You have attempted to call the patient and collect on the past due balance. The patient has not responded to your phone calls. Approximately 2 weeks has past since the balance was due.
This letter series will not correspond to your billing/statement cycle. The idea is to catch the past due balance as soon as it is past due by reviewing your accounts receivable aging report. Don’t keep sending statements, it may inadvertently send the message that the practice due dates are not actual deadlines.
Patient to contact the office to set up an arrangement or to be turned over to collections prior to the balance aging to 90 days old.
We recommend sending a series of 3 letters, each spaced more or less than 2 business weeks apart. The idea is to determine how the patient wants to handle their financial obligation or get them to a collection agency. Here are some sample letters to adapt to your needs:
Letter 1: We have been waiting for payment on your account, perhaps it was an oversight on your part. I know how things can get busy for us all. Your current balance is $___________ insurance has paid their portion. Please contact us at the office (123-456-7890) within the next 10 days to arrange how you will handle payment of your balance.
Letter 2: In our letter dated ____________, we kindly requested that you call the office to arrange for payment of your balance due.
Please understand I do not like collection agencies. They cost us money, hurt your credit standing and give the patients the idea it’s us against them. We would like to do everything we can to avoid turning your account over to a collection agency. I want to help you meet your financial obligations to our practice in a way that is considerate of your financial situation.
You are a valued member of our practice. Please contact me in the next 10 days regarding your balance. We have several new options available to patients who need to make smaller monthly payments over a longer period of time.
I encourage you to contact me by (date) to work out a financial arrangement. Thank-you.
Letter 3: Sent registered mail, return receipt requested. Scan the receipt into the patient chart.
We have attempted to call you and have sent previous letters to this address. Your account is seriously past due. The total payment due on the account is $_______________. We have been waiting for payment since ____________.
If we do not receive your payment of $______________ by (10 days from date letter is sent) your account will be sent to the collection agency “XYZ”. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.
Dismissal Letter: Sent after patient has been turned over to a collection agency. Send the letter registered mail, return receipt requested. Scan the receipt into the chart.
This letter is to inform you of the need to sever our professional relationship due to the financial problems with your account. As of 45 days from the receipt of this letter we will no longer care for you as a patient in this office. I have included a listing from the yellow pages of area dentists for your use. We will continue to see you on an emergency basis until the end of the 45-day period.
Should you wish to return to this practice as a patient and renew your relationship with us, it will be necessary for you to pay all past due balances and any costs associated with your account being sent to the collection agency. Any future treatment would be on a cash only basis. Please contact Mary, our financial administrator, if you are interested in this option.