One of the greatest challenges to dental practices is cash flow management and the ability to collect patient payments in a timely manner. How can you encourage patients to pay on time? Manual efforts to collect past due payments can result in huge expenses and reduced margins. What if there was a smarter and faster way to collect payments? There is.
Sending automated payment reminders costs mere pennies, but can save you thousands of dollars in expenses related to payment collection. Over 78 percent of surveyed dental professionals report that delivering patient payment reminders is currently a manual task, yet 27 percent feel that automated payment reminders would be beneficial to their practice. More and more dental practices are implementing automated payment reminder strategies in order to reduce the time and effort required for manual outreach and improve collection rates.
Successfully encouraging patients to pay their balance will help dental providers balance cash flow, improve collection rates and lower collection costs. Here are five benefits of using automated payment notifications to encourage patients to pay their balances.
- Save time and effort – Over 42 percent of dental professionals agree or strongly agree that automated communications save their staff time. Using your appointment reminder technology to schedule and send payment reminders to patients is cost-effective and reduces the amount of staff time needed for manual outreach such as calling patients or mailing statements.
- Increase connection rates – Connection equals collection. Your practice’s hours of operation (when your staff would be manually contacting patients) are often the same hours your patients are working or busy. With the ability to schedule automated text, email and voice messages for delivery any day or hour, you can reach patients through their preferred channel and during the hours they are typically available, in a manner that is convenient and efficient for both patients and your staff.
- Improve patient relationships – Debt collection can be stressful for both the provider and the patient. A missed payment could be the result of forgetfulness, uncertainty about how much insurance actually covered or a financial hardship. Automated notifications provide a non-invasive but effective means of communication that doesn’t endanger the relationship with the patient.
- Create a sense of urgency – Utilizing a strategic cadence of payment reminders creates a sense of urgency that reinforces the importance of timely patient payments. Make sure to include due dates, payment options and other useful information to encourage patients to make timely payments.
- Encourage immediate action – The majority of past due payments just need a gentle nudge. Practices can schedule reminders before and immediately after appointments to help keep patient balances top of mind. Automated notifications can be designed to give patients immediate ways to take action, resulting in faster payments. The key is to make it simple. Using best practices to structure the messages, your practice can provide a callback number, offer information on payment options or direct them to a patient portal to make a payment.
Want to learn more about using automated notifications to resolve patient payment issues? Download our free white paper, 4 Ways Dentists Drive Patient Payments with Automated Texts.