Even though there are still two and a half months left in 2013, it is a good time to begin to prepare financially for the end of the year.
End of the Year Financial Tips for Patient Co-Pays
- Dental insurance maximums should always be considered when figuring patient co-pay amounts, but this is especially true at this time of the year. Patients may have used dental insurance benefits outside of your office so the best practice is to check directly with their insurance company to find out how much of their maximum benefit remains. Colleagues are often surprised when I tell them all of the variables we figure in when calculating co-pays. Maximum remaining benefit is one of those variables and it is certainly an important one as patients who do not pay their full co-pay up front at this time of year will be particularly difficult to collect from as expenses are high around the holidays. My entire Insurance Benefit Checklist for Pre-Op Verification and Estimation of Benefits is available on the Dentistry’s Business Secrets’ Practice Management Tools CD.
- Many dental insurance plan benefits expire on December 31st. Remind patients who are overdue for a dental recall appointment to use their insurance benefits before they lose them this year. It is best to run overdue recall reports and begin patient reminders in October before the holiday end of the year chaotic schedules begin.
- Depending on their particular employer plan, patients who participate in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) may need to use their benefits before the year ends as well. Make an effort through social media, verbal reminders and an e-newsletter to remind patients that they may need to use their remaining FSA benefits prior to December 31st.
- For bigger treatment plans, help patients get the most out of their insurance benefits by maximizing their 2013 benefits this year and scheduling for the beginning of 2014 to use those benefits as well.
End of the Year Money Management Articles for Dentists
Below you will find two articles regarding end of the year retirement and money management tips for dentists. Both of the articles were written in previous years so some of the specific dollar amounts mentioned may not be accurate for 2013, but the overall ideas are helpful. There is also an article on 2013 charitable giving tax guidelines.
I recently discovered Larson Financial, a financial planning firm for medical professionals. Currently, I am reading their book Doctor’s Eyes Only and I would recommend it to any medical professional seeking to learn more about how to handle the financial decisions that are unique to doctors. Below are two articles of interest in preparing for the end of the year.