Accounts receivable aging is best described as a report that categorizes a practice’s AR according to how long an invoice has been waiting to be paid. Usually it is used as a tool to figure out the financial wellbeing and reliability of a practice’s customers. If your AR shows your invoices are being collected much more slowly than normal, it could be a sign your practice may be experiencing cash flow problems or slowing down. By keeping track of your aging AR you can use it as an opportunity to filter through patients who are at high risk and help you decide whether or not you want to continue offering your services to those who ignore their bill.

In the midst of high inflation, supply chain disruptions, and an unstable market, one can understand why patients are paying their balances later and later. Plus, now more than ever there is tremendous pressure on AR teams to maintain profit margins.

Below is a table from Dentistry IQ, that shows information collected over several years from 12,500 dental practices across the U.S. There you will find a massive increase in unpaid customer invoices.

Table 1: Average A/R greater than 90 days for a dental practice

Year Amount of Aging AR >90 days
2011 $41,111.14
2012 $48,579.92
2013 $51,584.39
2014 $52,571.54
2015 $49,598.06
2016 $47,736.21

Table 2: Average A/R to gross production for dental practices

Year Percent of A/R to Gross Production
2011 78.29%
2012 85.28%
2013 92.98%
2014 98.66%
2015 101.27%
2016 94.79%

To put it plainly, from 2011 to 2016, average accounts receivable was up 36%, as of 2022 further reports have not been released, however, if you were to use the previous information to figure out what the percent is today just add 15% to the original number.

Top Tips & Best Practices for collecting Patient AR: 

  • Offer a prepaid discount if your patient pays before their scheduled appointment and cash discounts to incentivize patients to pay in full at the time of treatment. 
  • Bill frequently, you don’t have to wait 30 days. 
  • Contact your patients through their preferred outlet; text, email, etc.
  • A friendly, understanding, and kind tone will go a long way.

The average dental practice has over $50K in aging patient AR and the average DSO has over $1M in aging patient AR. In the face of all of this chaos and an alarming amount of aging AR, top practices are realizing the necessity of using dental accounts receivable software. 

Taking advantage of a top of line A/R software will allow you to:

  • Integrate with all major dental and healthcare software
  • Send e-statements via text and email with instant payment access
  • Easily view and manage your A/R collections progress
  • Provide an effortless and convenient way for patients to pay

Collect your patient AR faster and easier with an automated patient-friendly solution that works. Abella automates your patient AR process and increases your collection rates by 40%. In fact, dental practices have collected over $51M in aging patient AR with Abella, and that number grows every day. Click here to request a demo!