Welcome back to Coaches Corner! We are happy to share our years of experience working with dental offices all across North America.
Today’s question comes from the beautiful Midwest!
Q: What do we do when someone wants to get treatment but doesn’t have the funds and doesn’t qualify for CareCredit? We are losing a lot of production because of this.
Thanks for your advice.
Jenna Feldski, Office Manager
Overland Park, KS
A: Hello Jenna, and thanks for your great question. There are two important things you need to consider here.
- Outside financing companies like CareCredit, while pretty liberal in their qualification process, are doing the work for you. They are the professionals and the experts. If they don’t approve someone, they are telling you this:
BE CAREFUL – THERE IS AN EXCELLENT CHANCE THIS PERSON WILL SCREW YOU OVER!
So beware. Any kind of “payment plan” you make with this patient is likely to wind up as an unpaid collection headache and eventually a writeoff.
2. While we always recommend being ethical, law-abiding, etc.. remember that you are not obligated to treat every person who steps into your office. Pain, bleeding, swelling, infection – those are different stories altogether. But someone who needs routine dental treatment, (and that could include crowns to repair rotting amalgams, perio disease that is smelly and gross, missing teeth, poor function, etc…) are not under our ethical obligation.Sure – it is great to treat everyone we can. But they gotta pay! And if an outside financing company is telling you don’t treat them – don’t do it!!
Now does that mean we should stop doing “in-house payment plans” for old Mrs. Goldfinch who has been coming here since Eisenhower was president and has never missed a fifty dollar monthly payment? Of course not. But those are rare exceptions.
Does that make you feel like you are not being generous and charitable? It shouldn’t. Remember, doing charity dentistry is YOUR choice! Don’t let a patient screw you over and then tell yourself it is charity. That is not the way it works!
Charity dentistry is a beautiful thing, but it needs to be decided upon ahead of time!
Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow are actual dentists who have been helping dental offices become more successful for over 28 years. They are down to earth, real people who personally connect with their clients and are proud to call them friends. If you have a question for this column, please write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are now offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.