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Mary Toomey 13 November 2013 Practice Management Masterclass Private fees and managing debtors. PracticeManager.ie. Free information website Practice Management Advice Practice Reviews Staff Training Personal Leadership Coaching Management Training for GPs. A Cautionary Tale.
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“ABC Clinic aims to provide a fair and efficient service for all our patients. To facilitate this, the Clinic has adopted a policy that accounts should be settled at the time of check in for your consultation. We thank our patients for co-operating with this policy.
In the event that you are attending for a special service (e.gante-natal check up) please advise our reception so that your doctor is informed and he or she can make any necessary adjustments to your account.
Please note that patients with outstanding balances are required to pay their balance in full, prior to making any further appointments. For your convenience, we accept payment by cash, cheque, debit and credit cards. If you have any queries regarding payments please contact our Practice Manager, Joe Bloggs, at (01) 234 5678.”
Sure you wouldn’t dream of charging me after all these years… with me knowing everybody in town, and playing golf with your mother every Tuesday!
Life is so hard…
Surely you cannot expect me to worry about doctors’ bills when I have so many other problems…
It’s a disgrace getting charged to see the doctor at my age!
Your fees are too high - I won’t pay!
Don’t ignore it – it won’t go away by itself
Don’t give debts a long head-start on you
Address it quickly, directly, honestly, but humanely
Meeting in person to discuss it is usually helpful
Mike: Good afternoon, may I speak to Mary Smith please?
Mary: This is Mary speaking.
Mike: Hi Mary, this is Mike from ABC Medical. I’m calling about an overdue account from your consultation on September 15th which I wrote to you about last week. I was hoping to take payment by laser or credit card today.
Mary: Well Mike, I’m having some cash flow problems right now.
Mike: I see. Could you make part payment today then perhaps and agree a date for full payment? I’m sure that with your co-operation we could settle it in a reasonable timeframe?
Mary: I could perhaps pay €30 today and the rest in a few weeks when I get paid.
Mike: That’s €30 going on your visa credit card, hold for a moment and I will confirm it goes through… thank you for your payment of €30 today. Since the account is outstanding over a month, could you please give me a specific date to expect the balance?
Mary: OK. I’ll settle it by the start of December.
Mike: Great. I’ll expect your cheque by 1st December – I’ve put that in my diary to follow up. If you have your card number ready, I’ll put through that €30 now.