Receivables DON’T Take the Summer OFF – But YOU Can! 4 Tips for Selecting the Right Collection Agency Partner
For many dental practice’s, summertime means a more flexible work schedule with more time off. You might try to work harder during certain periods of time so you can take an extra-long weekend here or there and enjoy some time by the water or with family and friends. Slowing down, enjoying the warm weather and taking a few days off is something you’ve earned.
Unfortunately that growing stack of unpaid accounts does NOT take the summer off. Don’t feel too down about it, percentages of bad debt are on the rise and it has never been more important to make sure that your dental practice has an effective and efficient collections process. Increasing bad debt percentages can eventually lead to burnout if you’re not careful. So if you want to enjoy that time off and avoid feeling guilty about taking a break from your accounts receivable read below to gain some tips for selecting a collections partner.
4 Easy Tips to Ensure You SELECT A Qualified THIRD PARTY ALLY
1) Reputation – Like all other industries, the collection business has its share of incompetent and unethical operators. Agencies closed down by regulators in one state sometimes crop up elsewhere under a different name. Accordingly, a wise dental practice will rely heavily on testimonials or references from trusted sources. Ask around. Look for online reviews from other dentists. You’ll enjoy that summer cocktail even more secure in the knowledge that you’ve partnered with an agency that understands dentists and can deliver upon their unique set of business needs.
2) ACA Certification – Most legitimate collection agencies are members of the American Collectors Association, which screens potential members for clean business records and withdraws membership for improper conduct. Their PPMS certification is extremely difficult to achieve and maintain. If you want a fast way to determine whether a prospective agency is complying with industry standards and best practices take a look at the current list of ACA-PPMS Certified Agencies.
3) Are they compatible with your practice? Conduct a personal Interview with a qualified representative of the agency to determine if the agency conducts business in a manner which matches your practice. Inevitably some of your patients will just have a hard time paying on time. They may be going through a rough financial patch that just needs an empathetic ear or a creative consultation which is exactly what a proper agency will add to the equation. Sending that patient’s account to a collection agency doesn’t necessarily mean they will never return as a customer. Partnering with an agency that values your hard-earned relationships can preserve your customer just as it preserves your bottom line.
4) Hidden Charges – When considering a new agency you should make sure that you properly identify ALL charges you can expect as a client of that collection agency. For example, does the agency charge a fee for certain elevated levels of service – such as credit reporting or settlement services?
There is still plenty of time left to enjoy some fun in the summer sun so use a few minutes to make sure you’ve got the right third party collections partner – one that WON’T take the summer off and WILL hold your patients accountable for paying the debts they’ve incurred.
For more helpful tips, including learning WHAT TO DO when your patients are just NOT PAYING, check out this free on-demand webcast below: