Did any of you go to dental school to be a banker? Weird, neither did I. Yet, the lawyer instructing a risk management class I attended said 80% of dental liability claims are over bad debt. Yeah, I made a decision that day—my banking days are over; I’m going to reduce my liability risk by 80%.
The following Monday, I walked into my office and announced, “Financially, we’re going to be like a grocery store. Our patients don’t expect to make payments on their groceries, nor will they in this office.” Of course, I had to hear out my team’s concerns and hold them accountable for the first little bit by reviewing Account Receivables on a regular basis. Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for the bad habits of banking to end.
liminating banking from dental care
It makes complete sense why I got these results. Obviously, there’s not a single patient who wants to owe anyone. Nor a single employee who truly enjoys asking patients for delinquent money, and dealing with the fallout. Plus, collecting in full eliminates delinquency, which also means, no more time and energy wasted pursuing delinquent accounts. It’s as simple as that.
Tons of other businesses work this way, so why can’t our dental offices? We pay for car repairs in full, hotel stays in full, ticket sales and airline seats, not to mention our groceries and rental car expenses. So why not dental care?
It’s all about transparency and clear communication to establish clear expectations. If the financial arrangements are extremely straightforward at the time the appointment is made, you’ll experience a positive outcome.
Linda Miles’ famous line for the front office is, “Your investment for today’s treatment is one-hundred and eighty. Will that be cash, check, or bankcard?” Notice that nowhere in the communication is there a choice of banking.
By getting out of banking, you’ll do more than prevent delinquent accounts (which we discussed a few weeks ago), you’ll actually eliminate them. Furthermore, you’ll experience a positive outcome that can hardly be measured. In fact, it was unbelievable how much better life became in my practice once I eliminated banking. And it all started with one hard fact: 80% of dental liability claims are over bad debt. Now, what will you decide to do with that knowledge?