Salt Dental Practice Management
We advise our clients to notify their insured patients about their remaining benefits for the year, and to use effective communication skills to personally explain to them how to fully utilize their remaining benefits. It's called "Use it or lose it". Those who do not have upcoming appointments, but do have treatment needs and insurance benefits left, should receive a letter and a follow up phone call. Those who are in the office need to have this explained to them. Why? Because we take great care of our patients and that includes helping them save money. Many patients do not understand that if benefits are left unused they are lost. Sadly, they paid for those benefits and they do not roll over to the next year. Some dental professionals fear the patient may interpret this attempt to help them as being self-serving. We think of it as a true win-win and hope you will as well. The patient doesn't lose out on benefits they've paid for and they complete their treatment before the situation worsens and yes, you the dentist win by performing the services.
Here are a few ideas, from consultant David Milligan, for communicating this directly to your patient.
“I noticed that you have insurance benefits left for this year. Since you have already paid for these we can help you maximize your coverage by scheduling an appointment before the end of the year.”
“I see you have benefits remaining this year that you have already paid for. To help you not lose that money, we should get this done for you before the end of the year.”
“Insurance companies have a “use it or lose it” mentality. You’ve already paid for the benefits, so let’s get your work done before the end of the year so you don’t lose it.”
“Let’s get you scheduled right away. You have insurance benefits left this year that you have already paid for. I wouldn't want you to lose them.”
We find when we focus on taking great care of our patients it becomes quite easy to approach them and discuss this. It helps to have tools such as the dialog David has listed above, as well as other practice building tips, that David has been teaching for over 14 years. Practice saying it and then when you are comfortable with the message, add your own spin or personality to it. We recommend you start this process right away to avoid patients waiting until the last minute and then finding your schedule is full.
We would love to hear how you utilize this information and what your results are.