Date: Thursday, October 25, 2007 11:15 PM
From: "ESCO automatic digest system" <LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UIC.EDU>
Subject: ESCO Digest - 24 Oct 2007 to 25 Oct 2007 (#2007-79)

There is 1 message totalling 57 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Trusting patients to pay

Date: Thursday, October 25, 2007 9:00 AM
From: charles ruff <orthodmd@MAC.COM>
Subject: Trusting patients to pay

in the last two editions of ESCO there have been several comments 
about trusting patients to pay or accepting insurance.

Here is the way I do it:

1. we accept all regular insurances.  this is the way most gps work 
and it removes one barrier from the patient committing to start tx.  
we do no State and no PPO type stuff.  so technically we are in Delta 
but not the PPO Delta

2. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART:  we do a lot of in office financing.  
we are willing to start treatment with no down payment for those with 
a proven record of responsibility in the credit management part of 
their lives.  for those who are not responsible, we have stricter 
terms and some of those will gravitate towards CapitalOne or some 
such for those reasons.  what one has to understand is that some 
people don't make a lot of money but are totally in charge of their 
lives and their family's finances.  Asking for $1500 and the rest 
over 20 months is unrealistic for these patients yet these patients 
are frequently the ideal patients around which to build a practice.  
They value what you do and they are willing to budget the ortho 
payments into their family finances and defer a new car or other 
purchases.  How can you tell who is responsible?  We've been doing 
credit checks since 1989.  I went to a practice management seminar 
with Hummingbird and I was literally the only one there not doing 
credit checks.  Credit checks allows me both to weed out the credit 
thieves but more importantly to feel comfortable being generous with 
terms for those with excellent credit.

Those with superior credit get very, very flexible terms and those 
with less than superior credit get more like $1500 down and the rest 
of 20 months or something like that.  My accounts receivable are 
somewhere in the area of two day's production.  That's 30 60 90 120 
totals a little less than 2 days production.  I'd rather have it at 
one day but two works for us.

Credit checks cost about $3 or a little less a patient and can be 
done (I know this will shock some of you :-) ) on the internet so you 
get an instant response.  My staff has checked patient's credit 
before I shake hands with mom and dad.  This is one of the best 
things I ever done with my practice.

If you want to know more check with Zuelke and Associates (http:// or Jackie Shoemaker ( ).  Paul 
doesn't think I'm anal enough but I still recommend him.  :-)

charlie ruff