The sequence of steps used to follow up on past due accounts are as follows:
2. Patient Call
3. 2nd Statement with note or letter
4. Patient Call
5. Past Due Letter
6. Patient Call
7. Last Notice – Demand Payment Letter (If no response after last notice, send memo to the doctor for review)
8. Collections/Legal Action
Allow two weeks between actions. For instance if you send a statement to a patient give them two weeks to respond. If they haven’t called or sent a payment after two weeks then they should be called.
Whenever you talk or write to a patient find out all you can about that person from the prior contact note. For instance, if the treatment chart has a notation in it saying the patient just had a baby, start the letter or conversation by saying:
"Hi, Janet! Congratulations on your new baby! That's great! Did you have a boy or a girl?"
Then gently go into the reason you are writing or calling. It is always more effective to start a conversation or letter in such fashion. This way, the patient gets the feeling that they are not just a dollar sign to you and that you really do care about them. The patient will also be much more apt to pay you than if you just said, "You owe $100.00. Payment is past due!”
If you need to send a patient to collections consider using a local attorney or Trans World Systems.