Knowing how to properly handle dental billing is a must when it comes to ensuring timely cashflow and avoiding errors that can lead to problems for your patients. However, when it comes to dental billing, knowing what information is and isn’t accurate is not always easy. Here are four common myths surrounding dental billing that may be causing unnecessary complications for your dental practice!
1. Dental billing is just the process of submitting claims.
While submitting claims is a large part of the dental billing process, there are many other components that can potentially help optimize your revenue cycle. For example, ensuring you verify and collect the patient’s insurance and copayments prior to providing services is an important step in the dental billing process. This ensures you receive the patient’s portion of payment prior to rendering services, which is often more successful then trying to chase them down after. This also ensures that you have up-to-date insurance information, allowing you to submit accurate claims and get paid in a timelier manner. To understand more about the dental billing process, read about the 7-Step Healthcare Revenue Cycle and here’s some Dental Claims Processing Best Practices.
2. Dental practices cannot bill medical insurance providers.
While it is more common for patients to have separate dental insurance plans, certain procedures can be covered by medical insurance. Like other medical procedures, services that may be covered by a health insurance company are generally limited to those that are considered medically necessary, which means that this is often not a viable option for cosmetic dental procedures. Your practice likely works with far more dental insurance providers but having a thorough understanding of how you may be able to help your patients benefit from their regular health insurance plans can give you even more options for making their lives easier.
You will generally only need to be licensed to perform a particular procedure and have an adequate understanding of the medical billing and coding process to make this option available to your patients. Although the procedures for correctly billing a medical insurance provider as a dentist may look slightly different from billing a dental insurance provider, you usually will not need any additional qualifications for your patients to have another option for covering certain procedures you already provide.
Your practice may also find that working with a third-party company that is experienced in billing both types of companies, such as Apex EDI, can be a helpful way to simplify this option and streamline how your dental practice handles billing.
3. There aren’t enough resources to help specifically with dental billing.
While dental and medical billing share a lot of the same processes, they also differ significantly. When searching for billing resources, you’ll often find it easier to find articles pertaining to medical billing best practices. However, there are a lot of dental resources available to help you with each stage of the billing process. Read our article about The Best Resources and Courses for Dental Admin Professionals.
4. Outsourcing dental billing is only a short-term solution.
While one of the many benefits of outsourcing your dental practice’s billing is getting quick results, switching to outsourcing can also be a viable long-term solution. Many practices begin the process of outsourcing their dental billing needs to a third-party company as a means of dealing with a temporary problem, such as staffing issues or not having access to the latest technology, without considering what sticking with that company indefinitely might look like. An ongoing relationship with a third-party billing company allows you to:
- Save money on staffing, training, and technology
- Save time on prospecting qualified billing staff
- Increase timely cashflow by scrubbing claims for accuracy before submission
- And more.
While dental billing can be challenging, it doesn’t have to be as impossible as some myths make it seem. There are resources available to ensure your practice’s billing success, whether that be reading through the articles above or reaching out to Apex EDI for further support.
A trusted dental billing partner like Apex EDI can be the difference between a stressful billing process and an easier, optimized one. Contact Apex EDI today if outsourcing your dental billing seems like a potential solution for your practice.