• Seona

What are your Payment Terms and Conditions?

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

Disclaimer: All Terms and Conditions need to be specific to your practice policies and procedures. Your practice lawyer should review all new Terms and Conditions. Below is a guide in drafting your Terms and Conditions.

How many times has there been a payment dispute in your practice? Once a patient gets upset over the cost, payment method, payment expectancy, or even demand a refund, you have most likely lost that patient for good no matter how well you handle the situation.

Having Terms and Conditions of Treatment and Payment in place helps safeguard both the practice and patients. By providing this information up front, it shows transparency which increases trust between your practice and patient.

Drafting your Terms and Conditions for Payments of Service can feel quite overwhelming. Below are some points to guide you in what should be included:

1. Introduction

Introduce your practice and why you have these Terms and Conditions in place.

2. Professional Fees

State how you charge. Ie. All practice fees are Itemised following the Australian Dental Associations Item Codes.

3. Payment Policy

State your payment terms. Do you expect payment on the day, half upfront and the balance on completion or offer deferred payments. What is your policy on non-payments / bad debts? Please note that if you want the patient to cover the handling fees associated with the recovery of bad debts, this will need to be included. Also, state how long your practice will hold their account before forwarding it to the collectors.

4. Payment Plans

Do you offer any payment plans in-house or externally (Zip, Afterpay, Gem, Humm)? State how the patient can apply for them and what the processing procedure looks like.

5. Appointment Policy

Include any policies on appointment handling fees, cancellation and FTA's and deposits made to hold longer appointment times.

What happens if a patient Fails to Attend numerous times or cancels an Implant appointment after your team has already set the room up?

6. Child Dental Benefit Scheme

Do you accept CDBS? Are the patient's eligibility and balance available organised before the appointment? Do you bulk bill or expect payment on the day and the patient claims independently. What happens if the child requires more than the amount available? State the terms under which Medicare provides this scheme, and if the patient has any further questions about the scheme to contact Medicare directly. You do not want to get into why one child is eligible and another not.

7. Health Insurance Cover and Rebates

Do you claim automatically through HICAPS? Or does the patient claim independently. What is your company policy if a patient forgets their Health Fund card? State that you are not responsible for the amount of rebate given, and any refund-related questions need to be directed directly to the health fund.

8. Orthodontic / Invisalign Treatment:

State any payment terms and conditions that are specific to orthodontic cases. Include what happens if their treatment only takes 14 or 24 months instead of the 18 months quoted. Do they get a refund? Do they need to pay more to cover the extra months? If patients do not wear their orthodontic retainers post-treatment and their teeth move, what is your policy?

9. Warranty on Dental treatment:

State any warranty you have for the treatment you perform. Include what disqualifies the warranty. For example. If a patient has an implant placed but is a heavy smoker, do they have the same warranty coverage as a non-smoker? If a patient has an accident and breaks the crown you just placed, is that covered by the warranty? You want to ensure that the patient is aware you will only cover/redo work due to clinical error.

10. Refunds:

Does your practice offer refunds? What are the parameters in deciding if a refund is warranted? Do you get the patients to sign a Non-disclosure form on accepting the refund?

11. Acceptance of Terms and Conditions

Look at how the patient will have access to read the Terms and Conditions and show their informed consent.

For example: When you first come to our practice, you will receive a copy of our Term and Conditions in your patient welcome pack. When you make appointments to commence treatment, you give your consent to follow the Terms and Conditions. If you have any questions about your treatment or these terms and conditions of treatment, then we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss your questions.

12. Any Changes

(Practice Name) reserves the right to review and adjust the above Terms and Conditions. All patients will be made aware of any changes by email.

Need any assistance in drafting your Terms and Conditions? Then call us today!

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