Shred it: Why You Should Consider a Paperless Approach to Dental Patient Billing and Collections!

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It is no secret that the healthcare environment is currently going through a major transformation period. With the Affordable Healthcare Act starting to come into effect more and more, and other changes impacting healthcare insurance and industry regulations, it is vital for healthcare providers – including dental clinics and practices – to stay on top of how the industry is evolving.

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But another change taking place that is quietly having a substantial impact on the healthcare industry is how patients are paying their bills. Innovative, electronic-based payment options like pay-by-text, online payment portals, and mobile payment applications are rapidly becoming popular methods for paying off healthcare-related debt. As a result, traditional, paper-based transactions – which can often be costly, labor-intensive, and time-consuming – are being sent by the wayside.

Why Dentists Should Care

As a dentist or busy dental office billing manager, it is important to provide an easy-to-use, streamlined payment process to your patients. Especially considering how self-payers and patient responsibility has steadily increased in recent years. The way consumers prefer to pay their bills also has changed in recent years, and your patients likely would rather pay their dental bill electronically or online as opposed to by check or in-person. In fact, according to a recent survey by The Marketing Workshop, 73% of Americans who receive e-bills said it helps them manage their finances, 69% of Americans who regularly pay bills electronically prefer e-billing because of the convenience, and 37% of Americans who regularly receive e-bills said it improved their relationship with the company from which the bill came from!

Some other advantages of electronic-based billing and payment methods are:

  • Patients can pay when they want, where they want, and how they want.
  • Dental offices can reduce mailing and administrative costs (printing, postage, labor, etc.) of paper-based billing statements by sending e-bills to patients online or to their mobile devices.
  • Dentists will likely see increased patient-satisfaction as a result of an easier and more convenient payment process.
  • Patients can be contacted and sent payment notices quicker, and consequently, dentists will receive payments faster.
  • Dental practices will improve the overall performance of their billing and collections procedures by creating a more streamlined, efficient payment process.

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So don’t be hesitant to embrace technology when it comes to patient billing and collections. Put simply, your patients want to pay their bill online or through a mobile application, but it is up to you to provide that option! Capitalize on the growing interest in e-billing and e-payments as doing so can not only improve the patient experience and your patient relationships, but by adhering to your customers preferences, you will in turn increase the likelihood of payment as well!

YOUR TURN: Does your dental practice already use any of these advanced payment methods? Are you finding that your patients prefer to pay their dental bills electronically rather than by check or in-person? What are some of your biggest concerns regarding e-billing? Let us know in the comment section!

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