Nothing like stating the obvious, but the most effective way to keep your accounts from requiring professional chiropractor debt collection services is to prevent them from going delinquent in the first place! Easier said than done, right?
According to Life University Chiropractic Sciences Department Chair Lydia Dever, the key is to be proactive and not reactive. Owning and operating a private practice for the past decade, Dr. Dever has utilized chiropractor debt collection help only once in her career. “You need to make sure your patients pay every time they come into the office,” Dr. Dever says. “That way things don’t get out of control.”
Dr. Dever makes a good point. This is business, not charity. To keep your books up-to-date, you must assure that your patients pay their office visit fees before they leave every time. Being an industry deeply rooted in service, chiropractors are notorious for not being firm in this area. Subsequently, many doctors get taken advantage of, but this happens needlessly. 5 Steps to Ensure Payment
Of course, you can’t force anyone to do anything. When your patient attempts to laugh off their bill by saying, “Get ya next time,” simply don’t do it. Instead, employ these methods:
- Transparency – Be upfront with your office fees and payment policies on Day 1 before you begin care. Over-communicate so you don’t miscommunicate. This way, everyone is on the same page before care begins, and patients understand that their account will be sent to chiropractic debt collections if they fall behind.
- Staff support – Train your staff to be firm, but polite, in regards to settling an account before a patient leaves your office. Staff members are your gatekeepers and set the tone for your office. If they are no-nonsense about finances, your patients will respond accordingly.
- Do not bill – Although some patients will request for you to send them a bill, don’t do it. If they forgot their wallet and have no way to pay, then (firmly, but politely) let them know that payment remittance is expected by the time of their next visit. If they try to pull the same thing next time, nip it in the bud right away. This person could be a predatory patient, and you don’t want him or her in your practice.
- Be the authority – It may be easy to pawn off the “enforcer” role to your CA, but you are the doctor and it is your practice. Step up when needed and discuss with the situation with your patient next time he or she is in the office.
- Having “The Talk” – First of all, be non-confrontational and gracious. Remember that people are innocent until proven guilty, right? People steer away from confrontation and you may lose them as a patient if you come off too strong. Your patients will generally have good reasons for what they do, so ask them why they didn’t pay their bill. For instance, you may end up learning that they are in dire financial straights and that they are willing to sign on to a payment plan.
In summary, proper office protocol ensures that a vast majority of your accounts will never escalate to the point of requiring chiropractic debt collections services. Whether you own a cash practice or are in a managed care group, set up procedures like the ones we’ve outlined above so that your patients pay their co-pays, deductibles, and office visit fees at the time of service!
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/