Talking About Payment for Dental Care
Oftentimes, while your patients are worried about the outcome of their appointment and what the price will be for their procedures, your dental team may be anxious about talking about money, especially if they have knowledge of the patient’s background or financial situation. Setting patient expectations regarding payment for dental care will have a great impact on the success of your practice.
As much as you want a warm and friendly person greeting your patients as they arrive, you also need a polite-yet-direct person making sure that services are documented, filed, and properly paid. On the other hand, what if the insurance coordinator has stepped out of the office and the front desk associate isn’t sure what the insurance copay is?
Firstly, we recommend you implement a written policy on the process of insurance and collection tactics regarding payment for dental care. This will help avoid fraudulent charges while making sure that insurance and billing is completed appropriately, This policy should include three very important factors: who will pay, when they will pay, and how they will pay. Furthermore, all of these aspects must be answered in the reception area, way before treatment begins. In addition to this standard conversation policy, a written treatment estimate, informed consent form, and financial agreement form should be documents that are drawn and signed for every patient, regardless of the procedure (from the routine cleanings to the major surgeries).
By placing these steps, documents, and conversations into your practice, you’re preventing any fraudulent charges from having the chance of happening while helping your practice on the insurance and dental billing side of things.
Helpful Tips for Collecting Co-Pay
Once you’ve made those documents and policies standard practice in your office, or even while you’re in the process of making these much-needed changes, we’ve gathered a few other tips that will help your practice run smoother.
Pride in their positions in your office
The entire team working for your practice must understand and believe in the “value of dentistry,” as Betty Hayden, a dental consultant, says. Having confidence in the services and procedures that the practice offers flows into the second step.
Practice the money talk
With confidence in the doctors’ and hygienists’ abilities comes solid faith that your practice is providing the best quality care. As such, they need to be confident in speaking about the money, billing, and insurance side as well. Try role-playing of presenting treatment plans and financial agreements until your staff is comfortable having these conversations with patients.
Assist the patients with paying
Make paying easy for patients by accepting cash, check, and credit cards. Not only are you encouraging them to pay the copay, but you’re also giving them a variety of means to do so.
Require payment on day of service or before
To prevent any surprises, require payment to be due before the day of service or when they arrive (as stated above in our policy recommendations). Hayden recommends offering incentives for patients to pay when they schedule the appointment. If your practice accepts certain insurances, give patients the option of reviewing benefits and understanding how your practice and their plan work together. When insurance is involved, make sure you give the full treatment fee, estimated insurance amount, and patient’s estimated copay that’s due at the time of treatment.
Work with Dental ClaimSupport
We know the most common dental billing issues that plague most offices and our billing experts are passionate about helping you avoid the headaches of dental insurance billing particularly when it comes to appealing dental claims. Our dental billing outsourcing services increase your production, maximize your profitability, and we handle any appeals to save you the headaches.
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