Many employees cringe at the idea of contacting patients that are delinquent in making payments, because they believe that it will require some sort of nasty confrontation. In reality – kindness, compassion, and clarity are the order of business for this task. Here’s how:
Patients that have not paid their bills should be notified 30 days after services were performed. Messages should be polite and courteous and they should be customized for the specific patient. The more personal the message, the more effective the communication will be. For example:
Dear Ms. Wheat, (You can use the patient’s first name if you know him/her well and they have been a patient for many years – Dear Jennifer, …)
We wanted to alert you that we did not receive your payment on March 15 as requested. If you are experiencing financial difficulty, please contact Peggy in our office. Otherwise, we would appreciate your prompt attention to this balance by sending payment before April 6.
Before contacting patients, do your homework. Review the account history. Confirm that there is not an insurance issue that might be delaying matters, and make sure the practice is not in error. Never apologize for requesting payment. A dental practice is a business that cannot effectively deliver necessary services to patients without cash flow.