On this episode of The Modern Practice Podcast, host Gary Tiratsuyan is joined by Ashley Bond, founder and owner of Bond Dental Billing to discuss how practices can simplify billing and reduce accounts receivable.
During the conversation, Ashley shares how she got her start in the dental industry, and how she quickly realized there must be a better way to collect payments from patients and insurance companies.
Ashley also shares how valuable her partnership with Rectangle Health has been to her business and clients, helping them collect payments pre-care, at the point of care, and post-care.
Have questions? Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.
Learn more about Bond Dental Billing
See how Rectangle Health’s robust payment solutions can increase revenue for your healthcare practice or organization.
Gary Tiratsuyan 00:21
Hello everybody and welcome back to the Modern Practice Podcast. We’ve got a great episode in store for you today on simplifying patient billing at your practice. Yes, it is possible, and joining us to share how is Ashley bond, owner of Bond Dental Billing. So glad you could join us today. Welcome to the show.
Ashley Bond 00:40
Thank you so much, Gary, for having me. I’m so glad to be here.
Gary Tiratsuyan 00:44
Pleasure’s all mine, Ashley. And I want to start by giving our audience a chance to learn a little bit about you, because I think it’ll set the stage for how Bond Dental Billing came to be. Can you tell me a little bit about how you got your start in the dental space?
Ashley Bond 00:58
Absolutely. So, I started working for my father’s practice. He was a dentist in St. Louis, Missouri. When I was young, I didn’t have a job at the time, and he was out a team member. So, he told me I was going to work for him. So that’s how I got into the dental space. But I fell in love with it really quickly and have never looked back. So, I was his office manager, his insurance guru, his social media manager… I really just did a lot in his practice. But one of the main things I focused on was his billing. And then, in 2015, I started staying at home with my daughter. And he dealt with a lot of turnover. So, I would have to keep going back, help his practice, get it back on its feet, and then we would go through the same thing a few months later. So finally, I asked him if I could take over his billing from home. And that’s how this company got started—Bond Dental Billing. So, I started with my dad’s practice, and now I get to help practices all over the country.
Gary Tiratsuyan 02:04
Were there a lot of issues with the billing that you uncovered as you took over that position in that role? And were they staff related? Process related?
Ashley Bond 02:14
Definitely. So, it was just a few months initially working for my dad’s practice when the office manager left. So, I was thrown into having to figure out a lot of the billing, and a lot of what wasn’t necessarily being done correctly. So, I would say process is a big thing that was lacking in his practice. We were able to get the processes up and running, to be able to have an established team when I was there, and the team members that worked alongside me. And my dad taught us that really you want to become a master in all you do, so that’s really what I went for. So yeah, so it was a kind of a combination of both staff, and process-related issues we dealt with.
A Lack of Billing Systems
Gary Tiratsuyan 02:59
As you manage and really work to fix the issues, I sort of see it happening. Was that the foundation of Bond Dental Billing?
Ashley Bond 03:08
So, there was a lack of systems in place. And it was the consistency—so just not following through with the billing systems that we had. And that is the key to a successful billing department. And I would say the years that I worked for my father and now doing what I do with my own company, there are two buckets that I really see offices fall into. And it’s either that staff process issue, or it’s an overwhelm issue. So, the practice might be running great. But it’s running so great that they maybe ran out of time to do those processes well. And a successful practice knows that doing billing is quite a process, and it cannot be short cut. It takes quite a bit of time. So, that is really the foundation to getting started. And now how we get to help offices.
Gary Tiratsuyan 03:58
Were you connected with other office managers in your area and other staff members going through sort of the same pain points you went through at your father’s practice?
Ashley Bond 04:11
Definitely. So, I thought in 2015/2016, that it was hard to find quality team members. And I think since COVID, we’d found I mean, it’s even harder now. So, the office managers and team members that are having the issues are dealing with that even more than ever—finding quality team members to do their office billing and to do it well.
Gary Tiratsuyan 04:40
So, tell me about Bond Dental Billing, how are you your team helping and what’s that differentiating factor from others in the space?
Ashley Bond 04:50
As many know, there’s a lot of different remote billing companies out there, and I think it’s for good reason. I honestly think the future of dental billing will be remote billing. We see it in medical, and dental typically always follows what medical is doing. So, all the companies I think are needed.
What I can tell you though, for us, I strive to treat all of our practices like it’s my father’s practice. So quality of care was most important to him in dentistry, and quality of service is what is really important to us. So, will we be perfect? No, of course not. And if you find a company that says they’ll be perfect, I would run because nobody’s perfect. But will we be transparent? Yes. And will we be honest? Yes. And ultimately, will we treat you like family, that’s my goal. So, our quality of service is our top priority, like it was my dad’s. And like I said, my dad really taught us to become a master at what we do. And that’s what we’ve tried to do with Bond Dental Billing.
Why Partner with Rectangle Health
Gary Tiratsuyan 06:01
Words of wisdom from your dad, for sure. And you’ve grown so rapidly. And as you continue to grow, take on more and more dental practices, what led you down the path of partnering with Rectangle Health and working with your solution consultant, Ryan Chambers?
Ashley Bond 06:19
Yeah, absolutely. I have to give a shout out to Ryan; he has been such a blessing to our company, and to our offices. Quality of service means the world to him. And it’s so easy to see that. He really walks alongside all of our offices, and is there to answer any questions that they have about their merchant or patient billing. So that to me, means a lot. He treats our offices like we would like family. And that’s really important to us.
But with Rectangle Health, the neat thing is, outside of typical insurance billing that’s offered by remote billing companies, we also offer that patient AR add-on service. So that’s where we help offices not only collect from insurance, but also from their patients. So, we are an extension of their team. I tell offices don’t think of us as hardball collection guys. That is not us. We think of ourselves as what we call soft collections. So that would be just as if we were in the office attempting to do what they would do— collecting from the patients when their balances are overdue.
We know offices’ reputations mean everything. So, we lead with that. And we get to use Rectangle for all of our patient AR offices. I used it when I was in my father’s practice. And it’s neat that now I get to use it in our company. So, it’s a complementary tool that we offer to collect balances from patients over the phone. The nice thing is you can set up payment plans really easily and vault credit cards for the patients. We use Text-to-Pay for the patients. A really neat tool is the online pay link. So, if our offices come in, if they don’t have a way for their patients to pay on their website or online, we help that get set up through Rectangle with them. And all the money that gets collected goes straight to the office at all a really low flat rate. And it really beats most of the competitors out there. So, it has been crucial in the success of our patient AR add-on service.
Gary Tiratsuyan 08:31
Have your clients given you any feedback on those payment features, that added value of that online link, the ability to capture payment through text, vault a card… what’s sort of come back your way as far as the feedback?
Ashley Bond 08:47
Yeah, so they love it. So, just last week, we had an office that just started our patient AR add-on service. And we sent out Text-to-Pay user balances that were up to a year old. And that office collected—in one day—over $2,000 that had just been sitting on the books. The patients were waiting to pay, so they are happy to pay it. It was really just a quick text that they needed to get that ball rolling. So, the office was so happy. The patients were honestly happy to get that statement taken care of. They didn’t know they had a balance. And so, it really works. And that is the cool thing to see; it’s just an another feature. It really works and it’s really easy to use. So, it’s a win-win for us, the patients and the office.
Gary Tiratsuyan 09:46
That’s amazing. And it’s almost like found money, right? Because it just it appears out of nowhere. And what we’ve found in so many conversations here on the podcast is patients want to pay, they just need a convenient, modern way to do it—rather than that paper statement getting lost in the dining room table or wherever you keep your mail. That’s really, really incredible to hear.
Ashley Bond 10:14
I can tell you, and I work in collections and collecting payments from insurance companies, I think I have two bills on my counter as we speak. Because for me personally, I use online to pay my bills at home. So why wouldn’t we have those solutions in dental? It only makes sense.
Gary Tiratsuyan 10:39
Yeah, absolutely. We need to mirror the retail experience that we’ve all come to know, like the Amazons and Netflix’s of the world. Before I ask the last question, I’m going to actually I’m going to drop a link in the episode description below so our listeners can learn more about you and Bond Dental Billing. I encourage you all to check out the website learn more about Ashley. Based on your experience working in the practice, what’s the best bit of advice you were given or give to manage and simplify billing?
Ashley Bond 11:10
Yeah, so I think what I would recommend is write it down, and consistency. So, we tend to overcomplicate billing. But there is a process for everything. It just needs to be written down, executed, and you need to be held accountable outside of just yourself.
So, for billing, I tell offices what this could look like over four weeks in a month. Week one, you just print your starting aging reports, your insurance aging reports, send statements, call on outstanding claims. Week two, send statements, send letters to patients with balances over 60 days. Week three, send statements, call on outstanding insurance claims. Week four, send statements, call on those patient balances over 60 days. And lastly, at the end of the week you print those same reports that you printed at the beginning of the month, and review with a doctor on what was done. So, I think you don’t have to make it difficult. Just write it down, write down your plan. Be consistent, and then stay accountable to that plan.
Gary Tiratsuyan 12:20
Awesome. Ashley, thank you so much. Really great insights. And I have to thank you again so much for taking the time to join me today. And I hope we can have you on again real soon.
Ashley Bond 12:31
Thank you so much, Gary, it was really great to talk with you today. My pleasure.
Gary Tiratsuyan 12:35
And for our listeners, be sure to like, subscribe and let us know how we’re doing and what topics you’d like to hear discussed in the future on the Modern Practice Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Til’ next time, everybody.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.