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5 myths about outsourcing your dental billing: cost, purpose, and results

December 15th, 2021 | 8 min. read

5 myths about outsourcing your dental billing: cost, purpose, and results Blog Feature

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While exploring the option of outsourcing dental billing, you and your dental team might be holding back because of some preconceived notions you have about what it means to work with an outside insurance billing team. 

You might be thinking that it’s less expensive to keep insurance billing in-house, that you just need a few problems cleaned up or it’s something the person you hire can figure out and learn by doing.

We understand these hesitations. As a trusted dental billing partner, we get questions about these assumptions pretty regularly. That’s what they are, though: assumptions that can lead to costly mistakes. That’s why it’s a priority to clear up these myths and false notions on outsourced dental billing companies. 

By clearing up these common myths, you can empower yourself to use a dental billing company to help your dental practice collect more than it ever has and implement a clean and efficient billing process once and for all. This is exactly what you can expect from this article. 

You will walk away learning 5 common myths about outsourcing your dental billing, and what the truth is behind these assumptions. All of these myths concern the cost, purpose and results you can expect from the billing company. 

Myth 1: Outsourcing insurance billing is a short-term fix

Hey, who doesn’t love overnight results? It’s a common misconception that dental billing companies are like a bandaid. You have a long, messy aging report, your dental team’s system for getting claims paid is all over the place, and you just need someone to come in and clean it up. But the money leaking from unpaid claims is just the symptom.

The problem is the broken claims process.  The purpose of hiring a dental billing company like Dental ClaimSupport is to get a super-efficient claims process in place that always keeps your insurance A/R as low as it can be for less than you could do it in-house. 

The truth: A dental billing company is a long-term solution to keeping insurance claims income as high as possible 

Your relationship with a dental billing company is not a quick fix.  It is a new addition to your current billing team that handles the insurance part of your billing. It’s an investment that will bring you more money, relieve your team of dealing with insurance companies, and help keep you financially fit. It’s kind of like working out. 

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If you want lasting results you can’t spend two weeks exercising, start to feel good, and then quit. To have the stream of insurance payments at full force, you have to keep going! 

It’s the same thing with outsourcing your insurance billing. Reliable cash flow comes from a consistent, structured process. You’re always going to need people dedicated to the heavy lifting that is the insurance billing process with no other responsibilities distracting them.

Myth 2: It’s more expensive than hiring in-house

Hiring a billing company sounds expensive when the idea comes up, but once you actually begin looking into it, it makes a lot of sense financially. Some people think, “Well I could just hire someone to handle the insurance billing part-time.” To that we say: if you think it’s expensive to hire billing experts, just wait until you hire an amateur. No matter how hard you work, you can’t out-produce low collections.

A billing process that’s riddled with mistakes can create even bigger problems than a process that’s too slow. Errors drive up overhead costs because fixing them is time-consuming. Mistakes can open the door to an audit or review, and leave you with an even higher aging report and lower collections percentage. 

Even if you did hire an insurance coordinator with experience, it is still more cost-effective to outsource your dental billing than hire someone in-house, because insurance codes and rules are ever-changing and ongoing training is built into the fee for your remote team. 

The truth: Outsourcing your dental billing saves up to $30,000 over hiring in-house (annually)

According to a 2020 Ziprecruiter article, a dental office insurance coordinator (in-house) salary average is $18.26 per hour. An insurance coordinator earning $18.26 per hour will actually cost you between $47,476 and $53,173 per year in salary and benefits. 

Compare that to working with an outsourced dental billing company. In most cases, the pricing structure largely depends on the amount collected from insurance monthly. For example, if your practice should collect up to $40,000 per month, you might only pay as little as $1,300 per month for your outsourced dental billing.

$1,300 x 12 months = $15,600 annual fee for a dental billing company. 

That’s a lot less than how much you would pay an insurance coordinator’s salary!

Myth 3: Your dental team doesn't have to do anything once a billing company is hired

So you’re hiring someone to take over your insurance billing. That means they’re handling all of the billing and the administrative team can wash their hands of anything related to dental insurance, right? Nope. Easy cash flow has a lot to do with careful communication and great recordkeeping. 

It’s easy (and common) for the team to feel like the billing company is going to come in and take over everything dealing with dental insurance, but that’s not the purpose of outsourcing insurance billing.

The truth: Your dental team still has plenty of important responsibilities, and no one’s being forced out by the billing company

It’s important to understand that the dental billing company does not replace anyone’s job at the practice. There is arguably nothing more valuable than the relationships your entire team at the practice creates with your patients. Their experience in your office is what’s going to bring them back for more appointments and recommend your office to their friends and family. 

Now that your team doesn’t have to worry about holding on the phone with insurance, they can focus on the following tasks: 

  1. Verifying dental insurance 
  2. Patient billing 
  3. Contacting your patients about their benefits and care plans
  4. Handling x-rays and clinical notes
  5. Presenting treatment
  6. Creating and batching claims (not sending)

All of these tasks take time and focus, which can be hard to do if you’re having to chase down an unpaid claim with an insurance company. And if you’re having to do that, you might make a mistake on calculating a patient’s out-of-pocket or put the wrong information on their insurance claim. Wearing too many hats is what leads practices to have lower collections, because it opens up the possibility of making small mistakes. 

This is where the billing company comes in, to take over the insurance claim responsibilities so that everyone is less overwhelmed.

Learn how to correctly calculate patients’ out-of-pocket costs in our Learning Center. 

Myth 4: It's okay to collect less than 98% of insurance claims

When it comes to running a dental practice, you might think it’s impossible to have close to 100% collections percentage. There are always write-offs and not every single claim can be paid, right? Wrong. Ask yourself: Why aren’t every single one of those insurance claims being paid?

The truth: You should be collecting 100% (or at least 98%) of your insurance claims

The only write-offs you should be taking are correct PPO adjustments or certain professional courtesies for close friends or family. When it comes to collecting insurance, an outsourced dental billing company is going to get almost every single one of your claims paid. When a claim is denied, getting it appealed can take a lot of time and effort, which the in-house team doesn’t always have time for. 


Expert dental billers love the challenge of appealing claims, and they won’t give up until a claim is paid. It’s kind of the whole point! Our billers continue to develop and improve the strategy involved in appealing claims, and that’s part of what good remote billing teams specialize in. 

In the meantime, it is your dental team’s job to collect from patients what is owed. With both parties working to collect from insurance and patients, you are sure to have a collections percentage close to 100%. Don’t write off claims or patient payments just because collecting is difficult. Get an efficient way to collect everything your dental team earned. That’s how your work will impact the success of your practice.  

Myth 5: Insurance billing is simple enough for anyone to learn on the job

This is another big misconception. Ask yourself, “why is it so common that most patients don’t even understand their own insurance plans?” Because insurance is complicated! Multiply all your patients by their enrollment changes, regulatory changes, and new coding rules and you’ll see why the billing process is incredibly complex. 

It’s wishful thinking to believe that you could hire anyone to learn the job of insurance billing by doing, or pass the knowledge on in a few meetings when handing over the responsibility to anyone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

The truth: Insurance billing is complicated and time-consuming, and you need someone accountable for the job

Accurate insurance billing requires knowledge that is ever-changing, and the insurance companies make it that way. There are so many rules, regulations, and updates to keep up with in order to submit successful claims. There are limitations, exceptions, and stipulations in the fine print of every benefits plan, and the person handling insurance billing has to understand this because the patient almost never will. 

The person who does your insurance billing needs to be an expert whose entire job is handling your insurance billing, and this person needs to know what they’re doing. When that person is part of a nationwide team of experts who constantly help each other keep up their training, your claims are much more likely to turn into payments the first time. 

As we said before, if you pass the responsibility over to someone without the latest experience or without dozens of expert coworkers to consult, you’re going to miss out on revenue. They will (understandably) make mistakes and it will literally cost you money.

Make an informed decision, whether you outsource your insurance billing or not

While exploring the idea of outsourcing your insurance billing, it’s important that you learn everything you can about it before you make a decision. Learn the truth about the cost, how the new relationship will affect your team, and what kind of results you can expect to see. Understanding the purpose of billing companies can help you make an informed decision about the future of your revenue. 

We at Dental ClaimSupport want you to have the information you need when exploring outsourcing. We continue to post new articles based on the questions during our initial conversations with dentists, and we’re happy to explain how the outsourcing process truly works. It’s a solution designed to provide permanent relief from insurance strain, and help you and your practice thrive. 

Learn more about how outsourcing your insurance billing can benefit your dental practice in our article, “The benefits of outsourcing dental billing.

See your dental business thrive with cash flow you can count on

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