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Effective credit & collection techniques (Proceedings)

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Aug 01, 2011

Credit

I. The Big Question – Should I Extend Credit?

     A. Do you have a choice?
     B. Large animal versus small animal practice

II. How To Prevent Accounts Receivable

     A. Effective record keeping
          1. Client information card – "let's get acquainted form"
               a. Name, address and telephone number
               b. Occupation
               c. Business address and telephone number
               d. Social security number
               e. Driver's license number
               f. Credit card name and number or other credit reference
               g. Information about spouse or nearest relative
          2. Allows information to be obtained once, but should be continually updated
          3. Don't get burned twice!!
     B. Effective financial communication – Clear financial policy
          1. Internal credit and collection policy
          2. Handout
          3. Post sign at front desk
          4. State in hospital brochure
          5. Conditions of admission
          6. Verbal reinforcement
     C. Written estimates
          1. Trauma/emergency cases
               a. Twenty-four hour estimates
               b. Complete estimate
          2. Elective procedures
          3. Non-elective medical and surgical procedures
     D. Deposits
          1. Established clients versus new clients
          2. As percentage of medical care plan
          3. Opens door to effective communication
     E. Proves financial integrity of client
     F. Check guarantee services – cost versus loss
     G. Credit bureau – ability to obtain credit files
     H. Allowing use of major credit cards
     I. Payment contracts

III. Use of Hospital Manager as Financial Mediator

     A. Relieves practitioner of this burden – less stressful for doctor and client
     B. A more professional approach
          1. Prevents "giveaways"
          2. Better latitude for discussion of financial matters

IV. The Only Debt Incurred Should Be Those You Authorize

     A. Calculated risk?
     B. Debt or charity?