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Can I just be billed? maximize patient collections with Wisdom

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Why do dental practices tend to overlook this so much? Administrative teams tend to feel intimidated by asking patients to pay their portion, especially when patients ask:

Can I Just Be Billed?

In any dental office, addressing payment expectations upfront ensures smooth interactions and fosters trust with patients. Here we discuss the when, and how,  to communicate payment requirements seamlessly:

1. During Treatment Plan Presentation:

Before proceeding with any treatment, including same-day emergency cases,  present a detailed treatment plan to patients. This is an opportune moment to inform them that payment is expected at the time of service. Here are 2 scenarios that showcase how to set a firm yet compassionate expectation: 

Scenario 1: As Johnny checks out after his hygiene appointment and schedules for a crown, we provide the treatment plan details. "Johnny, for the crown on tooth number 2, we estimate insurance will cover $550, with your portion also being $550, due at your appointment. Our next available slots are ________ or __________. What works best for you?"

Scenario 2: In Mary's case, who visits for an emergency exam, we discuss finances before treatment. "Mary, for the extraction today, your estimated portion is due now. Would you like to take care of that before we proceed?"

They key: Don’t hesitate or miss a beat. Know that you are helping your patient by minimizing the possibility that they may get a “surprise bill” - something that does not work well for the patient, or the practice. 

2. During Check Out:

Upon completion of treatment, collect the patient's estimated portion. It's crucial to clarify a couple of points:

First, while collecting payment: "We estimate your portion to be $_______. How would you like to settle this today?"

Second, as we hand them their receipt: "If there's any difference in your portion after we receive insurance back, we'll send you a statement. It's important to note that insurance estimates may vary, and we always strive for optimal reimbursement."

By setting clear expectations and addressing potential concerns proactively, dental teams create a transparent and hassle-free payment process for patients. 

Additionally, having a standard payment plan option for patients that need to space payments out is beneficial. Make sure your standard plan includes: 

  1. A goal of full payment in 90 days or less. 
  2. One third of the total due on the date of service. 
  3. Payment information on file, with permission to automatically collect the balance due at each payment interval.

Are your patient balances due, and aged over 30 days high? Are you collecting less than 99% of your overall collections as a practice? We can help! We not only offer insurance billing services, we also provide patient billing, and insurance verification.

Want to learn more about working with Wisdom? Schedule a call! You can also read more about how a partnership with Wisdom works via our welcome guide, and subscribe to our free newsletter Words of Wisdom to ensure you don’t miss out on trends, events, and content for continuing education.