Dental offices continue to see their accounts receivable (AR) rise, to the tune of around 36% over the past five years. How you manage your AR is critical to your practice’s success. Many practices successfully outsource their collection efforts to a third-party, but how do you choose the right one? Make sure you’re vetting any potential agency with the right questions to make sure your cash flow is maximized and your practice is protected!
1. Do you have an experienced staff dedicated to healthcare?
Collecting healthcare receivables requires specialized knowledge of healthcare transactions, including deductibles, plan limits and other insurance items. Many patients are confused by their coverage and need a knowledgeable professional to help them resolve their account.
Patients rarely want the service for which they are now being billed, and may not have the cash reserve waiting for an unplanned dental expense. You need experienced collectors who can balance empathy, knowledge, and the ability to deliver. Sacrificing one of these elements for another can result in lost revenue or a lost patient.
2. Does your collection approach focus on the patient?
Again, this comes down to an agency with employees who have healthcare background that are committed to ensuring a positive patient experience.
A seasoned collector with empathy focuses first on understanding the patient’s situation, not on the bill. This serves to reinforce to the patient that your practice cares about them – not just about their money. This creates lasting patient relationships, and more potential revenue down the road.
3. How financially stable are you as a collections vendor?
Current trends show that the debt collection industry is rapidly consolidating. You may be comfortable with your local agency because you’re familiar with them, but a critical question to ask in these times of flux to prevent disruption to your collections, is do they have the size, scalability and fortitude to be one of the last agencies standing?
4. Do you have a zero-tolerance policy for compliance violations?
Most regulations that govern collections are in place to eliminate patient abuse. If your agency shows any disregard for compliance, they are likely to show that same disregard when interacting with your patients, who will associate that disregard with your practice.
5. Do you offer various solutions depending on the age of my accounts?
Choosing a collection agency that can handle your debts whether they’re 30 days or 360+ days past due can save you significant time and money. A “one-stop shop” approach creates ease of use on your end, and allows the agency you’re working with to utilize the optimal collection method depending on the age of the debt.
If the answer to any of these critical questions is, “no,” consider outsourcing your AR to a different collection agency. Any compliance violation or lost patient relationship is detrimental to your practice.
Don’t risk your reputation or your patient relationships. TSI has been a leader in healthcare and dental collections since 1970 and understands the importance of a diplomatic approach.
TSI and Open Dental
TSI and Open Dental have worked together to create an integrated collections interface in the Manage module (in versions 17.3 and greater). Once you’ve completed your setup and determined what services you will utilize, TSI takes care of the rest.
TSI offers Open Dental members revenue cycle management solutions and fixed fee collections to manage their accounts receivable and increase cash flow. Together, Open Dental and TSI automate, streamline, and enhance the entire patient experience, from appointment scheduling and billing to collecting on past due invoices and processing payments.
Partner with TSI and restore health to your practice’s cash flow today!