Why Pre-Collect is the Key to Happier Patients and Less Bad Debt!
Do you have unpaid patient accounts but don’t want to send them to collections just quite yet in fear of potentially damaging a valuable patient relationship? Are your billing statements not effectively converting your accounts receivable into cash? If you answered yes to either of these questions then you may want to consider a pre-collect service for your dental practice.
What is Pre-Collect?
In a pre-collect program, also known as early intervention, a collection agency acts on your behalf – representing your dental practice and business office, without disclosing that the communication is from a 3rd party collection agency. After a patient’s bill has been past due for an extended period of time, usually around 60 to 90 days, the collection agency will send the patient a series of increasingly urgent letters (under your dental practice’s name) as a friendly reminder or nudge to pay your dental office before the account is placed in full collection. Oftentimes, this patient-friendly billing practice is all that is necessary to resolve a past due account before needing to transfer the account to collections.
Industry statistics continue to show that the earlier action is taken to resolve a debt, the more likely an account will be collected quickly and in full. By offering a timely warning to patients that if they continue to fail to pay, their account will be sent to collections, you will not only be effectively urging your patients to settle a bill, but will do so in a less-aggressive manner than simply sending their account directly into collections. Your patients will appreciate this friendly tactic and will be happier to pay you as a result.
How Else Can Dentists Benefit from Pre-Collect Programs?
Crafting an effective billing statement or final demand letter is a challenge. These letters must be written in a way that drives payment action and converts your unpaid patient accounts into revenue. Dental collection professionals understand the psychology behind the debt recovery process and know what patients need to see in a collection notice. The proper balance between conveying urgency and remaining respectful (with the interest of patient retention) must be struck, which can often be difficult for non-collection industry professionals.
Dental practices also save valuable amounts of time, effort, and money by outsourcing this letter service. You and your staff will be able to spend less time locating patients, mailing letters, and actively pursuing delinquent accounts, and more time doing what you do best – providing superior dental care.
For more helpful tips watch this On-demand Webcast on Collection Negotiations:
YOUR TURN: Does your dental practice already use a pre-collect program as a part of your patient billing and collection processes? If not, what is holding you back? Do you think patients would appreciate a friendly warning before their accounts are sent to collection? We’d love to hear your take!
No Legal Advice Intended: This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I.C. System, Inc. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal issues.