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Mastering Collections: How to Achieve 100% Financial Goals for Dental Practices

Discover the key strategies to achieve 100% financial goals for dental practices and enhance collections percentage. Learn how to establish a robust financial policy and communicate patient payment expectations.

Understanding the Importance of a High Collections Percentage

Achieving a high collection percentage is crucial for the financial success of dental practices. While a range of 98 to 100% is considered ideal, aiming for 100% should be the ultimate goal. Dental practices can ensure profitability and sustainability by collecting the full amount of what is produced.


When the collection percentage falls below the desired target, taking action and implementing strategies that can effect change is essential. One practical approach is establishing a comprehensive financial policy within the administrative department. This policy should be outward-facing to patients and include a more detailed version for the administrative team. Dental practices can avoid confusion and potential conflicts with patients by clearly communicating the expectations for payment, managing payment options, and accepting payment methods.

By setting clear expectations from the beginning, dental practices can prevent situations where patients are unaware of their financial responsibilities. Engaging in a conversation about payment expectations during the initial appointment and reviewing the monetary policy with patients can help ensure everyone is on the same page. This proactive approach eliminates surprises and promotes a transparent and mutually beneficial relationship between the practice and its patients.

Establishing an Effective Financial Policy

To achieve 100% financial goals, dental practices must establish an effective financial policy. This policy guides both the practice and the patients, outlining the expectations, responsibilities, and available payment options. It is crucial to make this policy easily accessible and understandable to patients.

One way to achieve this is by providing a detailed financial policy document that patients can review during their first appointment. This allows for a personalized discussion and ensures patients fully comprehend the practice's expectations. Additionally, the financial policy should be made available in written form and easily accessible on the practice's website or patient portal.

An effective financial policy should cover various aspects, such as the timing of payment, accepted payment methods, insurance billing processes, and options for managing larger treatment plans. By addressing these elements clearly and concisely, dental practices can establish trust and transparency with their patients, ultimately improving collection percentages and financial success.

Communicating Payment Expectations with Patients

Clear and effective communication of payment expectations is vital for dental practices to achieve their financial goals. Practices can minimize misunderstandings and potential conflicts by ensuring that patients know their financial responsibilities from the beginning.

One approach to achieve this is by conversing about payment expectations during the first appointment. This allows the practice to explain when payment is expected, available payment options, and any relevant insurance processes. It is essential to provide patients with a detailed breakdown of costs and clearly explain any financial arrangements or assistance programs available.

Furthermore, dental practices should make the financial policy easily accessible to patients. This can be done by providing a printed copy or directing patients to the practice's website or patient portal, where they can review the policy at their convenience. By proactively communicating payment expectations, dental practices can foster a positive patient experience and increase the likelihood of achieving a high collections percentage.

Implementing Strategies to Improve Collections Percentage

Improving the collection percentage requires implementing effective strategies tailored to the specific needs of dental practices. By taking proactive measures, practices can enhance financial performance and increase the likelihood of achieving 100% financial goals.

One strategy is establishing a systematic approach to follow up with patients regarding outstanding payments. This can involve sending regular reminders via email, SMS, or phone to ensure patients know their outstanding balances. Additionally, practices can consider offering convenient payment options, such as online payment portals or payment plans, to facilitate timely payments.

Another valuable strategy is to invest in staff training and education regarding collections processes. By equipping the administrative team with the necessary skills and knowledge, they can effectively address patient inquiries, manage payment negotiations, and handle potential collections challenges. Regular training sessions and performance evaluations can help ensure the team remains proficient in collections practices.

Furthermore, leveraging technology solutions, such as dental practice management software, can streamline collections processes and improve efficiency. These tools can automate payment reminders, generate detailed financial reports, and facilitate seamless communication between the practice and patients.

By implementing these strategies and continuously monitoring their effectiveness, dental practices can optimize their collection percentage and achieve their financial goals.

Monitoring and Evaluating the Success of Financial Goals

Monitoring and evaluating the success of financial goals is essential for dental practices to track their progress and make necessary adjustments. By regularly assessing the percentage of the collection and comparing it to the desired 100% goal, practices can identify areas for improvement and implement corrective measures.

One effective way to monitor financial goals is by utilizing practice management software that provides comprehensive reporting and analytics. These tools can generate detailed financial reports, track payment trends, and highlight significant deviations from the target collections percentage. Regularly reviewing and discussing these reports with the administrative team can provide valuable insights and support informed decision-making.

Additionally, dental practices can consider establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) related to collection percentages and regularly measuring their performance against these benchmarks. This allows for a systematic approach to evaluating the success of financial goals and provides a clear understanding of the practice's overall economic health.

By continuously monitoring and evaluating the success of financial goals, dental practices can adapt their strategies, address any challenges, and ultimately achieve the desired 100% collections percentage.

Miranda Beeson, MS, BSDH

Miranda Beeson, MS, BSDH, has over 25 years of clinical dental hygiene, front office, practice administration, and speaking experience. She is enthusiastic about communication and loves helping others find the power that words can bring to their patient interactions and practice dynamics. As a Lead Practice Coach, she is driven to create opportunities to find value in experiences and cultivate new approaches. Miranda graduated from Old Dominion University and enjoys spending time with her husband, Chuck, and her children, Trent, Mallory, and Cassidy. Family time is the best time and is often spent on a golf course, a volleyball court, or spending the day boating at the beach.