Just as other medical practices, running a dental practice involves much more than treating patients. You need to hire and manage front office staff, ensure timely billing (patients and payers), handle accounts receivable and payable, and so on. This is really time- and labor-intensive. Practice revenue is an important consideration and for this, your dental billing and claim submission must be flawless and timely. It is estimated that poor billing practices lead to a loss of about $125 billion annually. This is where dental outsourcing becomes a significant consideration. Outsourcing dental verification, billing, coding, claim-related tasks and certain administrative duties such as accounts receivable management and patient collections, is the practical solution that would benefit you as a dentist, your staff as well as your patients. With an experienced company taking care of billing-related activities, you gain greater control over your practice while all the above-mentioned duties are performed more efficiently. Once free from busy work with the support of a dental outsourcing company, dentists and their front office staff can spend more quality time with patients, build stronger relationships and engage in treatment planning.
What can you outsource?
From virtual front desk to insurance verifications, appointment scheduling, and performing dental billing and coding and other processes – there are many duties that can be successfully outsourced. Hiring dental billing, coding and insurance specialists that fulfill all your practice management requirements has become the need of the hour to reduce your workload and focus on core tasks.
Billing and Coding
Billing and coding processes related to dental insurance are challenging and require great attention to detail, and so many dental practices choose to outsource these to reliable billing companies. Error-free claim submissions require expertise and knowledge in dental insurance policies and regulations.
Dental billing services range from patient enrollment and checking patient eligibility for treatments to submitting dental claims and providing systematic follow-up.
Dental billing and coding outsourcing helps to
- Speed up the payment process, along with reducing clutter at the same time
- Reduce paperwork stress and billing errors and thus submit clean claims
- Save money and time in training your in-house staff with changing billing and coding updates
- Get access to services from experts with managerial skills in place for working accounts receivable
- Benefit from the services of experts professionally trained for collecting payments
- Improve the cash flow of your dental practice and function smoothly
- Collect a better percentage from the outstanding A/R
- Avoid payroll taxes and related problems due to late payments
Dental billing services include:
Professional dental billing specialists and coders stay abreast with the constantly evolving dental insurance guidelines. They are experts at establishing the medical necessity of dental procedures and applying appropriate CDT codes to bill for the services rendered by dental specialists.
Often, dental insurance checks make up at least half of the income of most dental practices. Failing to check patient’s eligibility is one of the main reasons for denied dental claims. This could also affect office collections, leading to high accounts receivable and unhappy patients.
Eligibility verification is crucial for new as well as existing patients, as patient benefits may change when there is a change within the existing insurance policy.. Processes include calculations of patient benefits, entitled claims, co-payments and more. Professional dental insurance verification companies assign experts to check and verify all patient’s insurance coverage and benefits before they are treated. Such companies contact the insurance company directly and verify all the benefits. Also, they provide accurate reports on whether the patients are covered or not.
By outsourcing, practices can:
- Stop worrying about payments and focus more on patient care
- Improve staff productivity and reduce claim rejections/delays
- Improve billing cycle speed
Services include verification of type of plan and fee schedule, effective coverage dates, maximums and deductibles, treatment history, implant and orthodontic coverages, missing tooth clause, claim submission details, coverage percentage by category and frequencies, limitations, and exclusions.
Verification process comprise steps such as the following:
Real-time eligibility and benefits verification helps to simplify and streamline the billing and collection process for dental care providers. Failure to perform timely verification leads to increased administrative costs as well.
Managing appointments is a time-consuming job, especially for dental practice receptionists. If your office staff can’t keep up with the volume of calls coming into your dental practice, it could impact your practice’s revenue and growth. Slow call response times could also hurt your practice’s reputation, leading to no-shows. Patient satisfaction for any practice also relies on factors such as how their calls are handled and how easy it is for them to get new appointments scheduled.
Outsourcing appointment scheduling to a reputable service provider is a great solution for such busy practices to consider, as it helps to maintain order and efficiency in scheduling.
By outsourcing patient scheduling services, you can:
- free up the time and work pressure of your front office staff, allowing them to focus on other key areas
- benefit from more attended appointments, reduce missed opportunities for booked appointments
- improving the bottom line of your practice by saving your time and money on scheduling and rescheduling appointments
- ensure patient satisfaction, as they can call at their convenience and a dedicated team can fill time slots as needed
- ensure that no calls are missed, even out of clinic hours, as 24/7 operations will enable patients to call at their most convenient time
By making your patient scheduling services out-of-office, you will have access to adiverse team of talented people who aren’t restricted by geographical location.
A HIPAA-compliant company that provides after-hours or round-the-clock dental scheduling services could be a reliable partner. Make sure that the company you choose provides quick confirmation after setting the appointments, and then also follows up with sending phone and email appointment reminders to the patients.
Ask These Questions While Choosing a Dental Outsourcing Company
- What efficient systems are there in place to submit error-free claims?
- Do you assign a dedicated team and project manager for each client?
- What is your pricing model like?
- What dental software do you use to perform verifications?
- How long have you been serving dental clients?
- How do you differ from competitors?
Managing all the dental insurance verification workload in-house can affect your practice workflow. Instead, why not outsource to a professional dental outsourcing company like Outsource Strategies International (OSI)? You can stay assured of timely and accurate insurance verifications, maximum reimbursement and minimal denials.