Three ways dental practices can engage patients to maximize receivables


Creating a fluid and comprehensive patient intake and billing process will not only minimize the time and resources your staff spends chasing payment, but it will also improve your patient experience overall. Setting expectations with patients from the onset minimizes the chances of human error or misunderstandings, and helps patients stay on top of what they owe, and when. Here are three ways to engage your patients and maintain a successful accounts receivable (AR) cycle.

Before the Time of Service

Incorporate proactive and holistic measures during patient admittance. Ensure that your intake paperwork includes Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) disclosures, which set expectations with patients regarding billing and collection communications from your office. You should also collect email address, cell and home phone numbers, and place of employment during intake, so that a total AR “kit” can be created for each patient with all pertinent billing information. This will minimize administrative runaround for staff trying to keep track of each patient’s information and payment status, making outreach much simpler.

During the Time of Service

From an accounts receivable perspective, the best billing option is always to secure payment from patients at the time of service. For patients with insurance, you can collect the full balance of their procedure, and then refund them once their insurance company remits its portion of the procedure cost. Another approach is to charge the patient for the estimated balance typically expected after submitting the claim to insurance. Setting a standard of collecting payment at the time of service will minimize the chance of unrecoverable receivables later. In order to make this standard more accessible for all patients, it may also be advantageous for your practice to offer third-party financing through a reputable finance partner. This way, you can take the burden of collection out of the equation for your practice, and provide a practical payment solution for your patients.

After the Time of Service

If you prefer not to collect payment from patients at the time of service, a prompt and efficient billing process should be activated almost immediately. If you operate with an electronic billing system, make it a practice-wide standard to make the bill available to the patient immediately. That way, patients understand their responsibilities immediately, minimizing the possibility that the payment responsibility will be forgotten or ignored. If you do not operate with an electronic billing system, plan to send a statement to the patient no later than five days after the procedure date. Providing your patient with a return envelope pre-addressed to your practice pay improve odds of receiving a timely payment, and show your patients that you’re considering their needs as well.

If the patient fails to remit payment after 30 days, your staff should begin collection calls. To maximize chances of success, design a standard script for staff to utilize. These scripts should be simple, straightforward, and compassionate, without being confrontational or overly emotional. Providing training for your staff as well as facilitating role playing with peers is an excellent way to increase comfort with the process so employees feel prepared when entering into receivables conversations. Set a standard cadence for patient outreach, and formalize communication records through reporting so you can track patterns and success.

A third-party collection agency should be engaged after 60 days of non-payment by a patient. Working with a reputable partner will not only increase your chances of securing receivables, but will also offload the administrative burden of collection outreach from your staff.

Not sure if you have the resources or expertise to accomplish your patient collection goals? Engaging a full-service collection partner can maximize repayments for you, and minimize resources spent chasing them.

Jacob Corlyon is Co-Founder and CEO of Capital Collection Management, which provides a suite of collection services for the dental industry. Mr. Corlyon also serves as President of the New York State Collectors Association.

Recent Blog Articles

Two ways lenders can engage borrowers during a loan modification cycle

In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has sent shockwaves through the lending industry. For banks, credit unions, direct lenders and other FinTech organizations, customers have shifted gears from aggressively planning for the future to focusing on immediate concerns.


Two ways lenders should approach loan modification data

It’s important for lenders to remain forward-thinking, using customer feedback and data to safeguard your business today, and in the future.


Proud Associate Member Of:

The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals
Receivables Management Association Legislative Fund Contributor
Healthcare Financial Management Association
International Assocation of Commercial Collectors
New York State Collectors Assocation
Innovation Council

This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained may be used for that purpose.

New York City Residents:
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs requires us to document your preferred language. Please note we do not offer language access services, and we will be communicating in English. Please provide us with your language preference. The NYC DCA provides a translation and description of commonly-used debt collection terms in multiple languages on the Department's website, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Do Not Sell My Personal Information
When you work with Capital Collection Management, you are trusting us with your information. CCM takes protection of your information seriously and is committed to ensuring the security of all customer data. New privacy regulations now require businesses like CCM to give California residents a process for opting out of any potential practice where customer personal information might be sold. Although CCM does not sell personal information for monetary value, certain actions may be considered a "sale" under the CCPA as CCM works with other parties to facilitate loan fundings and solutions. Opting out of information “selling” may adversely affect CCM’s ability to process your loan request.

For further information on our privacy practices, please review our privacy policy or contact us at 1-866-272-4035 .
Formally record your preference to not sell your personal information by filling out the form.