The Best Time to Collect Fees - Does it Matter?

Dr. April Jasper from West Palm Beach, FL is one of the most sought after lecturers and consultants in all of optometry.  She is on a number of panels and works as an industry expert in most areas of our profession.  A great deal of April's success is due to her strong support system.  Her practice is truly a family affair with her husband, parents and children all playing critical roles in the practice management. At our Executive Retreat earlier this year, we were lucky enough to hear April's lecture on bringing excellence into the exam room.  (Here is a highlight video.)  As always, she delivered a number of proven methods on how to thrive during tough times while giving us the motivation to get out there and do it.  If you ever have a chance to hear April Jasper present, don't miss it.

April got me to thinking

Here's how April got my attention: She asked, "How would you like to have zero in AR?"  She's wasn't asking about Anti-Reflective treatments, she was talking about Accounts Receivable.  The thought was so foreign to me, I simply could not understand how it could be so.

Just like you, I wanted to know more.

She explained to me her system of collecting all exam fees before the exam.  Co-pays, Deductibles, Co-Insurance,  Optional Optos fees......All of it! - Before the exam even starts!  Crazy - right?  That's what I was thinking too.   But this is April Jasper and she knows what she is doing, so you might want to listen to how she has done it and how it is working.

CLICK HERE to read how Dr. Jasper does it.

But nobody's always right

So April makes a good point and a strong argument.  Ultimately, I decided not to incorporate this into my practice.  The reason is NOT because I was unwilling to deal with the hassle of making changes.  I live for these types of changes.  I decided "to not to" because I have another priority in my practice that is counter-intuitive to collecting fees up front.

In our practice, the main focus in to get patients  finished with their exam and back into the optical 30 minutes after they walk in the door.  We have found that people are happier when they are not rushed when shopping for eyewear or making decisions about contact lenses.  And "Happier People Spend More Money."

Every system in our office is designed with this in mind.  Chief Complaints and some history can be taken when the confirmation call is made or when the appointment is scheduled.  Many of us ask our patients to fill out "paperwork" online, so we actually make sure it is entered prior to the patient arriving and we don't ask what was asked  in the paperwork.  Our techs are receptionists and we try to not let anyone sit down in our waiting room.  We try to greet you by name and walk you to the Pre-Test room.

We don't always succeed but we are continuing to try and we continually focus on it.  But it is such a big part of who we want to be, every decision about EHR, staffing, scheduling strategies, patient communication and everything else goes back to....will it help us get our exams to the optical in 30 minutes?

See you soon,


p.s. We would like to know how you do it - Click Here to respond anonymously how you collect exam fees.  I will share the results later in the week.