Unpaid dental fees is a common problem within the dental industry. In the UK, almost all the practices have outstanding bills for unpaid dental fees. The majority of dentists act honestly but unfortunately some patients will try and avoid paying what they owe.
Prevention of unpaid dental fees can be relatively easy to do. We sought the advice of Dental Debt Experts Frontline Collections. Frontline Collections are the UK’s leading Dental debt collection specialists. They gave us some great insights into preventative practices to avoid unpaid dental fees becoming a problem.
Best 10 Tips for Dental Practices to Prevent Unpaid Dental fees
1. Always make sure to discuss payment on the first consultation. Different treatment options are always discussed by the dental clinicians. They will make the patient aware of the ups and downs of any proposed treatment. Cost of the treatment also comes to discussion at the initial point. This will possibly be done by the receptionist or treatment care co-ordinator. Clarity on this matter will prevent confusion further down the line.
2. Most of the times, coordinators are there to assist in the explanation of the treatment options. If your practice employs a treatment co-ordinator, it is advisable that they manage the cost and payments aspect of treatments.
3. Different treatments would have alternative cost options and what matters the most is the patient’s choice. Make it clear to them how they can pay.
4. Frontline Collections strongly recommend using written plans for treatment. Also, written estimates for larger complex treatment policies. A pro-forma invoice or a treatment letter can be opted for this purpose.
5. Make payment obligations clear to the patients. Use plain written English to explain the patient’s payment obligations, particularly for payment by installments.
6. Best way is to ask patients for payment is on their treatment day. It offers a mark of clarity from patient’s side.
7. The general dental council can also offer different offers and discount programmes which may provide a financial relief to many patients.
8. Always make sure to contact and discuss with your patient regarding payment issues. This can either be by phone of letter. You can have the contact number of your patient so that you can call him and ask for the payment later on.
9. While some practices find that accepting the payments on phone calls and using debit card would be the best possible way.
10. Professional companies can help in collection of unpaid dental fees is a valid option. This option can be exercised when promises of payment have not been kept. Also, when a patient is not making payment by being asked repeatedly, Frontline Collections are the UK’s No1 for dental debt collection. They offer a free appraisal for all types of dental debt.
No Dental practice has lost a patient simply because they were required to pay. Your practice is a Business and deserves to be paid like any other.