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Set yourself up for success: Why new dentists should automate their credentialing

June 18th, 2024 | 7 min. read

Set yourself up for success: Why new dentists should automate their credentialing Blog Feature

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Start your dental career smoothly: Automated credentialing saves time, saves effort, reduces errors, and wipes out worry. If you plan to accept insurance, get credentialed ASAP, and use automated re-credentialing for uninterrupted earning.

You’re a dental student getting ready to graduate, or perhaps you’ve already recently graduated. Either way, you’re starting to step into your future — whether that be working at an established dental practice, or starting your own dental business. And both can be overwhelming! 

You went to school to be a dentist, not a business owner, and there’s still a lot to learn. According to Dental Economics, you’re not alone—

Why is the business of dentistry so difficult? It’s because we spend thousands of hours learning and practicing dentistry and next to zero hours learning how to run a dental office. And besides that, there is no ‘standard of care’ for running a business.” —Dental Economics

A hint from us? One of your top priorities needs to be gaining your credentialed status with the insurance companies you’ll be in-network with. That way, you can be reimbursed for treating insured patients, and you’ll both know they’re getting the insurance coverage they’re expecting. 

Automated credentialing is a helpful solution for new dentists like you, because this modern method reduces the tedious paperwork, eliminates follow-up phone calls and emails, and provides much-needed transparency for this vital process.

3 key takeaways about automated credentialing for new dentists: 

  1. Credentialing makes the difference between billing insurance companies for the coverage they offer versus not.
  2. Automated credentialing will add ease and speed to the process, while reducing its administrative headaches.
  3. Automated re-credentialing will ensure you’re able to continue billing for insured treatments without interruption, year after year.

Let’s start with the importance of credentialing, especially for you as a new dentist…

Why is being credentialed as a dentist important?

Dental credentialing is when a dentist enters an agreement to be in-network with a dental insurance company. The dentist accepts the negotiated fees of the contract in exchange for access to the insurer’s network of patients.

If you’re not credentialed with an insurance company, your treatment will be considered “out-of-network.” That means higher out-of-pocket costs for your patients with less insurance reimbursement for you.

The credentialing process can take 30 to 180 days after your application is submitted. With that being said, it’s crucial for you to submit the paperwork as soon as you have your business documentation, since the application can take up to 6 months to process. 

Related: DCS Dictionary: Dental Credentialing Terms

Many dentists, especially those starting a business from the ground up, think of credentialing as a hands-free marketing tactic, and here’s why: By directly contracting with an insurance company, you will be listed among their covered providers and receive direct referrals from their large pool of patients. Unlike advertising and social media, when you’re in-network, there’s no continuous expense or effort on your part.

Credentialing seems easy enough, right? Sure, it sounds like a straightforward process, but getting credentialed — and staying credentialed — can be tricky.

Let’s talk about the challenges with the traditional credentialing process.

What’s wrong with traditional credentialing’s manual approach?

As a new dentist, you may not have considered hiring third-party providers to help solve the challenges you’re anticipating. And we get it — you’re just starting out and want to keep your solutions in-house, where you can watch, manage, and control them. jeff-1

But here’s what’s hard about the traditional credentialing process, and why you’d want to hand the work to someone else…

First, there’s a lot of information to gather for your application. You need more than a half dozen documents to complete your credentialing application, including: 

  • W-9(s) 
  • Your resume
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Certificate
  • Controlled and Dangerous Substances (CDS) Certificate
  • State medical license(s)
  • Diploma
  • Various identification numbers (NPI, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.)
  • Malpractice insurance policies that show a current date of coverage

Next, once you’ve gathered all the documentation, you have to fill out the application using that information. Because it’s so much information with numerous details, it’s easy to make mistakes when completing the application manually.

If there are mistakes, that will delay your application’s approval while you make corrections and resubmit it. As we mentioned, this is already a months-long process. You wouldn’t want to extend it further due to errors

While this isn’t a complicated process, it is tedious and time-consuming. And if you’re a brand-new practice, your team might not have the bandwidth — or the knowledge and skills — to handle your credentialing process accurately and efficiently.

But if the credentialing process was automated and monitored by experts…? Now, that’s a different story!

How DCS’ automated credentialing sets new and upcoming dentists up for success

Our automated credentialing services ensure cost-efficient, secure enrollment administration from start to finish: from call center; to data collection, data entry, and data integrity; to integration and analytics — whether you’re in private practice, formed a group of offices, or are in a DSO with dozens of other dentists.

As a new dentist, you’re in a perfect position to make the most of third-party solutions. 

Automated credentialing services — as well as our other automated revenue cycle management services such as patient scheduling and patient billing — will make a strong start to your business or your career.

And credentialing is where you begin. Unless you plan to be entirely fee-for-service, you need to be credentialed to minimize your patients’ out-of-pocket costs. We know you’re focused on treating patients with exceptional care, and being in-network with their insurance is one more way to take good care of them.

Related: Get your top 4 automated dental credentialing services questions answered

Automate this essential process as soon as you can, so that you never have to worry about your credentialing status — or worry about re-credentialing every year or two to maintain that status. 

Through DCS Credentialing, you’ll have access to an up-to-the-moment view of your credentialing status on a clean, easy-to-use digital dashboard that’s available 24/7/365. Traditional credentialing, on the other hand, leaves you in the dark for the entire process — which you’ll recall can take up to 6 months of waiting. 

If you’re worried about compliance, we can wipe that worry away. DCS’ technology-based dental credentialing services are performed by a certified Credentials Verification Organization (CVO) that ensures the highest degree of National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) standards.

Be successful from the start with our automated dental credentialing services

To recap, when you automate your credentialing as a new dentist, you’ll have: 

  • Reduced time spent on credentialing paperwork and its administrative load
  • An accurate credentialing application
  • A user-friendly dashboard that’s available anytime from anywhere
  • Fewer worries, as it’s faster than the manual method and industry compliant

As a new dentist, it’s hard to know where to begin, especially on the business side. Managing financial processes is a challenge even for the most experienced dentists. But you can get ahead of the curve by utilizing revenue cycle management solutions right from the start. 

DCS offers end-to-end RCM services that will help you build efficient billing processes that lead to higher cash flow. This is how a happy client describes her experience with DCS services: 

“I would recommend DCS to any office who wants to have extra time to devote to their patients, while working side by side with a company that is extremely knowledgeable in the nuances of dental insurance. They are top-notch!” —Chalice Bell of Gentle Family Dental

Start your journey as a dentist with healthy workflows, high revenue, happy patients, and less hassle: Take our quick 2-question assessment to see if DCS' solutions are right for you.

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