Dental insurance billing is one of the most critical operations at a dental office. No matter how efficiently you’re producing and delivering quality patient care, your practice won’t grow unless an ethical dental billing process is in place.
Despite your continuous efforts in improving the practice, there’s always a need for financial management to keep your office profitable. The dental billing process is complex and often tends to get you stuck on one thing or the other.
To help you get over these problems, we’ve put together ten incredible ways you can use ensure successful and ethical dental insurance billing.
Here’s How To Ensure Successful and Ethical Dental Insurance Billing At Your Office
Dive in to burst your curiosity!
Make Pre-Authorizations Necessary – Often, patients coming to your dental clinic are unsure if their insurance covers the entire treatment plan or not. Pre-authorizations are basically a form where the patient’s insurance company would state how much they’re covering for the treatment and the co-pay amount if there’s any. It helps keep the patients updated about their co-pay amount and contributes to effectively planning the treatment.
By making pre-authorizations, you can easily minimize the chances of claim denials from insurance companies and patients’ refusal for the co-payments.
Simple Payments with Multiple Methods – Patients come into dental offices from varied backgrounds. They could be highly tech-savvy and willing to pay online or completely unknown to the online payment methods. Therefore, having just an online payment method or a traditional method in place could delay payments.
Thus, the ideal way to ensure timely payments from each patient entering your dental office is by having multiple options available. A few popular payment methods that work most of the time include
- Credit/debit cards
- Online payment portal
- Auto-payment options on specified dates
- 24.7 auto-payment options via phones
Collect Your Co-Pay Amounts Timely – The staff at your dental office must be properly trained to remind patients about their co-pays in a timely manner. The adequate time for receiving co-payments is either before or on the date of appointment. This can help prevent the delay or refusal of co-pays in the long run.
It’s important that you keep all the co-payment information transparent with your patients. It can help gaining the trust of your patients and retaining them for life.
Stay Updated with Revised Coding Policies – Dental billing is a complex domain with constantly changing coding policies. It requires a massive chunk of time to correctly understand the field and keep a dental practice profitable by applying ethical methods. Dental codes play a crucial role in best dental insurance verification and profitable billing.
Thus, the staff at your dental office must stay fully updated with the revised coding policies every time. If there’s some difficulty catching up with the changing dental codes, you might also consider outsourcing dental billing to cater to the requirements effectively.
Keep Your Billing Organized – Though it seems obvious, organizing dental insurance billing is often the most neglected step. The tidier and more organized your practice is, the more efficiently you can drive outcomes and raise profits.
Several crucial elements must be properly organized to speed up the dental insurance billing process. They include
- Treatment history
- Clinical notes
If these documents of proof aren’t correctly attached at the time of claim submission, you could end up losing all your money.
Adapt To the Insurance Companies’ Requirements – Patients coming to your dental office have their dental health covered under different insurance companies. And each insurance company has a particular set of protocols about receiving dental claims. To ensure ethical and successful dental insurance billing, you must adapt to all the insurance companies’ requirements that fall into your network.
Offer Flexible Payment Plans – Not every patient coming to your dental office has a similar financial background, so they cannot afford similar payment plans. Thus, it’s important to offer flexible payment plans based on their financial standing, varying from patient to patient.
It can help you drive more patients towards your practice, build long-term trust with them, and of course, get your payment within the timeline.
Keep Yourself Updated with Cross-Codes – With so many billing regulations brewing in the dental industry, it’s high time a dental office learns how and when to use the cross-codes. Insurance companies tend to demand specified medical codes for dental procedures more than ever, and it has become necessary to implement cross-codes into your practice to grow correctly.
Thus, you and your staff must remain updated with the cross-codes of the dental industry and know exactly how to use them in an adequate manner.
Mitigate Aging, Always – The co-pays from patients and insurance claims aren’t always resolved within the standard time. Some of them tend to take longer than expected, and they’re often called aged reports. Having aged reports in the backlog means your accounts receivables aren’t balanced, and you’re not collecting the exact amount of money you’ve produced. This delay in payments and aged reports could massively increase if not resolved with attention.
It shall always be your staff’s core focus to mitigate aging by reminding both the patients and insurance companies about their due payments. A consistent follow-up and reminder can really help minimizing aged reports to a negligible number.
About the Author
Nikki Gordon is dental billing and marketing specialist at DentalRevu. Having served for years in the dental billing industry, she’s got command over all the significant insights and loves to share them with newbies in the field. With an eye for practical procedures, her articles are a treat to those curious about learning the dental billing’s technical side.