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Tips to Improve Dental Patient Collections: A Comprehensive Guide


The dental industry has adopted new technologies to improve the way patients pay their bills. However, the collections process remains ineffective for many healthcare practices. According to the Commercial Collection Law League of America, practices recover only 26.6 percent of receivables one year past due. Carrying an accounts receivable balance is a common practice for dentists, but it can easily get out of control. It’s time for the dental industry to embrace new payment technologies and develop efficient billing practices. By providing installment plans and financing options, making friendly and persistent follow-ups, and offering in-house membership plans, dental practices can expect to see faster, more satisfactory results. This guide will teach you how to improve your collections process and increase revenue while providing your patients with a superior payment experience.

Common mistakes in dental patient collections

Dental patient collections can be a daunting task for any healthcare practice. While carrying an accounts receivable balance is a common practice for most of the practices, it can sometimes get out of control. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the common mistakes healthcare practices make in dental patient collections and how to fix them.

One of the common mistakes healthcare practices make in dental patient collections is the lack of a well-defined billing process. Failing to define your billing process can lead to financial loss and impact patient retention.

Another mistake is a manual collections process. Though 78% of healthcare providers still use manual processes and paper for collections, it’s time to upgrade the process. Manual collections processes are time-consuming and emotionally draining.

Unclear communication strategy is the third most common mistake. Short and wordy messages can discourage patients from taking appropriate action. Documented collections communication per patient, which includes the content and tone of messages, can make the difference.

In the next section, we will explore how to improve dental patient collections.

Improving dental patient collections

It’s a known fact that collecting payments for dental services is often time-consuming, frustrating, and emotionally exhausting. For healthcare practices looking to heighten their collection rates, accelerate cash flow, and even improve overall patient experience, this comprehensive guide is for you.

Embrace the new payment technologies

The payment landscape is changing, and fast. According to the Federal Reserve, check usage has declined almost by 175% in the last 15 years. Cards, direct deposit, and other electronic payment methods are rising in popularity. Patients are also looking for convenient payment options that don’t involve a trip to the post office. If your healthcare practice is still not offering electronic payment options, you’re missing out on a lot.

Get connected to preferred channels

The new normal for patients is to receive invoices by email or text; even our grandparents are familiar with how to use Venmo! So it’s time to upgrade that manual collections process of calling patients and mailing invoices. It’s time-consuming and does not guarantee timely payment. Automatically sending invoices via email or text gets fast results, besides reassuring patients that they’re using their preferred payment channel.

Offer installment plans and financing

It’s up to patients to choose their payment options. Dental professionals expect payments instantly but understand that if the billed amount is large, patients may want to pay in installments or financing options. Offering such payment plans is a win-win approach, so consider it seriously.

Make friendly and persistent follow-ups

Benjamin Franklyn once said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” It rings true when trying to collect payments that are long overdue. However, getting too aggressive can turn the collections process into a nightmare and even damage patient retention. Patients also appreciate receiving friendly reminders about payments that are due, especially in difficult financial times. Striking the right balance between empathy and persistence might be challenging, but it’s doable.

In-house membership plans

In-house membership plans are a win-win situation for dental practices and patients. Patients receive affordable and comprehensive dental benefits, while subscription fees result in recurring revenue for the dental office. Consider it as an alternative to insurance companies and provide additional dental benefits.

Improving dental patient collections has become a necessity in today’s fast-paced technological world. Moving with the times and offering effective remedies amidst challenging times can have an overall impact on patient satisfaction, retention, and ultimately, the success of your healthcare practice.

The leading dental billing outsourcing services that will revolutionize the way you handle collections. With our expertise in written communication and attention to detail, we ensure accurate and timely processing of your dental patient collections. Say goodbye to the hassle of managing accounts receivables and focus on providing exceptional dental care to your patients. Our highly skilled team of professionals will handle all aspects of the billing process, saving you time and resources. Experience unparalleled efficiency and maximize your revenue with One Dental Billing. Trust us to effortlessly manage your collections while you focus on what you do best – providing exceptional dental care.


In summary, improving dental patient collections is crucial for healthcare practices to increase collection rates and accelerate cash flow. This can be achieved by embracing new payment technologies, offering installment plans and financing, making friendly and persistent follow-ups, and implementing in-house membership plans. By communicating clearly and demonstrating empathy, dental practices can strike a balance between maintaining patient retention and recovering past due balances. It’s time to upgrade outdated collections processes and provide patients with convenient payment options.

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