#11 – Collections and Financial On Holds – follow up step

You will support billing/insurance by handling the following tasks:

  • Sending patients to the collection agency – this involves entering their information online & sending them a letter to inform them
  • Sending patients a letter to inform them that their account has been placed on hold

(The Collections System is described in Secretary level 5 task #1.)

For sending people to the collection agency or putting their account on hold, here is the system:

  1. ____________ in the office determines which accounts will go to collections and which will be placed on hold. You will receive a list of patients to process.
  2. For Financial On Holds:
  3. Go into the Ledger Screen and pull up the guarantor, click on the quick letter icon and select On Hold (sometimes called the Write Off letter)  letter and click “Build/View” – the letter will be addressed to the guarantor but the name of the patient or patients should be noted in the first line of the letter (unless “you and your family” works better) – if there are any $$,??,^^ etc. then select build view so you can delete them, then print. Or, for patients that are being sent to the collections agency, choose the Collection Agency quick letter.
  4. Next, make notes in Dentrix in the G-notes (Guarantor notes) for the family to alert everyone that this account must be paid before further treatment can be performed.  Go to the Guarantor’s family file, Patient Note section, insert dateline and write “Financial on hold $45.00” and your initials.
  5. Change the billing type to financial on hold or collections
  6. Add an alert to each family member, it should say “Financial on hold $45” or “To collections agency $150”
  7. Go into the Ledger and pull up the guarantor – click the “enter procedure” button. Charge out a #99998 (outstanding balance) or  Charge out a #99999 (account to collection agency).
  8. If you’re using paper charts: Note in the chart in red ink on the yellow treatment sheet “Financial on hold $45.00” and your initials – this will flag the next person that this amount must be paid before further treatment can be performed.
  9. You may want to email the dentist that performed treatment with a list of patients that either went to collections or were placed on financial hold, just so they are aware. For patients sent to a collections agency, pull the paper charts out of the normal filing system so they can be stored.
  10. For patients sent to a collections agency – you may want to delete any treatment plans and cc dates for all family members. You may also want to change each family member to Inactive status.

The collections agency we work with is __________________

How to send a patient to the collections agency:

  • Go online to ______________
  • Enter your User name and ID
  • Type in the information into each field – the more information you can provide the agency, the better chance they have of getting into contact with your patient and collecting
  • The biggest key to success for a collection agency is timing – your goal is to submit patients to the collections agency within 90 days of their last visit

To choose a collection agency

Here are the questions you need to answer:

  1. Can we submit patients online? Evaluate the ease of using their website – or can we email them a list?
  2. Do you report to the 3 credit bureaus?
  3. What is the fee?
  4. Do you require a contract? If so, what is the length?
  5. Is there an annual fee to work with your company?
  6. How do they handle it if the patient pays us after we have submitted them to the agency? What if the patient pays before they are contacted by the agency?
  7. We want an end of month report showing the total collections for the month, year to date and start of the agency to date. What reports do we receive? Get copies. Can these be emailed to us?
  8. What is the process for them to let us know which patients have paid so we can update our computer? Let’s see the report.
  9. How often do they send us payments from their collections? Direct deposit or by check?
  10. Do they do skip tracing for patients who have moved?
  11. Is there a minimum $ amount we can submit? Is there a maximum length we can send?
  12. What letters/calls are made trying to collect?
  13. Let the agency know that we do not ever want to litigate cases – see if they can set us up to default ‘no’ for all our patients.


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Office Manager                                                                                                   Date