Dental practices come across a variety of Medical Billing and coding challenges in the healthcare industry. Since CDT codes are subject to changes and get updated, it can be difficult to keep up with them. Managing dental billing can be a crucial and time-consuming process, so employing proper resources is essential.
The problems faced during dental billing are staggering and on the rise. Let’s have a look at the obstacles commonly faced by dentists and practitioners.
When you have a busy practice and a lack of supportive staff, this could result in a huge problem. This becomes a bigger obstacle when the invoices are based on manual systems. In this case, the dental facility would need automation and electronic attachment, which can significantly speed up claim management without additional resources. When only a few individuals are responsible for billing, it leads to an increased workload.
When the medical staff is required for in-office patient detailing, treatment plans, attending calls, filing insurance claims, making appeals on denied claims, and accounts receivable management, it becomes difficult to keep up with everything. It diverts the focus from care to administrative tasks, and since the staff is divided, nothing is taken care of perfectly.
- Claim Guidelines
Claims come with strict guidelines and have set criteria derived by governments and insurance companies. When a dental practice fails to comply with these rules and regulations, it results in denied claims. This can emphasize lost revenue and become a hindrance to consistent cash flow.
- Updates in Coding
Dental practice technology and materials are evolving, and innovations are being introduced every other month. This subsequently increases the codes, and medical terminologies used for these services. There are annual coding updates that can keep dental providers on their toes. With new treatments available, medical codes bring more clarity to procedures.
Practices need to stay up to date with these codes regularly. One should also remain aware of the latest news and technologies to offer competitive services to patients.
- No, Follow Up
Often, practices witness patients walking away from their bills due to a lack of follow-up. Most dental patients are covered by insurance companies, which means more work for the medical industry to get access to that rightful revenue. With a diligent follow-up system in place, payments can be made promptly. With accurate information stored in the database, it reduces the chances of claim denials.
For denied claims, it’s essential to follow up on those claims, identify errors, eliminate mistakes, and refile. Often, dentists and their medical staff have to work overtime to cater to these problems. This not only proves to be time-consuming but also takes up a lot of energy that can be utilized while resting for the next big day. Having an efficient follow-up system or resource in place can save on long-term problems.
- Copays payments
Copays are payments that are made in full ahead of service availed. If dentists or physicians do not receive full payment in advance, chances are they won’t receive their funds at all. It becomes difficult for patients to make payments after the treatment or care comes to an end.
If this issue is not dealt with head-on in the beginning, it could accumulate into disastrous losses. It’s best to obtain full payments before treatment and appointments. This would eliminate any revenue delays and assist your facility in maintaining consistent cash flow.
How do I overcome these problems?
- Your practice should employ up to dated medical codes. It’s essential to maintain documentation with the codes applied as proof and provide complete documentation to the billing department.
- It’s preferred to install user-friendly software that can cater to administrative tasks. You don’t necessarily have to employ in-office staff and can outsource virtual team members who specialize in taking care of medical billing.
- Insurance claims which are unverified account for approximately 30% of the total revenue of a medical provider. When claims are promptly managed, the organization can identify problems and cater to them immediately. This will also assist the medical staff to guide the patients with the best treatment options.
- A dental provider must ensure that patient information, medical records, and codes are stored accurately. As these details are manual entries, there’s room for mistakes. The patient’s file must be kept updated, with periapical photographs and radiographs. Radiography and charting are used to devise periodontal therapy.
- You must invest in new technology, and hire or train staff to improve patient satisfaction rate. This would significantly resolve medical billing issues that had been previously recurring.
- If your facility is unable to afford new equipment and technology, it’s best to invest in an expert medical billing team which you may outsource. This would reduce your investment capital and increase efficiency. This way you can rely on the specialist in the field while you can maintain focus on providing care.
It’s essential to have a solid and consistent billing department in place for your dental practice. This would ensure cash flow and enhance the quality of care you provide for your patients. If you are unable to afford one, it is preferred that you outsource experts who will take care of administrative and billing tasks at the back end. To maintain your dental business, it’s important that you identify your problems, and move towards finding result-oriented solutions.