Growing Your Dental Practice with a Virtual Office Assistant

by | Last updated May 25, 2023 | Published on Jun 2, 2020 | Specialty Billing

Dental Practice
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Is your dental practice looking for more innovative ways to save money and time, while streamlining your operations?

Setting up a dental practice is not an easy task. Whether it’s an established or new dental practice, it is common for owners to get bogged down by the day-to-day operations that they overlook other critical elements of a successful dental practice like – “exceptional patient experience”. A smooth and efficient front house is an important aspect for growth. However, finding an efficient workforce with knowledge to handle all the critical functions required to run a dental practice can be challenging. A virtual assistant (VA) may be the perfect solution to save time and expenses. Virtual dental office assistants can perform many of the tasks that may be keeping your in-office staff from providing the best patient experience. There are reputable dental billing companies that offer virtual dental office assistant services you can utilize.

Does Your Dental Practice Need a Virtual Assistant?

According to research reports, amidst the COVID 19 crisis, the virtual assistants market worldwide is expected to grow by a projected $6.6 Billion. A virtual dental office assistant caters to the modern-day dental professionals who look for rapid results, efficiency in operations and have a keen eye for both long- and short-term results. These assistants provide professional administrative support to dental practices from remote locations. They are not added team members; but are professionals with notable experience in dental office functions.

Virtual dental office assistant’s service takes care of everything from digital marketing tasks, patient intake and scheduling to dental insurance verification, dental billing and account management and more. Hiring all or part of these dental functions will help your front-office staff focus on the key operational tasks thereby ensuring that patients receive a high level of care.

You need a virtual office assistant if you experience any one or more of the following things in your dental office –

  • A growing list of unresolved insurance claims that are over 90-days-old
  • Unscheduled patients who are due for dental hygiene appointments or have outstanding treatment plans
  • Phone calls not being answered in a timely manner
  • Cannot complete tasks on time but can’t afford hiring an additional staff member
  • A low treatment acceptance rate as patients don’t have the insurance benefit information to make an informed decision about their treatment

Here listed are a few ways in which a virtual dental office assistant can support you-

  • Scheduling patient appointments by phone – As a virtual assistant’s job is primarily focused on scheduling new appointments; they can easily fix up more appointments and convert more new patient calls to new patient appointments than your existing staff. When compared to the front desk team (that has to simultaneously answer phones, deal with paperwork, and work with the patients coming through the front door) VAs don’t get distracted by multiple incoming calls or the patient standing in front of them. These assistants can easily manage appointment scheduling, save time, and help increase practice revenue.
  • Verify patient clinical data – Virtual assistants verify all social, demographic and clinical data, patient consent forms, health insurance forms and payments from both existing and new patients prior to their consultation. This in turn may help in reducing administrative processing time.
  • Insurance submission and follow-up – Dental virtual office assistants provide adequate insurance support to get claims processed and paid promptly. They help track down and collect patient contact, insurance and payment information for claims processing. In addition, dental insurance eligibility verifications are done for both new and existing patients prior to fixing their appointment.
  • Dental billing – Dental virtual office assistants are trained professionals with in-depth knowledge about the dental billing and coding guidelines along with addition and revision of ICD-10 and CDT codes. This ensures accurate billing and optimal reimbursement.
  • Remain updated with dental claim status – Claims can at times get denied or delayed for several reasons. VAs will remain updated about the status of the claims whether accepted or rejected. In case of rejected claims, follow up will be done properly, and appeals submitted for denied claims or late payments.

In addition to the above, a virtual assistant can also assist with other tasks like –

  • Staff recruitment assistance within your practice (like sourcing and screening candidates and setting up interviews for your practice)
  • Patient communication, referrals, and recommendations from existing patients
  • Patient care, via email or other platforms, following up on patient recovery, check-ups, and progress
  • Management and assistance of insurance plans and claims processing
  • General accounting and administrative procedures

Virtual Assistant (VA) Services for Your Dental Practice – Benefits

Benefits of choosing a VA for your dental practice include –

  • Fewer staffing headaches and re-training
  • Quick turnaround times
  • More efficient level of service (VAs are not interrupted by patients or phone calls)
  • Savings on operating costs (no need for additional computers and equipment)
  • Verifications are done before the point of service outlining patient’s out of pocket costs. This allows for collection from patients while they are in the office.

One of the top benefits of hiring a dental office virtual assistant is that you hire a specialist with expertise in the specific area. This means that there is very limited costs involved in training and the VA can hit the ground running. Using virtual assistants in dentistry allows the in-office team time to primarily focus on patient care whereas other time-consuming tasks can be easily completed behind-the-scenes by the virtual assistant. Whether you want to delegate the majority of your dental front office administrative work, or just a part of it, you could increase practice profitability by outsourcing it to a virtual assistant. Outsourcing virtual dental office assistance services can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort spent on human resource needs.

Amber Darst

Amber Darst is our Solutions Manager in the Healthcare Division, Practice and RCM. With a rich background in dental services, her expertise ranges from insurance coordination to office management.

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