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Modernize your collection system for maximum profit

Sept. 1, 2011
In today’s tough economy, many dental professionals are faced with the challenge of accounts receivable. 

By Keith Drayer, Vice President, Henry Schein Financial Services

In today’s tough economy, many dental professionals are faced with the challenge of accounts receivable.
Uncollected receivables are a financial burden to any small business. You and your staff give your professional time and services, only to lose revenue opportunity.

Accounts receivable issues are a growing concern for many dental practices. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem that uses a systematic approach to collections. Why not collect more funds and save valuable staff time, while balancing the patient-practice relationship?

The biggest mistake providers make is not recognizing the signs of early default. When patients don’t pay their bills within 60 days or don’t set up a payment plan, they’re telling you they’re not going to pay! Should you use your staff’s time to try to collect these accounts?

As a dental provider, you implement state-of-the-art methods to treat your patients’ dental needs. You should also employ the most up-to-date methods to keep your practice fiscally fit.

In the past, collection agencies were the only “act on the block,” and were seen as the last resort to collecting your money. They were expensive and often didn’t care about your relationship with your patients. You had no control over how they treated your patients and you never knew if they collected your money or not.

Collectors were choosy

Often the collector, who is paid on a commission basis, “cherry picked” over your accounts and attempted to collect only the large ones and did not work on the smaller ones. And, many of your accounts that were collectable were deemed too small to work by the collection agency. Thus you lost money when you didn’t need to.

What is needed is a proactive, systematic business model that will work your delinquent accounts equally. Providers must take an approach that will reduce losses as well as speed up cash flow from past due accounts. You need to work with patients quickly and effectively.

Outsourcing your collection problems to a service bureau can be much more cost effective than working them in-house, and certainly more effective. It is a must to use a third-party collection method that will keep you in complete control of the collection process. The third-party system should be respectful but firm, and use every possible legal tool to collect your money.

Providers who use a systematic third-party approach to collect their money will see an increase in their bottom line. Henry Schein Financial Services offers MaxCollect Patient Collections, which will provide your business with an effective means to achieve debt resolution with your patients.

Benefits of this method include:

  • Collected funds remitted directly to the dentist (not an agency)
  • Fees as low as 5% (average cost is 10% to 15%)
  • Every account, regardless of size, is pursued for collection
  • Credit bureau reporting
  • A simple legal process, if necessary

For more information, call Henry Schein Financial Services at (800) 443-2756, or visit [email protected] or the website at www.henryschein.com/hsfs.

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: accounts receivable, collections, Henry Schein Financial Services, Keith Drayer.

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