Most small business owners experience the frustration of late-paying customers, or occasionally no-paying customers. Dentists are no different. We are often astounded by the low collection rates of our dentist clients. We hear stories of the child-patient’s father driving off in a new Cadillac Escalade, but he’s “unable” to pay for the braces on the child’s teeth. We’ve seen instances of long-time patients developing a comfort level with “financing” large dental bills over several months, because the dentist is too bashful (or prideful) to request prompt payment. Again, dentists are trained to perform very difficult and specific tasks – they aren’t always the best office managers, or as aggressive as they need to be in collecting payment. However, every dentist client we have (even the philanthropists who so very graciously volunteer and provide charitable services) want (and deserve) to get paid! That’s where we come in.
We’ve been very successful in offering our dentists low-cost and efficient debt collection representation. Frankly, we’re surprised at how effective our firm has been in collecting unpaid dental bills. Even more, because we are a degree removed from the dentist and the patient (meaning the dentistry personnel need not be the “bad guy”), we often learn that the patient remains in the care of our client (and generally pays future bills on time). Our process is very simple and efficient. We offer creative solutions for payment of past-due bills, including utilization of credit cards and payment plans. These programs are tremendously less expensive than utilizing traditional debt collection services.
Dentists who utilize debt collection services are doing it wrong! This I can promise. These services ordinarily charge a large percentage of the collected fees; they do not collect at high percentages; and because they are usually a national company from somewhere other than where the dentist’s practice is situated, they garner little respect. We’ve found that there’s just something more effective about receiving a letter directly from a local (North Carolina) attorney demanding payment in polite terms, while offering creative solutions for repayment. It works.
We encourage all of our dentist clients to utilize Lake Norman Law Firm’s debt collection program when they know the situation calls for a third party to intervene and help collect payment.