Is it Time to get a Check-up with Your Dental Collections Partner?
There are a number of things that need to be in proper alignment if you want to maximize your collections with your Dental Collections partner. You need a licensed agency that behaves in a moral, professional manner. You must provide that collections partner with accurate, current data. It is also critical to utilize an agency that provides timely, accurate reporting or even better, 24/7 Online access to account data and balance status. All of these things are about one thing – communication.
We all know it’s necessary to have great communication with your patients, but what about the communication between you and your collections partner? Do you have an open, transparent relationship with your collection agency? In fact, when was the last time you checked in with your collections partner to review past performance, strategy, and future goals?
If it has been any longer than 3-6 months, it may be time to contact your collections partner to go over these sometimes overlooked pieces of the accounts receivable management puzzle. And once you do, just remember to discuss the following areas when analyzing your dental collections partner:
If your collection agency’s past performance or recovery results come as a surprise to you, then you need to discuss the level of reporting your agency is providing. Consistent and easy access to not only your collection agency’s performance metrics, but also to the status of your delinquent accounts should be readily available to you at all times. Does your agency offer you easy-to-understand and timely reports on their collection activity? Does your collection agency respond to inquiries or requests within reasonable timeframes? Do you have access to real-time account statuses and can you measure and quantify your collection agency’s performance with ease? These are all questions you should ask yourself when assessing the level of service your collection agency partner is offering.
Past Performance and Collections Approach
Obviously one of the easiest factors to consider when assessing your collection agency’s past performance is recovery rate. That is the percentage of dollars placed with your collections partner which are actually recovered and returned to you as revenue. Is your collection agency meeting your recovery rate goals? You may be targeting a 35% recovery rate, but what if your collection agency is only achieving 25%?
If this is the case, and you aren’t happy with your return on investment, then it may be time to discuss a new approach or collections strategy…or you may want to start considering other agencies that might be a better fit for you and your practice.
And what else should you consider when evaluating your collection agency’s performance? Are they generating too many patient complaints? Patient retention is extremely important to maintaining a successful and profitable dental practice – and retaining patients means keeping them happy. Oftentimes patient relationships can be damaged by an overly aggressive collection agency or a dentist’s reputation may be tarnished by patient complaints. Having a consistent and reliable patient base is perhaps your practice’s most valuable asset and maintaining positive relationships even with your slow-paying patients is necessary in today’s competitive healthcare environment. So make sure your collection agency has strong compliance management processes in place and is recovering your patient debt in a respectful, patient-friendly manner.
So if you haven’t checked in with your partner in dental collections in a while, consider contacting your agency to discuss the topics above. Having a clear and consistent picture of your collection agency’s performance is a critical step in maximizing your accounts receivable and is not something to be overlooked.
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.