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Dental billing training: 6 topics to cover

July 12th, 2022 | 8 min. read

Dental billing training: 6 topics to cover Blog Feature

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You’re a dentist hoping to give your in-house team an edge in their dental billing training. You want them to always stay ahead of the curve and keep up with the ever-evolving world of dentistry. This is a great outlook to have when managing a dental team, and it will ensure your financial success. 

But what topics does your team need to be trained on? Where do you begin honing in on what you want every member of your team to understand? There’s a lot of information out there. 

Although we are a dental billing company, Dental ClaimSupport has spent the past few years also developing our education platform, Dental Claims Academy. Through years of creating courses, webinars, and community forums on dental topics - we’ve seen where education is lacking the most for dental professionals.

In this article, we will highlight 6 topics that need to be covered in your team’s dental billing training. All of these topics are part of the dental billing process, and each one affects the next. That’s why it’s crucial to understand each topic. 

Plus, when you’ve mastered the topics we’ve listed, you will avoid delays in claim payments from insurance and accidentally filing fraudulent insurance claims. 

Let’s dive into 6 topics that should be covered in dental billing training. 

1. Dental billing tips and best practices 

This one feels obvious, but you’d be surprised to know how little training on dental billing tips and best practices your team might have. 

Your team should be moving through the dental billing process with ease and efficiency. This means everyone knows what they’re supposed to be handling. There’s a clear person or people who are held accountable for this process. 

Whether this is one person or multiple people - the roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined to have a streamlined dental billing process. This is crucial because it’s the people handling your cash flow! 

But if they have not been properly trained on the dental billing process, they might not know how to stay organized, accurate, and compliant. 

Through training, your in-house team can learn tips to move through the dental billing process easily and efficiently 

Not only should roles and responsibilities be defined, but the people in these roles can be trained on best practices for the dental billing process.

For example, how often is your dental team posting insurance claim payments? How soon are they creating insurance claims after the patient leaves? How far in advance of the patient’s appointment are they performing insurance verification? 

Through dental billing training, your team can have strategies that answer each of those questions. They will know the best ways to execute each step in the process, and how to deal with insurance companies more effectively. 

Visit our Learning Center to read 5 signs you have a great dental billing process.

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2. Dental practice management software

Being a wizard in the dental practice management software takes time and years of experience. 

It’s important to feel comfortable in the software, though. It’s where everything is! 

It’s where you create claims, submit claims, track claims, and see if they have been paid. It’s also where you post your claim payments so that you can balance that amount with what has been deposited into your bank account. 

It’s not an option to only halfway understand the dental software

With some training, your team can perform their regular tasks, while also unlocking resources you didn’t even know were available in your software. 

For example, all of the practice management reports you need can be generated from your practice management software. How to generate each differs depending on which practice management software you have.

Did you know that most practice management software programs can report on your unpaid claims/outstanding claims sorted by insurance company? This allows you to efficiently follow up on outstanding claims for that insurance company.   

You may also run procedures not submitted to insurance and/or insurance claims not submitted to the carrier reports. This report is a must for every office to make sure that nothing is overlooked during a busy workday.  

Knowing little billing tips like this can improve the efficiency of your dental billing process. If you’re constantly having to look up how to do something in your software, that’s time taken away from getting work done. 

Hey - when it comes to technology, we all have to look up answers from time to time. 

But with expert training on your software, you’ll feel more confident moving through it and taking advantage of its features. And this will greatly increase your overall productivity.

3. Insurance aging reports

Speaking of understanding your practice management software - your team needs to be trained on how to manage their insurance aging report. It’s easily accessible in your software and needs to be attended to regularly. 

And by regularly, we mean that your insurance aging report needs to be worked weekly - MINIMUM. We’ve seen dental teams struggle to spend time on their insurance aging report because of everything else taking precedent. And we understand - but your insurance aging report is your list of unpaid claims. 

The longer they are neglected, the less likely they are to ever be reimbursed by insurance companies. Your team needs to be trained on how to best handle your insurance aging report, and how to move through it, line by line, efficiently.  

Your team needs to be trained on how to handle insurance claims that require additional information, have been denied, and need to be appealed

It’s common for dental teams to put off handling appeals because it requires extra work and research, but it’s important. Delaying appeals may create a loss of income for the practice with timely appeal filing deadlines and the potential risk of creating an upset patient. 

In training, your team would learn some best practices for submitting a clean claim that requires no additional information and is paid in a timely manner. They would also learn how to properly submit supportive documentation and properly track outstanding claims.  

Being trained on how to best approach your appeals process is another way to take control of your income, instead of letting insurance companies do so. 


4. CDT coding

CDT coding is a hard topic to stay up to date with because it is changing. In fact, there are CDT changes annually. 

As you know, adding procedure codes to claims is not only necessary for your dental practice to be properly reimbursed, but also to remain compliant. Coding mistakes, even if they are unintentional, may lead to legal trouble. 

The main priority on each insurance claim is proof of necessity. If you do include all of your proper attachments such as x-rays, clinical notes, and intraoral photos, but your coding is incorrect - your claim is going to be denied pretty quick. 

Learn more about how improper coding can lead to fraud in our Learning Center.

Not only are codes always changing and updating, but there are also a lot of CDT codes to keep track of. Just in 2022 there were 16 new codes to learn as well as deleted, revised, and editorial revisions of the previous code sets. Training can help your team understand each of these codes, and when to apply them on insurance claims.

6. Coordination of benefits (COB)

COB might be every dental professional’s least favorite topic. What COB means is pretty simple: the order in which you file claims for patients covered by multiple insurance plans.

Each patient’s insurance situation is different. Because of this, there are 10+ rules to follow regarding which plan would be filed as primary, and which would be secondary. These rules describe relatively standard situations and let you know which plan would be primary or secondary for that patient. 

But if you’re not used to keeping up with COB rules, you could make a mistake when dealing with a patient who is covered by multiple insurance plans. This can lead to claim denials and delays in payment. 

Or you might turn them away - limiting your pool of patients. Accepting multiple insurance plans from patients can be beneficial to your revenue, but you have to understand how to handle COB.

Training on COB can also make your team overall feel more confident on this hard-to-understand topic. 

6. Federal and state regulations

Last but not least, your team should be trained on dental federal and state regulations. Each state’s rules about discounts, write-offs, or fees are different. And if you get something wrong, your practice could be audited and get into legal trouble.

Now this kind of information can get pretty dense, which is why training comes in so handy. It can be hard to simply go on your state government’s website and read through legislation. With training, someone is communicating that legislation through more digestible language. This will make it easier to remember and absorb. 

You can also ask specific questions and get examples of scenarios that might sound familiar to your practice. 

Ready to sign up your team for dental billing training?

Your team deserves to feel confident and empowered to complete their day-to-day tasks. When it comes to dental billing - there are so many moving parts and changing information that this confidence can be hard to attain. That’s why training is so crucial to your dental team and your practice’s success. 

And these topics, from your software to your state regulations, need to be covered during training.

Dental Claims Academy is a great dental billing training program for your team to enroll in. We cover all of the topics mentioned above and MORE through webinars, courses, and community forums. 

To learn more about why dental billing training is so important to the success of your dental practice, visit our Learning Center.

Join the interest list for the Dental Claims Academy

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