As hectic as the last several months of the year are, they give you a unique opportunity to educate your patients about their insurance policies – and to get them back into the office for the care they need.

If you are in network with one or several insurance carriers, you know the kind of energy it takes to keep up with insurance plans and changes in coverage levels. It should come as no surprise, then, how little your patients themselves know about any of this. Who has the time?

One basic fact that you SHOULD educate them on, however, is that their insurance benefits expire at the end of the year, and that there’s nothing they’ll be able to do to use them once this happens. You can use this event to nudge them to schedule any pending treatment – or to get in for a preventative appointment in case something is “wrong” and they just don’t know it. All it takes is sending them a quick “Use it or lose it” campaign to give them a heads up.

Here’s a sample of what this message can look like:

In addition to being a nice, patient-friendly touch, a campaign like this always pays for itself with incremental production.

Here are some best practices for you to keep mind:

    • If you have email addresses on file for a good chunk of your patient base, then send them the message using email. In addition to being more cost effective, it gets to your patients quicker and lets them request an appointment on the spot.
    • Keep your emails shorter than your printed letters. Email users have a much shorter attention span than people reading your mailed correspondence.
    • Avoid sending this communication out to patients who don’t have any (or a small) balance remaining based on your records. This will cause some frustration at the front desk, and can result in suboptimal treatment acceptance.
    • Don’t limit yourself to just one communication. Most of the time, patients need several reminders to act on something (your hygienists know this very well) – so send them several communications about this over the course of the final months of the year. It may be too late to do several attempts beginning in November, but keep this principle in mind for future years.

Don’t want to bother with this manual campaign every year? RevenueWell can send these reminders completely automatically every year using email and printed letters. Ask your rep if you need help setting this up.

By Adam Sowka