How Many Statements?

June 1, 2005

Is there an industry standard for the frequency of mailing patient statements? We send each patient a monthly statement, but are thinking it would improve workflow and cash flow to mail 25 percent of the statements each week rather than have one mass mailing.

Question: Is there an industry standard for the frequency of mailing patient statements? We send each patient a monthly statement, but are thinking it would improve workflow and cash flow to mail 25 percent of the statements each week rather than have one mass mailing.

Answer: Ideally, you'd send statements on a rolling weekly basis. That is, for every patient you see Monday through Friday this week, mail statements by next Monday.

Shorter batches improve collections - a patient who just saw you is much more likely to pay than if a month has passed.

It might also help to reduce the number of statements you send. Most practices send far too many. I recommend sending at most three, with increasingly serious language (see the collections letters in the Tools area of our site).

A patient who has not responded after the third statement is not going to respond to the fourth, fifth, or sixth.

After the third, tell patients you are sending them to collections - then do it.