10 Best Practices to Refine the Dental Accounts Receivable Process

Accounts Receivable forms an integral part of any business. It is defined as the amount of money which a business expects from its customers in the form of payments against the services or goods provided to them. In the dental practice accounting; billing, receiving collections and payments, and client intake comes under the management of accounts receivable.

The dental clinic or hospital has to not only take care of the clinical procedures, but also manage a lot of clerical work such as clearing appointments, scheduling patients, organizing medical records, recording diagnostic and treatment methods, and more. Dealing with all these tasks, along with accounts receivable management is surely overwhelming. However, by following the below-mentioned guidelines, managing accounts receivable becomes effortless.

Complete Guide for Dental Accounts Receivable Management

Dental invoice processing is hard to manage to owe to different types of treatments of the patients which go on for weeks and months. This guide will surely help in lowering down the dental billing complexity and streamline the accounts receivable process.

1. Have a Written Payment Policy in Place

  • Documentation: It is imperative to have a written payment policy in place that makes the customers legally know that they have to make the payments fast or else face the penalties against overdue payment. From client queries to behaviors, everything should be documented in order to refine the payment policies. Having a well-documented and customized payment policy ensures timely payments, along dealing with client excuses.
  • Offering Payment Plans: The most successful dentists are the ones who offer payment plans to their clients. The reason being most of the clients find it hard to pay their health bills, especially in one go. They need customized payment plans and offers to make the payments and offering them this option assures timely payment for sure.

2. Accept Different Payment Methods

The dentists who struggle to receive timely payments are the ones who prefer only one or two modes of payments. This approach limits the patients to pay on time as they might be ready to pay you in one of the forms which they are comfortable in, but you don’t accept that payment form.

So, it is vital to accept almost all payment forms, especially the online ones, and structure your accounts as required for eChecks, ACH payments, credit cards, HSA and FSA accounts, and more.

3. Patient Financial Services

The timely and accurate delivery of the accounts receivable is ensured with patient financial services in the medical world. For efficient handling of the medical billing, knowledge of the laws and insurance payers, along with healthcare regulations is evident.

Apart from this, timely submission of medical claims to the insurance agencies, along with a quick follow-up speeds up the claims and accounts receivable process.

4. Collect Money Upfront

For medium and large projects, this approach is definitely recommended. There should be an agreement in place that states half of the bill amount needs to be cleared during job initiation and the remaining amount at the end of the job.

This makes it for good faith, and you will most likely be paid at the end of the job as discussed. Apart from increasing the cash flow, it will train customers into paying before the completion of the work.

5. Rejected Claims Management Planning

When claims are rejected, it delays the accounts receivable and cash flow progress. It is important to find the root cause for claims rejection and plan to put appropriate strategies in place to ensure zero claims rejection.

It is essential to monitor the claims metrics closely with the medical payers and dental accountants to ensure the limitation of any unreasonable demand. This also decreases the accounts receivable days and make the revenue cycle more proficient.

6. Precise Price Assertion

Price assertion is considered to be extremely critical in the times of high-deductible offers and plans in terms of patient collections. By leveraging transparency in finance and clearing doubts regarding care costs upfront, better opportunities for the patients can be established in the form of payment plans, which eventually leads to even better management of the healthcare bills.

7. The Amalgamation of RCM/EHR System

Majority of the healthcare systems are opting and incorporating the use of the wholly integrated RCM/EHR systems to consolidate and streamline collection and billing processes. Through the integration of management systems for revenue and EHR in the healthcare sector, organizations can witness significant gains by the optimization of the revenue streams at the care time directly. This speeds up and maximizes reimbursement, streamlines collection processes, and minimizes denials at large.

8. Get Paid or Hold On to Work

This is more of a penalty tip where reinforcement in a negative way needs to be brought in use against some situations. The main motive behind this type of approach is to highlight the fact that relationships in the working arena constitute transactions where payments and work go hand-in-hand.

9. Provide Best Service Possible

Apart from getting treated for a particular dental problem, most of the patient complaint of not getting appropriate services. There are times when they have to wait a lot or do not have a good experience in the form of refreshments, washrooms, and other stuff.

Dentists should make sure their patients have the best experience when they enter their premises in terms of treatments, refreshments, infrastructure, washroom, utilities like free Internet, and more. This makes the patients feel good and respected, and this favor is returned gracefully by them in the form of timely payments.

10. Hire a Dental Accounting Practices Expert

When it comes to managing accounts receivable and other tasks related to accounting for dental practices, it is imperative to hire an expert for the same. This lets the dentists focus on the treatment of their patients and not on financial management.

It is imperative to look for a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) who must possess an undergraduate degree, along with the industry experience and eligibility for state certification. Also, your requirements for managing the accounts receivable and other financial tasks should be kept in mind, along with any other financial complexity at the time of hiring. For further necessities, hiring a team of CPAs or a firm providing accounting services for dentists is advisable.

Conclusion

The above-post clearly explains the need for efficient accounts receivable management. The step-by-step guide removes every possibility of an error during the management of accounts receivable and also provides great insights into finding the best expert accountant for your dental practice.

Also Read- 8 Tools to Make Your Business More Efficient

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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