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Top 10 Tips To Improve Collections (Part 3)

8 May

It’s a problem faced by virtually every business and medical practice – how to deal with customers / patients who pay their bill late, or not at all.  While customers and patients expect prompt and professional service, they don’t always meet the same standard when it comes to paying their bill.

Accounts not paid promptly can severely impact the cash flow of a business or practice.  A clearly defined and carefully communicated, yet diplomatic payment policy, may help avoid difficult collections situations.

Tip #3

USE “ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED”

One of the most difficult collection problems is tracking down a customer/patient who has “skipped” — or moved without informing your business of the new address.  The U.S. Postal Service has a procedure to address this situation.  Any statement or correspondence sent from your office should have the words “ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED” printed or stamped on the envelope, just below your return address in the upper left hand corner.

If a statement  or invoice is sent to a customer/patient who has moved and the words “ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED” appear on the business’s envelope, the Post Office will research this information.  If they can locate a change of address for that person, they will send you business Form #3547 with the correct new address for a small fee.  This can help keep your address file up to date and eliminate many of your items being returned marked “Forwarding Order Expired,” and leaving you (and your A/R) in the lurch.

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