The Patrick Sherrard, DMD
Approach To Patient Care
Whether you come to Dr. Sherrard’s Portland, Oregon dental office for the first time or are a returning patient, you’ll instantly be greeted with a warm, friendly smile. It’s easy to see that the staff here prides themselves on creating an undeniable level of comfort from the moment you walk in their door and throughout your entire visit.
Dr. Patrick Sherrard provides a sense of ease and expertise from his years of experience in dentistry, as he discusses with you the options for achieving a common goal in your dental treatment plan.
The entire staff is committed to providing clear communication and interest in your positive dental experience from your first meeting, to payment options and treatment.
Their mission is to provide comfortable and quality dentistry in an understanding and relaxed environment. Through effective communication and utilization of current technology, they care for your family’s dental needs now and in the future. Their long-term goal, both personally and professionally, is to develop and maintain rewarding relationships with their patients for years to come.
It’s clear Dr. Sherrard’s practice mission fits perfectly with the principles upon which CareCap was founded: clear communications, utilization of current technology, and maintaining positing patient relationships.
We’d like to take a moment and share an interview we recently conducted with Angel Zamudio, Office Manager at Dr Sherrard’s practice, where she will cover her responsibilities and duties as well as how she utilizes the CareCap platform in their practice, both in the collections process of past-due statements and in increasing patient acceptance of treatment plans.
About Angel Zamudio, Office Manager
Angel is from California and lived in Oklahoma for 29 years before moving to Oregon in 1999. She has been with Dr. Sherrard DMD since 2003 and really enjoys connecting with patients and doing whatever she can to assist in providing a sense of relief regarding dental fear and anxiety. Making friends with patients and getting to know them on a personal level is something she truly loves.
We recently had the chance to sit down with Angel for a short interview.
CareCap: What were some initial reactions from Dr Sherrard and your team, regarding CareCap’s payment platform for dental practices?
Angel: During our first CareCap presentation I thought, this is a fantastic tool for our patients and our office- a true win/win for both patient and practice.
I could see this was a great opportunity to offer more options for patients and a great tool to help me better do my job and assist patients in getting the treatment they were looking for, for themselves and for their family.
In regards to collections on past-due accounts, I can remember when we first started the collections process, prior to using any system.We would get some calls from patients that had received notifications, and they were embarrassed and not knowing what to do. They were basically calling me for help, and prior to having CareCap, the best I could offer was to give them an option of paying three equal payments.
But sometimes that wasn’t even enough. In that situation I felt awkward and stuck, and I didn’t have an easy solution to offer them. Thankfully now I do, through CareCap.
CareCap: Other than aged A/R, what else were you looking to improve upon at your practice?
Angel: I saw that by using CareCap, I could help patients manage their budgets and their health while keeping a steady flow of money coming into the practice.
I love providing my patients with a sense of ease regarding their whole experience in our office, especially the financial aspect.
Sometimes when the insurance wouldn’t go as planned, my patients would get a surprise in the mail and they would call me scared and not knowing how to manage this unexpected expense. They would say ‘oh my gosh how am I going to fit this into my budget?’
I went from an uncomfortable place of not knowing what to say to a new and confident place, now, being able to offer a solution. With CareCap we are able to fit the ‘surprise, unexpected out of pocket expense’ into their budget easily, through a customized pay-over-time payment plan.
CareCap: Can you compare the differences between the pre and post CareCap era at your practice?
Angel: There were lots of times I found myself doing treatment plans for patients who wanted to schedule treatment, but couldn’t, because they couldn’t afford the whole amount or even the three payments that we were comfortable offering.
At that time, managing payment plans before CareCap was a very stressful situation for me. Oftentimes, those patients would fall away from that agreement and I would have to spend countless hours tracking them down, spending time making uncomfortable collection calls.
You know, I work very hard in my office to create a warm and welcoming environment and when those financial arrangements went south, it would go against the whole culture I work so hard to create for my patients.
CareCap: How many patients do you currently have on the system?
Angel: We haven’t been with CareCap very long, but in the short time that we’ve been using this tool, we’ve converted 30-40 patients into using the CareCap portal.
CareCap: Are your patients appreciative that you have a solution like CareCap?
Angel: Yes,they just love it. Here’s a recent example: I had a patient that came from somewhere else and they were kind of freaked out about the cost. They felt hopeless because of a perceived lack of flexibility around payment arrangements.
The patient walked into my office with tears in her eyes and said “I have an emergency.” I felt very confident saying to her, “You are in the right place, because we have CareCap, and we can offer you a plan to manage the payments over time.”
I can’t even put into words the relief that I’ve seen on some of my patients’ faces when they realize we aren’t going to ask them for the whole amount up front.
You know, lots of people have consistent income but they just don’t have a savings to pull from. We’re able to do their treatment and/or resolve their aged accounts with just a couple of minutes on the computer setting up an easy contract with CareCap.
CareCap: Angel, we appreciate you sitting down to talk with us today. Your positivity and passion for building and maintaining patient relationships is why we built CareCap. Thank you for your time!
Angel: It was a pleasure, thank you for having me.
About CareCap: Founded in 2013, CareCap is the company behind a new cloud-based payment platform that makes it easy for businesses to offer flexible Business Provided Financing to their customers. The privately-held company is based in Bellevue, WA and currently serves more than 500 businesses and their customers.
Isn’t it time you offer an option to your patients that will provide them relief when faced with a surprise expense or a treatment plan that is beyond their budget? Offering an option that can help them manage payments over time is a surefire way to improve patient acceptance of treatment plans and can also help with past-due collections management.
Get started today, for free. Sign up for a CareCap account to see how easy it is to help your patients increase treatment acceptance and pay for past-due invoices.