Running a successful dental practice requires not only quality management but acceptance of dental self-pay patients, as well.
A common misconception with dental self-pay is that these patients don’t have insurance. In reality, these patients are a combination of uninsured and insured individuals that find self-pay a better option for their finances than going through an insurance company or paying deductibles. How can your practice better accommodate these patients?
4 Ways to Maintain Dental Self-Pay Patient
Clear Lines of Communication
When patients walk into your practice it is important that they feel at ease. Dental self-pay patients tend to fall into two categories: emergency care and preventative care. Patients in need of emergency care often enter the office in an emotional state. By creating a welcoming atmosphere patients will feel more at ease with your practice and the treatment that needs to be provided. Patients that are looking for preventative care are looking for great service. Like any consumer, they are looking to spend their money in a place that provides excellent care.
The first step to providing that care is welcoming someone into your practice with excellent customer service and your commitment to providing outstanding treatment. Not only does this set the tone for your office, but it also allows your patient to better communicate their current needs as well as take preventative steps with other dental issues.
The most important step in treating dental self-pay patients is to ensure that all of the treatment costs and payment options are provided so patients can pay their medical bill. Ideally, these steps would be covered prior to any treatment being provided and agreed upon. By laying out a scheduled treatment plan, amounts due and payment methods, your practice is laying the groundwork for open and thorough communication that might otherwise create roadblocks, possibly preventing patients from fulfilling their financial obligations.
Improve Payment Options
To improve a patient’s ability to pay, your practice should accept a variety of payment options. Dental self-pay patients often need versatile practices that accept multiple forms of payments, both in-person and online. Accepting payments from a variety of sources and allowing balances to be paid in installments will make your practice more attractive to patients and will lead to higher patient retention. And, offering click-to-pay options via mobile devices is an efficient, easy preference for most patients.
Adjust Training for Staff
A well-trained staff is important to creating a cohesive and trusted practice. Every employee must be aligned with all the information necessary to provide excellent customer service. Receiving conflicting information about their payments from staff negatively impacts patient satisfaction and patient retention. All necessary patient files should be organized and accessible to ensure efficient and informative exchanges between your staff and patients. Organized staff are the cornerstone of a successful practice and to maintaining dental self-pay patients.
Running a successful practice extends beyond patient care and into patient financing. Increase your practice’s efficiency and ensure that all of your dental self-pay patients feel welcome to receive the care they need by adopting these changes.
ClearGage’s industry-leading suite of consumer and budget-friendly payment plans can help your practice by organizing and automating your patient financing needs. To learn how to organize your dental self-pay patients using ClearGage, give us a call.