Administrative work within the dental office is vitally important, but it shouldn’t take up a big bulk of staff resources.
From patient payments to coordination with insurance companies, dental billing processes can strain staff resources. Even though you value patient care and communication, dental billing can get in the way of fulfilling your customer service goals.
Remote billing can streamline your dental billing operations, freeing up resources and time to focus on what’s most important.
Continue reading to learn about how common dental complications come about so you can gain awareness of the root causes.
Not enough information
In most cases, lack of information causes snags in workflows. This is because dental insurance plans are not always consistent when it comes to dental codes and procedures common in most dental offices.
Claims must be supported with all the pertinent information and contain detailed explanations about the procedures, services and the medical rationale behind the treatment. Patient information, charts and dental history for the last six months should also be at the ready.
Another common issue that can lead to dental claim denial is missed deadlines. Insurance companies will provide a filing claim window and, in most cases, claims that are not submitted by the deadline will be denied. Most plans allow for a one-year limit, whereas others will only allow for 90 days.
As a workaround, dental practices can implement a policy that prioritizes early submissions.
Data entry mistakes
A dental office is typically a fast-moving operation. While your practice does everything possible to avoid mistakes when it comes to treatment, unfortunately, billing errors are nearly inevitable.
A simple transposition of an enrollee’s ID number, for example, can spiral into a bigger billing issue that will require a lot of attention from all parties involved.
Limits to coverage
Limitations, exclusions and frequencies are all components of consideration in dental coverage.
For example, dental plans establish a maximum amount for dental treatment that will be covered on an annual basis. In addition, some plans include frequency limits, which speak to how many times some procedures can be performed and covered within a certain time frame.
Dental offices should carefully review all coverage limits to determine costs and availability of coverage. If the treatment is extensive, dental offices can request a predetermination to learn about upfront costs and coverage.
Another common reason for a claim denial is starting with outdated insurance information. A patient will be quickly denied if the policy has ended or was modified. Recent job changes or open enrollment updates can cause a little confusion, too.
That’s why it’s important for dental offices to conduct regular dental insurance eligibility verification.
Insurance denials are difficult for your patients and your office.
When a claim bounces back unpaid, your office will need to scramble in an attempt to recoup costs. Furthermore, there’s no promise that your office will be able to regain what it’s owed.
Denied claims have a cumulative effect, draining staff resources while correcting the errors and draining financial resources when payments go unfulfilled.
It’s possible for one dental office manager to juggle treatment plans and accounts receivable processes without compromising the quality of customer service. It’s when the administrative work piles up those other important areas of dental service begin to suffer.
In these situations, there’s simply not enough time to handle both the overwhelming billing complications and your dental practice’s desire to deliver high-quality care and service.
Over time, patients will begin to notice inefficiencies within the dental office as resources are redirected away from customer service to address other matters.
When it becomes too much, they will likely take their business elsewhere, resulting in a loss of revenue and trust in your business.
Remote billing is a possible solution with far-reaching benefits.
With the assistance of an expert remote billing team, your office can reduce costs, lighten the paperwork load and reclaim valuable time that can be dedicated to patient care and customer service.
With a dedicated team focusing on dental billing, collection and other customer functions, your office will free up resources and enhance the customer care experience at all levels.