#AskT-Bone – Ep20 – The Importance of Having a Financial Menu

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Hello and welcome back for another episode of ask T-Bone!

 

So today we have a question submitted in and.. hey listened, before I get to the question, I want to thank each of you for listening to the podcast. We’ve seen tremendous growth, being the competitive person I am, our growth isn’t fast enough. So as you know, this podcast is done for free to you and I always strive to provide great information. I’m trying not to create sales pitches because those things drive me crazy, so I know they drive you crazy. Quite frankly this podcast cost money and, I’m not asking for money, you know I’ve been fortunate to be blessed not needing the money here because my practice and all that stuff does well enough, and I’m doing this as a service. But, you know, part of the reason of doing the podcast is to create awareness for our training programs, our Hands-On training programs that we run at the 3D dentist training center in Raleigh North Carolina which is part of my practice. So I would encourage you to take a look at what we have to offer and if it’s something that makes sense for you great if it doesn’t make sense for you if it’s not the right fit for you right now, continue to listen to the podcast or reading my blogs, or you know, come out and see me at a speaking event I’d love to meet you. And then if you can do me a favor and just encourage your friends to listen to the podcast, so that we can become the biggest podcast and Dentistry or one of the biggest podcast in Dentistry that would be great, I would greatly appreciate that.

 

So now back to the question:

Hi T-bone! Love the podcast! I’ve also take on of your classes in the past. I found you “In office payment plan” just awesome. Is there a specific form that you use to present this options to patients? If so, do you have an example? Thank you so much for your time and keep on teaching.

 

Approximately 2 minutes later I received another email from this gentleman and his said,

Personally T-Bone, I want to say you have a gift for education so keep it up. I sent a message earlier regarding the template of menu for financial options that you present to patients. I found that on your website, I was curious if you also have a patient fill out a credit card authorization form, which a lays out the monthly recurring charges. Thanks for your time.

 

So number one, thank you for the compliments, it really means a lot to me. It’s one of the reasons that we do all of this, is to help other people, and so thank you so much. And, you know, I wouldn’t say I have an education I’m just different I just try to be honest with people and and wear my heart on my sleeve, and tell you what’s good and bad in my life,and learn together. And as we try things I just like to share some of those experiences, you know, and remember nothing I do is new, it’s just regurgitated, repackaged information from other people, and just happens to be sometimes I repackage things in a way that makes sense for others. So, let’s talk about having a financial menu when you doing in office payment plans, or quite honestly with any payment plans. You know, money is one of the three most important aspects of case acceptance, those are ultimately your patient objections, and money is probably honestly the biggest one, and I think one of the issues this is not that people don’t want to pay or don’t have the ability to pay, I think lots of times there’s a whole confusion about how much to pay. And anytime there’s confusion about what something is going to cost it leads to buyer’s remorse or it leads to not getting the work done. So one of the ways that we in our practice avoid any confusion is we are very transparent with our patients. We offer a “Financial menu”, another words it’s a sheet of paper that gives a patient all the options that are available to them and how they can pay. It’s very standard form. That way every patient is given the same opportunities and we set it up, in our case we set it up in excel. So that way, you know, we simply type in the treatment plan a the top, we don’t provide our patients with the detail EagleSoft or practice management software treatment plan, you know, certainly that…, I’m not a big fan of that. We will type it up there and if they ask for it, certainly will give him the EagleSoft treatment plan but we type of the treatment plan what it includes any type of the fee, their estimated insurance and then the form automatically calculate all the different options that exists. And the beauty of that is it makes it easy for our team and then we have the patience sign it and what this does is now there is a permanent record of the financial agreement if we were ever to go to collections, we have a contract type thing so that way, you know we have ourselves covered, and the patient knows up front exactly what the costs are, what it covers, and what ways they can pay for it. And again, I think people sometimes are hesitant to tell you that they like payment plans or that they need payment plans, from what I call the Macho effect. And so, having that menu is great and and we have it available and every room every computer, we are going to be moving to iPads with that, so that our team can actually use it from an iPad, print it out, hopefully the patient can sign in on the iPad, we can email it back to the patient, kind of like you do at the Apple store or something like that. So that way we can get it even better. And the other nice thing about having a sheet like that is the team all this simply have to do is, put the dollar amount in and the Sheet will automatically calculate what options exist to the patient. So if you want to offer payment plans and you have rules about how much or how maximum or minimum, those options will only show up if the patient needs those minimums. So it makes it easy, there’s no calculations that need to be done by the team, there is no accidental mistakes on the payment plan, So it works out quite well that way.

 

So I encourage everybody to have a financial options worksheet, here is what I will do for everybody, I will put a link to a PDF file, sample PDF file that you can download so that you can see what our Financial options worksheet looks like.

Download the Financial Menu

In the future we will actually make available for sale our financial option worksheet in Excel format, and honestly I’m working towards building an app that provides this for you you. You know, I wish these Dental software companies would get off their butt, and build these things into their software and/or make these things more available through pads and have direct integration to the software, but unfortunately not enough of us are being vocal about our dislike for a Dental software, we have gotten away with being what’s good enough and that keeps these companies very complacent, and I think it’s time for us to really start rising up and letting these companies know what we need and what we want, and really all it takes is one company to make a jump and a move or maybe it’s going to a new player and then they’ll all have to catch up quite quickly.

 

Now, the latter part of that question was about, Do you also have the patient fill out a credit card authorization form which lays out the monthly recurring charges? And the answer is yes, so we use a company called eProcessing, I mean it’s just a credit card processor to do our recurring payments as part of our in office payment plan option and part of that procedure and that’s not you need to ask, this is you need to have this you need to have an authorization, so when we set up the recurring charge their web software automatically print out a recurring authorization charge form that the patient signs and then we scanned that into the chart so that we have that. So yes that is part of the process and it is not a form that we use, it’s automatically generated by the credit card processing service, so we swipe the card in there and quick type out the information and then it generates this form for the patient to sign and patience signs it and that’s part of our overall patient record, so we have authorization there.

 

So again I want to thank you guys for submitting questions, this is one of my favorite parts of the see of the podcast so if you have additional questions please don’t hesitate to submit them.
Thank you very much!

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