Yes, practices should use a standardized approach rather than emotions. Having a clearly defined financial policy and standardized process (including scripts) will give staff something to stand behind when dealing with "uncomfortable" but necessary business practices. It also helps to periodically roll play these scenarios during morning huddles.
Standardization is as important for time of service as it is for post service billing. Many employees report that follow-up on patient balances is one of their least favorite tasks, and most report they don't even follow-up as much as they should. While reports from Dental Economics outline the high cost associated with follow-up it is also important to note that it pulls staff away from other areas of profitability. Automating certain aspects of the revenue cycle not only improve internal collections and reduce overhead, but it also allows more time for proper patient consults, registration, and insurance verification etc.
Additional benefits of being proactive rather than reactive is it reduces external costs as patients pay their balances well before unnecessary third party collections are required. We have found that 30-40% of patients who typically reach intensive collections could have been prevented when early intervention solutions were used. Now there's a stress reliever that you and your patients can appreciate.
There are automated solutions (technologies) available which sync with most practice management software to assist with post service revenue cycle "management". They are designed to improve consistency while reducing internal costs and the stress of follow-up. These are tools employees control to quickly identify slow pay patient accounts (without reviewing pages of aging reports with a highlighter), in addition to saving hours of manual data entry.
“I have more time to spend with our patients - Office Manager
" [the service] has become an integral part of our billing team-Practice Administrator
"Amazingly patients are using [the service] and contacting us directly to make payments - Billing Manager
"[the service] eliminates the need to enter data manually. This is a huge time saver - Office Manager