mobile wallets and via text message.
If you’re using ThriveCloud, we take care of this for you. Our patient payment solutions are powered by Global Payments, so patients can pay with Apple Pay, text, bank transfer, and more.
5. Offer financing options.
Today, 49% of patients can’t afford an unexpected dental bill of $400 or more. That impacts treatment acceptance, collections, and patient satisfaction. Make it easier for patients to say “yes” to treatment and to pay their balances by offering financing options.
ThriveCloud makes this easy by allowing you to set up payment plans in the software, then set up recurring charges to allow patients to pay off their balances in installments. As part of the Global Payments suite, your practice can also set up a balance threshold for third-party financing. It’s a self-service option managed by TuaPay. Patients simply add their data at checkout and select their preferred terms. Your dental practice receives payment right away and the patient moves forward.
Boost patient collections with ThriveCloud.
ThriveCloud is designed to boost dental practice profitability and allow you to focus on providing top-notch care while improving patient happiness. Best of all, it comes with everything you need, including patient billing tools, clinical features, and practice marketing, all in one easy-to-use platform. Request a complimentary demo to learn more or start.