Dental billing, as compared to medical billing has complexities of a different nature. If we are thinking of it as an easier module, we stand corrected, because, it is not an easy job to ask patients or the insurance companies to pay up. Sometimes one feels the frustration of different dominating factor at times. I would like to mention a few basic guidelines that might help you reclaim the dental billing.
Electronic or digitized documentation has made dental billing a very speedy process. The digital process is much faster and the approval of claims only takes a day or 24 hours. As long as you focus on the following points, the process of dental billing will get smoother and manageable.
1. Ask Insurance Company Beforehand
Dentists are advised to get approval from the patient’s insurance company before the treatment goes underway. This will just save them from future headaches and the patients are also satisfied at the same time because they know that their insurance companies have approved those treatments. As soon as the patient’s dental procedure is over, the respective payment will be made to the dentist with no questions asked. It is almost like sending a signal to the dentist to go ahead and get started.
The insurance agency will highlight what is covered and what is not. This clears up any confusions developing in the minds of patients or the healthcare providers, and it does make dental billing easy.
2. Dental Treatments Are Rarely Covered
Medicare does not cover most of the dental treatments, therefore, the patients get registered with private dental insurance firms charging a yearly fee. Mostly, dental insurance companies completely pay for all those run-of-the-mill procedures happening at a dentist’s clinic, including polishing, scaling, bleaching or fillings. However, critical surgeries or complex extractions often demand the patient to pay extra on the day of the treatment. Moreover, paying upfront for the routine checkups gives the patients great discounts. Dental billing procedures, if followed properly, can be highly rewarding.
By pre-authorizing the payment, everybody is a winner because the patient has a rough idea of the payment coming out of their pocket. In addition, this approach is very proactive relieving any stress building up on dentist’s behalf of mailing those pending bills over to patients.
3. System Freeze Up
Being a dentist in a digital world is like being the Sherlock of Victorian ages. Sherlock needed all the clues before joining all the missing pieces together to solve a crime. Similarly, as a dentist, you need a proof of all the procedures performed on the patient, the specific test results, and radiographs to be sent to the insurance company. Just attach these underlying documents to support the claim. Before filing a claim, you need to make sure all the information entered is correct because even a small error can jeopardize the whole payment process.
Following items should not have a mistake in them: Patient’s name, date of birth, tooth or teeth numbers performed on. Go through the whole document to make it error-free, before sending it. Let’s make sure that your dental billing process does not suffer.
4. Payment Alternatives
If the patient can’t pay for the services at the dentist’s office on the day of the treatment, dental billing is either done by signing up with the dentist for a monthly fee (can be free of interest) or the patient can associate with an outside credit service. These credit companies give you a certain credit limit for a monthly premium, so you are covered. Your financial liabilities will be taken care of in advance. These options generally fall under the term “Payment Plans.”
5. Learn About Dental Billing
It is high time, we realize the importance of digital records, e-prescriptions and getting acquainted with them through digital training. The dental billing process via intelligent computer systems is revolutionary and has made it easier for the insurance companies to materialize hiccup-free payments.
Dentists shouldn’t dwell on their current resources to somehow miraculously retrieve those stuck up payments. But what they need to do is get properly trained in the dental billing process to mature themselves in overcoming any difficulties coming in way of the payment process. Furthermore, dentists can hire companies to do their billing or train their own staff, whatever suits them the most. However, outsourcing will cost them more than training any in-house staff.
Post submitted by: Nisa Saleem