Dental billing is a confusing process. It’s essential that your patients pay on time and follow good practices to avoid late fees. Professional dental billing companies can manage the complex claim submission responsibilities for dentists. To maintain any dental clinic profitable, efficient revenue cycle management tactics are also required. As with so many things, practicing is the best way to get better at something!
9 Essential Strategies to Master Dental Billing & Achieve Success
Here are nine dental billing strategies that will help you get paid faster:
You should verify the identity of the patient. Verify that your patients have insurance coverage for the services you provide. This can be done by asking them if they have dental insurance or checking with their insurer directly (or calling them if necessary). If a patient does not have dental coverage, then there may be no point in billing them—you’ll lose money! Please verify the address information with each patient so that billing can be done correctly; otherwise, it could lead to postage costs being higher than necessary or unexpected late fees.
Follow-up on Accounts Receivable
Accounts receivable refers to money owed to the practice but not yet collected for services rendered. Claims must be followed up immediately to prevent cash flow concerns. If an insurance carrier does not pay a claim within 30 days, practices must make an effort to begin a follow-up procedure. Take the following steps:
- Examine the reasons for claim denials
- Find any missing data
- Resubmit the claim after assigning the proper codes to the claims.
To avoid more late payments or claim denials, reputable dental billing outsourcing organizations utilize robust AR follow-up techniques. The A/R follow-up process includes crucial steps such as initial policy evaluation, analysis and prioritization of which carriers have not paid, and lastly, following up with patients for payments.
Code your services properly
Codes are a great way to help patients understand what you are doing and how it will help them. They also have an important impact on the amount of money that insurance companies pay for dental work. Some codes are reimbursed at a higher rate than others, so check with your dentist about which ones apply before submitting reimbursement claims. With new billing rules on the way, now is the time to understand when and how to use cross-codes. More insurance companies require relevant medical codes for specific dental procedures, and your clinic must implement them effectively to ensure an accurate claim.
Utilize patient statements
Patient statements are a great way to keep track of patient payments. They can ensure patients are still in the office’s network. They’re also helpful for keeping track if there are any outstanding balances on their accounts. If you have an existing customer base with dental insurance plans, you must know how many people fall into each category: whether they are on the plan or not (and if so, which plan), as well as whether they owe money or not.
Preauthorization is a process of the payer authorization coverage for the specified procedures before giving services. Some dental plans require dentists to obtain preauthorization before submitting claims for services directly. A preauthorization is a written prior approval for a scheduled service that is usually good for 60 days. Some treatments that require prior approval are those classified as “major,” scaling, root planning, and so on. Preauthorization are a form on which the patient’s insurance company states how much they cover for the therapy and, if applicable, the co-pay amount. It assists in keeping patients informed of their projected co-pay amount and contributes to successful treatment scheduling.
Verify in-network status before treatment
Before starting your patient’s treatment, always ensure that the insurance company is within their network. If they are not, check with other dentists who accept this provider’s plan first and see if they will accept payment from them instead of using another dentist or office staff.
File claims accurately
If you want to save money on your dental bills and ensure the insurance companies are paid, then electronically submitting them is the way to go. A few companies offer this at no cost to their customers, but it can get expensive. You could also consider paying an extra fee for this service so that your practice doesn’t have any additional work getting paid out. If you do opt for electronic submissions and billings, there are many ways they can be done:
Electronic billing system – This option provides an automated way of sending all payments directly from patient accounts to third-party payers (like insurance companies). The benefits include increased efficiency and less time spent trying out different payment methods before settling down on the best method for everyone involved!
Use an automated billing system
Automatic billing systems are a great way to ensure timely and accurate payments. These systems produce more accurate reports, making them easier for your dentist or other medical providers to use. Automatic billing systems also allow you to set up recurring payments so that you don’t have any trouble with missed payments in the future.
Make payment simple for patients
Provide various payment options that make it simple for patients to pay on time. While some patients are technologically savvy, others may be unfamiliar with online payment methods. Ensure that your practice accepts online and traditional payment options to avoid delays. Credit and debit cards, online payment portals, cash, and auto-payment choices on predetermined dates are the standard payment methods.
Good dental billing practices are essential to get paid on time. The first thing you should do when your patient comes in for their annual check-up is to make sure that they understand what the plan of care is and how much it will cost them each month. If they don’t understand, it could lead to late payments or having to write off bad debts because they didn’t know what was going on with their insurance coverage. Dental billing strategies can help you avoid paying late fees if you follow the proper rules. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget about these little things. But if you want your practice to grow, it’s worth ensuring everything is taken care of when it comes time for payment!