In my September Practically Speaking column in Dental Practice Report I discuss a caller’s initial reluctance to implement credit card preauthorization as one strategy for eliminating patient billing. I’ve received requests for an explanation of the process so here goes… When practices accept insurance assignment of benefits most will request that patients take care of their estimated copayment at the time of service. Invariably there is a remaining balance after benefits have been received that require a statement to be generated.

By updating your payment options to include leaving a credit card on file for any balance remaining after insurance, you will eliminate the need for these statements. Some software programs enable you to store credit card information securely behind passcodes. Other practices keep a separate lock box and store the box in a locked cabinet overnight. You might also choose to scan the authorization into your computer system and put the original through a shredder. This is a service to your patients as well as to the practice and can keep your team members focused on serving patients rather than processing paperwork. It’s a proactive solution that works if your team members are on board. Without the enthusiastic support of your team, your patients will pick up the negativity and won’t accept the changes. If you need help gaining consensus, give me a call and I’ll be happy to help.