One of the most important systems in your office is your account aging protocol. If not watched closely, your numbers can skyrocket and accounts can become deemed uncollectable. The longer an account stays on the aging report, the harder it is to collect. Let me share with you my weekly 3-step system to help your office control your account aging report and keep outstanding collections down.
Whether you mail or send them electronically, a solid system in place to send statements is key. I find teams are most successful when they use checklists to mark off their duties throughout the day, week, and month, so nothing gets missed and this includes sending statements. In my experience, the most effective teams send their statements WEEKLY. This does not mean that your patients receive a statement each week, but it does mean you generate statements each week to keep your workload down and accounts in check. You can simply have your statements marked to send to patients 1x a month, so duplicates are not generated. Review your statements as you print or verify, check and update any account notes, and add/edit statements notes as you send.
2. Aging Reports
Aging reports eb and flow throughout the month, so it is important to
print your account aging report at the top of each week and keep track of new accounts and celebrate old accounts that have paid. If you keep all your account notes in the G-Note section (in Dentrix), make sure to select them to print on your report for easy tracking. Is a patient with a balance coming in for an appointment this week? Notate that on their appointment. Has it been over a month since you last contacted a patient about their balance? This is the week to make your next contact. Keep your workload down and touch this report every single week.
Each week you should be setting aside time, preferably in the evening, to contact your
patients with past-due balances in a private area. The sooner you are able to collect that balance, the easier it is! I advise my clients to use the following protocol for patient contacts:
Current Balance- Statement
30 Days Past Due- Statement with note
60 Days Past Due- Statement with note, letter, and contact
90 Days Past Due- Statement with note, letter and contact
Final 90+ Days Past Due- Statement with note, final letter, and contact
Thanks to technology, contacting the patient isn’t a one-way street anymore. Now we are able to use texting, email and phone calls to get in touch with our patients. Use all three! If they don’t answer their phone, shoot them a text or email. Keep it simple and broad, but get their attention that you need to speak to them.
For a complete script on what to say when you contact your patients, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to get full team training, systems, and accountability in place, I’d love to help your team! Don’t let your account aging report get out of control. Use these 3 easy steps each week and I promise you can finally get control of your outstanding balances.