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Generating New Patients by Using Surveys

How do you market for new patients in a cost efficient and effective manner? Starting with internal marketing is always the best approach­, as it produces the most cost effective return, which is of utmost importance in managing a practice. Surveys are one method of internal marketing. But how do you go about generating new patients by using surveys?

Here’s the first tip that you can use to more effectively market: do a simple survey with all new patients who come in, in order to find out what brought them to your practice. This can be done as part of their new-patient intake forms, or the receptionist or any other designated staff member can ask the questions verbally.

We have a variety of prepared surveys for our clients to use. Here are examples of some questions you can use to create your own survey:

  • If you were referred, who referred you and what did that person say to interest you in our office?
  • If you responded to an ad, which one did you see? What about it attracted you?
  • If you responded to our website, how did you locate it and what about it interested you?

A second tip is to use surveys on your existing patient base. Start by going through your existing patient records and find about 50 of your “A-list” patients/clients. Do a demographic search of where your best patients/clients are from. Then write a survey for those patients/clients to find out:

  • what attracted them to your practice,
  • what keeps them coming back to your practice,
  • what they like the most about your practice and
  • which services, if any, they would like to receive from you that you don’t currently offer.

You can then use this information to target the greatest demographic area of your A-list patients/clients and use their survey answers as “hot buttons” in a marketing campaign targeted to generate more patients/clients who are similar to those A-list patients/clients.

This is called targeted marketing. It’s all about generating quality patients and clients, not just getting people to walk through the door. Quality patients keep their appointments, follow your treatment programs, pay their bills, spend more than their insurance allotment, etc. These are the kinds of patients/clients you want to generate for your practice.

If you can determine in which area your best patients/clients reside and what brought them to you in the first place, you can then design a marketing campaign to generate more of those types of patients and clients.

Don’t just guess at what you think will bring new patients/clients in the door. Find out what got your best patients/clients there and use that information to your advantage. “Know before you go” is the motto of all good marketing. You find out the “know” by surveying.

If you are an owner and would like free help on collecting past due accounts or any other management topic, fill out the form to your right, and we will be more than happy to assist you. Scroll to top

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If you are an owner and would like free help on collecting past due accounts or any other management topic, fill out the form below, and we will be more than happy to assist you.










12 Steps to Collect Past Due Accounts

Collecting on past due accounts is a function that the Accounts Manager will find herself/himself having to do. Any contact with a patient/client, even under these circumstances, should be kept on a friendly, professional and dignified basis. This will promote respect for the office and its business practices.

Always remember the following points with regard to your patients/clients:

  • Most people have good intentions and want to cooperate with agreements that they have made.
  • Although a person’s account may be overdue, most people still have a good intention to take care of it.
  • Most people prioritize their bills and will first pay those that they feel are most pressing.
  • Most people with past due accounts will pay those bills where someone is actively requesting them to pay.

Bearing in mind the above, your role is to arrange to be one of the creditors that your patients/clients will not delay paying. The following points may be helpful in this regard:

  1. Bill promptly every month.
  2. Ensure that your bills are accurate.
  3. Ensure that you have the original signed financial agreement from your patient/client.
  4. Contact the patient/client as soon as you realize the account has become delinquent.
  5. When you speak with the patient/client, let them know that you believe that they are able to make payment.
  6. Let the patient/client know that you expect to be paid, and refresh their memory on the signed agreement.
  7. Allow the patient/client their self-respect; never back them into a corner, insult or badger the patient/client.
  8. Explain to the patient/client that you want to help him/her work it out so that they can maintain the agreement that they made with your office.
  9. Be prepared to offer some options to the patient/client that they may not have considered.
  10. Be willing to really communicate with the patient/client so that a true understanding and agreement can be reached.
  11. If absolutely necessary, utilize the credit reporting associations. Let the patient/client know that you are planning to do so and that this will go on their credit rating.
  12. As a last resort, utilize the services of a collection agency, and let the patient/client know that you plan to do so.

If you are an owner and would like free help on collecting past due accounts or any other management topic, fill out the form to your right, and we will be more than happy to assist you. Scroll to top

hot-tips-tps-checkbox-1

If you are an owner and would like free help on collecting past due accounts or any other management topic, fill out the form below, and we will be more than happy to assist you.










Extending Credit

Tips to Control Your Accounts Receivable

Following are some guidelines to assist you in determining to whom you wish to extend credit and how to go about collecting on those accounts.

* Assess the patient/client’s credit worthiness before extending any sort of credit. Have them fill out a “credit application” (see sample in the Form section,) and verify the information supplied.

* Always charge for any credit extended, using a monthly percentage or a flat service fee.

* When extending credit of any kind, have the patient/client sign an agreement covering the terms of the credit. Ensure that they fully understand and agree to the terms of payment.

* Monitor all accounts monthly so that you know who may be delinquent. Take immediate action on any account over 30 days past due. The older an account gets, the more difficult it will be to collect. Call the patient/client right away and make arrangements to bring the account current.

* Flag past due accounts by putting a red self-adhesive dot on the upper right corner of the patient/client’s chart folder. In this way it is easier for any staff person to see that the patient/client has a past due account and it will be more likely to get addressed.

* Each day review the schedule for the next day so that you will be prepared to see any patients/clients whose accounts need addressing. Confer with the receptionist on anyone who will need to be seen after their appointment, or from whom the receptionist would collect over-the counter.

* If a patient/client you had planned to collect from has forgotten his/her checkbook or does not have the agreed upon amount, the receptionist should contact the accounts manager or the office manager so that the matter can be addressed.

* Patients/clients with delinquent accounts, who are not making an attempt to handle it, should be sent to a collection agency. Again, this should be done as soon as possible before the account gets too old to realistically expect payment.

* Ensure that statements are accurate and are being mailed out every month on time and without fail. Utilize appropriate labels on the statements such as: Thank you for your payment.”

From the Editor: Raising Your Net Profit Through Viable Collections

Do you ever feel that your production seems good, but wonder “where is the net income?” Do you ever ask yourself, “Why am I not taking home more money?” If these thoughts go through your mind, I can assure you that you are definitely not the first doctor to fall into that particular rut as we constantly find this problem from our ongoing surveys of doctors all over North America.

In many practices, proper collections hold the key to a viable net. In this issue of The Practice Solution Magazine we provide information to help you solve collection problems and help raise your net profit. We also provide a step-by-step procedure for your staff to use when calling your patients or clients to collect your fees.

Net can also be affected by conflicts in the office, as well as legal issues and costs.

This issue holds information on conflict resolution by Daniel Bobrow, president of American Dental Company and founder of Climb For A Cause. Climb For A Cause is a non-profit foundation, whose mission is to provide health care treatment and education to people in need worldwide. It seeks to encourage adventure travel, while emphasizing social action, responsibility and accountability. The climb this year is of Oregon’s Mt. Hood in mid-July. If you’re interested in participating, contact Mr. Bobrow using the contact information in the article he wrote for Practice Solution or go to http://www.climbforacause.org. Funds raised from this effort will be used to support dental education and treatment projects in both Guatemala and Cambodia.

We also have another piece by guest writer Dr. Barry Levy regarding legal issues in dentistry, specifically how some dentists are being sued for fraud on certain billing issues.

Net profit for veterinarians is also being hampered by competition from online pharmacies. Staff writer Ken DeRouchie has written an interesting piece on problems veterinarians are having with online pet drug pharmacies and gives some useful recommendations on how to handle the competition. This article was written based upon information Ken gleaned from hundreds of veterinarians he has surveyed for The Practice Solution Magazine.

Within our general news articles, you may find information that can help your practice ranging from news on national legislative issues to technological medical breakthroughs.

It’s quite an eclectic edition of The Practice Solution Magazine this quarter.

Sincerely,

Cory D. Radosevich

Managing Editor