Should You Charge Deposits in Eyecare?

Posted by Madhu Singh on Wed, Aug 19, 2020 @ 08:08 AM

The way you manage patients and finances in your practice is highly specific to the type of patients that you serve. Some patient bases respond differently to credit card payments, digital payment apps, or even late fees. The office manager and team as a whole can decide what makes the most sense for the majority of patients without interfering with quality care.

However, no-show patients don't mix well with busy schedules or limited opening hours. Last-minute cancellations and stand-ups can become a larger issue quickly if left unaddressed. That's why we uncovered the different scenarios where charging deposits might work or might not work in eyecare practices. Keep reading to see what we mean.

Reasons to Charge Deposits for an Eye Exam

Busy Schedule

For practices that regularly have back-to-back patients or even a waitlist, a small deposit fee upon scheduling the appointment is not even questioned. If you're located in an affluent neighborhood, regularly conduct medical visits, or see patients with insurance, then you could require a small deposit fee anywhere from $15-$25. 

 

Medical Exams

 

If your technician has to prepare for pre-tests, then that's another fair reason to require a deposit upon booking. This applies especially to diabetes or glaucoma tests. However, you'll need to make sure the patient's insurance plan doesn't prohibit deposits first.

 
Alternatives to Deposits
 
Another option is to take credit card info down and instate a hefty fee if the patient is over 15 minutes late or doesn't show at all. Add information in your patient reminders that states all reschedules will be pushed at least a month because of how full your patient schedule tends to be. These are better options if you see mainly college students or patients who might be turned off by the idea of paying a deposit. 

Financial management is a big part of your practice. Get more tips in our OD Handbook: Small Business, Big Profits.

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