An urgent or unexpected procedure can pose a serious financial hardship for a pet owner. But even routine visits and treatment can sometimes result in difficulty paying.
You depend on positive cash flow to keep your practice running, and to ensure you can provide your clients’ beloved pets with the highest quality of care. So how do you navigate this ongoing challenge?
Effective accounts receivable management is the answer. But what does that really mean? And if your time, staff and resources are limited, how can you maximize those efforts?
TekCollect has been helping veterinary practices resolve these issues for over two decades. They specialize in streamlining internal A/R processes, and providing pre-collection and collection services that yield maximum recovery results. According to TekCollect, the first step is identifying the right partner.
A fully compliant, full-service A/R management partner can do more than recover outstanding debts for your practice—they can help you prevent an overwhelming percentage of them. Here are some of the best practices TekCollect recommends you look for, as you decide which third party resource is right for you.
It’s time-consuming to toggle between programs to view accounts, submit them for collections, pull and compare reports, and so on. So what happens? A/R takes a back seat to more pressing tasks, and your accounts lose collectability as time passes.
Choose a partner who can integrate with your existing practice management software. This way, you can access individual and practice summaries at a glance, place accounts with the third party, and view activity in real-time. Simply automating the steps in the revenue cycle can turn a job that regularly takes hours into one that takes minutes.
Engage with a partner that practices early intervention with a soft, client-first approach. For example, sending an audit letter to confirm the account balance can remind the pet owner of their obligation before it becomes delinquent. Often, that’s all it takes to stimulate payment.
This simple step can also help you identify no-pays from slow-pays, so you can determine what to do next. And the earlier an account is pursued, the greater the chance of full recovery.
Full-Service, Customer Service
An A/R partner should conduct scheduled, structured written and verbal contacts. Each letter and call script should be customized for your practice, and meet your approval. You want to feel comfortable that the third party is extending your practice’s courtesy and customer service. A delinquent client can return to good standing, so every relationship matters.
Additionally, your A/R partner should conduct phone campaigns outside of regular business hours, such as mornings, evenings and Saturdays. These are the times when individuals are home and accessible, and campaigns yield better response rates. Your team has likely tried to place calls during the day, and you know the results are negligible.
Fixed Fee & Measurable Results
Finally, you’ll want to consider engaging with a third party that offers a low, fixed fee for services. Many agencies can charge upwards of 35%, which discourages early placement and negates your profit margin.
With early placement and intervention, and structured contacts and follow-through, a great partner can generate optimal recoveries—that you can re-invest in your business. And if they guarantee results, even better.
Identifying an A/R management partner who employs these best practices can make a meaningful, measurable difference to your practice’s bottom line. You can save time and streamline your staff’s workflow to maximize productivity. You can enjoy fewer delinquencies and greater recovery results to improve profitability. And you can focus on developing your practice, your team and their talents, and valuable relationships with your clients—including the furry ones.
For more A/R strategy insights, and information about TekCollect’s benefits, contact Tim Olesky, Division Vice President, at 1-518-761-0028.