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The dentist vs office manager: duties with a billing company

June 2nd, 2022 | 6 min. read

The dentist vs office manager: duties with a billing company Blog Feature

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You’re a dentist learning more about what kinds of services an outsourced dental billing company can offer you. And you’re curious about the relationship the company is going to have with you and your office manager. 

What is that going to look like? As the dentist, you should also be wondering what kind of role you will play in this working relationship. 

You typically don’t handle billing, but you’re the leader. You’re definitely meant to have some involvement with the dental billing company you’ve hired. 

At Dental ClaimSupport, setting expectations with the dental teams we work with is a top priority. Yes, knowing what services our billers will perform is important, but it’s also important to understand what the relationship is supposed to look like between the biller, the in-house team, and the dentist.

In this article, you will learn why defining roles and responsibilities is important when you outsource your billing. 

You will then learn what the office manager vs what the dentist is responsible for when it comes to working with a dental billing company. Understanding these roles and responsibilities will help you work successfully with a dental billing company. 

And when the dental billing company can work successfully with you and your team, they can collect more from your insurance claims.

Why do roles and responsibilities need to be clear when working with a dental billing company?

When it comes to working with a dental billing company, there is a lot of value in defining the roles in the relationship you’re going to have. 

It’s common for dental teams to assume that after they outsource their billing they don’t have to engage very much with the biller. But that’s not true. Sure, you don’t have to be in constant communication with your remote biller, but it is still a symbiotic relationship. 

Your dental team creating claims within the practice management software is crucial for your biller to submit claims and follow through with them until they are paid by insurance. And your office manager is responsible for making sure tasks like this are completed by your team (if they themselves are not involved in billing). 

And as the dentist, you’re responsible for managing your entire dental team. When both the dentist and office manager are not involved in the relationship with the biller - there is more room for miscommunication. 

And miscommunication with your biller can lead to claim mistakes that can then lead to more denials from insurance companies.

This can be avoided if everyone understands their place in the relationship with the dental billing company. 

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What is the office manager responsible for when working with the dental billing company?

Your office manager does not need to be in constant communication with the outsourced dental biller. But there are still things the office manager should do to ensure the success of the dental biller’s claim process. 

Your office manager will be responsible for the following tasks: 

  1. Maintaining clear and open communication with the biller if needed. While there won’t be constant communication, the biller still needs to be able to reach you as needed. If they have a question about the insurance claim you need to be available to answer it.

  2. Ensuring insurance claims are created in the practice management software accurately. In some practices, this is the office manager’s job. In others, there is someone else responsible for creating claims. Either way, the office manager needs to make sure this task is completed. If it isn't, the biller can’t submit the claim in a timely manner.
  3. Remain engaged in the reports the biller will share with you. Spoiler alert - the dentist will need to be doing this as well. But the office manager will receive a daily deposit report at the end of each day covering the payments that were reconciled that day. The biller will also share other financial reports with the office manager, and it’s important that the office manager takes note of the progress the biller has made. 

Whether your office manager is more involved with the billing process or not - their role as the office manager is to oversee the dental office. 

They ensure that each moving part of the office runs smoothly and efficiently. This will include making sure the outsourced dental biller has everything they need to get your claims paid. 

What is the dentist responsible for when working with the dental billing company?

As a dentist, you might think you do not need to be as involved with the minutia of the dental billing process. And in some ways, you’d be right. This is why you hire other people to handle billing, right? So that you can focus on your patient’s oral care. 

However, as the dentist and/or business owner, you cannot be absent in the relationship between you and the service handling your insurance billing. 

Dentist and office manager

Your insurance claims account for 60% of your overall revenue - you should be involved in some capacity! 

The dentist will be responsible for the following tasks: 

  1. Ensuring a smooth transition with the administrative team and outsourced dental billing company. As a leader who has made the decision to outsource, it is your responsibility to communicate with your in-house team what this change means. Not only do you need to explain why you decided to outsource, but also why it will be beneficial to everyone. 
    When the dentist does not do this, the administrative team (including the office manager) will be more resistant to the change. This resistance can be avoided through you being involved in the transition stage. 

  2. Taking note of the progress the biller makes. This task is similar to the office manager engaging with the financial reports the biller provides. The dentist does not have to check every single daily deposit report that is sent. However, they should view financial reports that prove the progress of the dental biller. 

    It’s common for dentists to have no idea where their numbers stand because they aren’t in the weeds of the billing. But as you outsource, it’s important for the dentist to remain in the loop about such progress to ensure the practice’s compatibility with the biller. 

  3. Surveying your in-house team on how the outsourced dental billing is going. As we said, you’re the leader. And your in-house team will not react well if you make the decision to outsource your biller (largely affecting their daily routine) and make zero effort to be involved. Asking your team how the change is going and how the numbers are looking is a great way to ensure the success between your team and the biller. 

We have seen some dentists check out when they hire an outsourced dental billing company. And while it’s not their responsibility to be involved in every step of the process, your in-house team and your outsourced biller will be more successful with you there, as the leader, supporting both sides.

Ready to learn more about what it’s like to work with a dental billing company?

When you outsource to a dental billing company, the nuance that comes with that relationship can be hard to navigate. It’s a great tool for streamlining your claims process, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. It can be a transition for your in-house team - a transition that needs its leader! 

Making sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities can ensure the success of your billing company so that you’re getting the most of your services. They can collect your insurance claims successfully while maintaining a fluid relationship with you and your team.

Dental ClaimSupport is a resource you can look into for not just collecting more on your claims, but also creating that fluid relationship we mentioned. 

To learn more about how to work successfully with a dental billing company, visit our Learning Center.

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