|Posted on October 8, 2015 at 6:55 PM|
Q: What is the number one reason for patient's dissatisfaction with their dental office?
A: Billing/financial issues. When we start our training with our clients, the first thing we teach is how to correctly put together financial agreements with patients. This includes a lot of scripted verbiage to communicate with patients our expectations, what we anticipate insurance will do for the patient (often what insurance will NOT DO for the patient, LOL), and make sure that information is secured in a signed agreement between both parties. Few key pearls we can give you
1. We DO NOT estimate insurance, but rather we tell the patient that "We would like to collect $____to start the procedure. We will send a claim to the insurance and when the claim resolves we will resolve the balance that could be a balance due or a credit." The amount we collect at time of service is close to what we expect insurance to pay, but we do not tell the patient that because they hold us to it and as we know insurance plays their own game and is unpredictable even with a pre-determination.
2. We encourage 3 or 5% pre-payment at time of diagnosis for their next visit and schedule them. This commits a patient to the appointment and prevents no shows. (It also increases your cash flow)
3. We put a "?" in the field that says remaining balance due because we want to reiterate that we really do not know what the insurance is going to do. Then we are not locked into predicting what the insurance will pay exactly.
4. We do not send pre-determinations. This step is a waiting game and prevents booking the schedule. We all know that pre-determinations are NOT a guarantee of payments! It says it right on the pre-determination form.
5. We prepare the FA (financial agreement) for ALL procedures without exceptions, even for insurance companies that pay 100%. That's because if they don't pay....you eat it! Because, the patient will tell you that they would have not proceeded if they knew they would have to pay out of pocket, etc.
Here is a sample financial agreement from our website.