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Dynamic Chiropractic
May 7, 1993, Volume 11, Issue 10

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Collect Fees Effectively

Category: Staff Training

Author:   George Hutchby, BBA, MS, DC
8543 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422-5366
Telephone: (805) 461-3212
Publication:  57-page softbound booklet

Editor's note:  For the review on this book, Dr. Eggleston felt the
most appropriate person to undertake the task was Donna, his
chiropractic assistant, whose judgment he highly regards in these
matters.  In 1992, Dr. Eggleston said Donna collected 94 percent of
his billed services, some of which were on liens.  Donna has 20 years
experience in dental and chiropractic offices.  Dr. Eggleston
recommends her opinion.
Collecting money for the doctor's services is critical in a successful practice. This book suggests that every office must have written policies regarding collection of money and that employees must simply "follow the policy." The suggestions made by Dr. Hutchby are a good starting point in developing your office's collection policy.

However, I have some contention with several ideas suggested in the book. For example, it says that the CA tell all new patients who call on the telephone that payment is due at the time of treatment. It then suggests that as new patients arrive for the first appointment, the CA again remind them that payment is due at the time of treatment. In my opinion, this makes the office appear as if money is the primary concern. I believe we should be letting patients know that their health is our primary concern and recommend against discussing fees until we have at least rendered some service, unless, of course, they ask.

While the book suggested ideas for collecting, the author was vague on details of how to implement those ideas. There was good information about harassment laws and how to avoid some common mistakes in collecting money.

Overall, Collect Fees Effectively is a good starter book for beginners and a refresher for experienced CAs with low collection percentages. There were many good ideas, but do not buy the book and give it to your CA to read. The doctor must read it and participate actively in the formulation of your written collection policies.

Donna's Rating: 7

Steven C. Eggleston, D.C.
Huntington Beach, California

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Dynamic Chiropractic
May 7, 1993, Volume 11, Issue 10

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