I know the past few weeks have been weird and crazy. I also know this because I am hearing from many of you needing help with training and setup of new systems. With the addition of new practice management systems, new team members, and new PPE protocol, it can be overwhelming. I get it and, for all of you on the front lines in the dental practice, I am sending you all a big high five!
As many of you now start to open your practice, I am hearing requests for training in payment plans and the setup of membership plans. Many of your families might have had a change to their cash flow, which now affects how they can pay for dental treatment. Many of your families may have lost their dental benefits and now are cash patients. You need to have systems in place to accommodate your patients in this time of need. Your patients still need dental care, so how can you help?
I was listening to a short video by Roger Levin recently and he was talking about how the dental practice will need to take on more payment plans than before just to help cover the practice overhead. This made a lot of sense and I have been hearing from many of my offices they are now more open to allowing patients to make payments for this interim basis. I think offering patients a payment option is a good thing … if you have a good system for managing it.
Today I want to talk about three things you can put in place in your Dentrix software to help you manage different types of payment options. My goal is to help not only give you some ideas, but also help point you in the right direction with the setup process. If after reading this article you need additional help, please reach out to me and we can schedule an online one-on-one session.
- Membership plans are becoming increasingly popular since this pandemic hit because so many people have lost their dental benefits and still want to continue with their dental care. Creating an in-office membership plan can be a great option for your cash-paying patients because it gives them the incentive to keep their preventative care scheduled at a reduced fee. It also gives patients a discount for restorative treatment when they need it.
I recommend two options to set up the membership plan in Dentrix.
- Essential option —This is the most basic setup for your practice and is easy to learn. All you must do in this option is create a membership adjustment code in Dentrix. Post your normal procedures and adjust them off according to what is included in the membership plan.
- Optimum option – This setup option will allow your office to run reports, see the ROI, and be able to generate analytics on your membership plan patients. There is a more advanced setup process here. If you want my tip sheet on that, I can send it to you.
- In-office payment agreements have come back in full force. In the past, it would not have been my first choice. However, if you are going to offer them you need to have an effective way to manage them. In Dentrix, it is critical you set up the payment plan using the Payment Agreement section and have a credit card on file so you can keep track of the patient’s contract. Yes, I said contract. If you are going to allow patients to make payments, you are essentially becoming a bank and you must have a signed agreement with the patient. Also, make sure you are storing the credit card in a PCI-compliant place to avoid any breach. When you set up a payment agreement in Dentrix, you can track the patient’s payment plan in two spots. CLICK HERE for more on Payment Agreements
- Collection Manager Report – This is your best report for managing your accounts receivable.
- Payment Agreement Manager – This is a fairly new report in Dentrix and is fantastic for managing payment plans.
- The new CareCredit integration is going to be your new best friend when it comes to offering patients the option for payment options. If you are on Dentrix version G7.1 or higher, you will have a new CareCredit icon on the toolbar in Dentrix. For more information on this integration, watch the video I created on YouTube
Offering your patients some options now will ensure you will grow the relationship and retain their trust. They need you as much as you need them.