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10 Tips for Dealing With Late-Paying Chiropractic Patients

by IC System | 12/10/2013 11:10:27 AM

When your staff has been unsuccessful in reaching a patient who is past due on his or her account, the pressure is on you to have “The Talk” before you send them to chiropractic debt collection help. As much as it pains you to do it, you must. However, your interaction doesn’t have to be miserable. In fact, if done correctly, it may even prove to be quite fruitful!

Here are 10 Key “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to familiarize yourself with before you approach your patients:
  1. Do be a soft place to land – Most people are embarrassed in discussing financial troubles, so it is vital to provide a welcoming situation where they will discuss the situation with you. When approaching a patient who has a delinquent account, try phrasing your initial question something like this: “[Patient Name], I noticed that you’ve gotten behind on your bill, and was just curious – is everything okay? Is there some way I can help you?”
  2. Do be genuine – A facade can be spotted a mile away. If you come across as only wanting their money and don’t show that you still care about them as a person and as a patient, then they will tune you out immediately. From a patient’s point of view, if you don’t care about me, why should I care about you and pay my debt?
  3. Do give them the benefit of the doubt – This is vital! Be intentional in believing that your patient will pay his or her bill. It has been proven that your beliefs do_dont2will determine your actions, especially unconscious facial expressions and mannerisms. If you believe that the patient is never going to pay up no matter what you say or do, then it will inevitably slip out in one way or another.
  4. Do be upfront and clear – If your patient is unmoved by your attempts to reach a financial agreement, ensure (verbally) that he or she knows the bill will be sent to chiropractic debt recovery as part of the process.
  5. Do have them sign a letter of advice. To confirm what you have stated above, have your patient sign a document affirming that you advised him or her that the account will be handled by chiropractic debt collection help if he or she is unable to pay. Remember to give your patient a copy.
  6. Don’t make it personal – Since this is your business, you may have the tendency to take things personally when people fall behind on their financial obligations. Don’t! Business is business, and those that survive the emotional turmoil and refuse to get personally attached to these types of situations will always come out on top.
  7. Don’t take a knee-jerk approach – Remember that people generally have good reasons for letting their account fall behind. Find out why they are not paying their bill – You may be surprised by what you learn!
  8. Don’t scare anyone away – Being non-confrontational is key. Most people avoid uncomfortable situations like the plague, and certainly you don’t want to create a rift in your doctor-patient relationship. If people get spooked, they won’t come back.
  9. Don’t forget that this person is still your patient. The person you’re dealing with has a history with you and is still a potential source for referrals. The way that you handle this situation can determine if he or she lambasts you on Facebook or refers all his/her friends and family to you instead!
  10. Don’t lose hope – Not only can a delinquent account easily – and quickly – become a current account, but there’s still a good chance you’ll get your money even if patients don’t respond to your efforts. Send the account to your chiropractic debt collection agency and let them worry about it!

IC System Quick Facts
  • For more than 40 years, Chiro Collect, Powered by I.C. System, has worked with hundreds of Chiropractic Practices nationwide, collecting millions of dollars on their behalf. I.C. System is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ Rating.
  • We are among just a few dozen agencies worldwide to be ”certified” for Best Practices through ACA International, The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, Professional Practices Management System (PPMS) program.
  • We leverage comprehensive skip-tracing efforts to find “missing” patients.
  • We offer Chiropractor Clients Online Tools to easily submit debts, view our work effort (number of letters mailed, number of calls made, etc.) on debts, report payments, and generate reports.
See more at: http://chirocollect.com/

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