Ever heard the phrase, “too many cooks in the kitchen”? We see the reality of this phrase in dental offices all the time when a specific person or people aren’t responsible for insurance billing. Trying to complete a task when too many people are involved can be counterproductive and downright annoying.
On the other hand, not having enough help and an office manager trying to balance every facet of the dental office can also be counterproductive. They’re overwhelmed and naturally, things can slip through the cracks.
We always recommend one person be dedicated to your dental insurance billing, and it shouldn’t be your office manager. Through the years at Dental ClaimSupport, we’ve seen practice after practice need assistance with their insurance billing system because they do not have one person dedicated to it.
In this article, we will go into depth as to why you should have one person whose full-time job is to focus on and manage your insurance billing at the dental practice in order to not only have a more streamlined billing process, but also help you bring in more money.
Your dental practice will bring in more money if there is one person held accountable for insurance billing
You might be thinking, “What does one person being held accountable for my insurance billing have to do with my stream of revenue?” More than you’d think.
If there are multiple people working on your insurance billing and one person is not clearly held accountable for the process, this lack of process will lead to mistakes and longer reimbursement times.
This goes back to our “too many cooks in the kitchen” analogy. When you start the process of insurance billing, there are a lot of moving parts. The process actually starts before the patient is even seen, with insurance verification.
Then there’s creating, batching and sending the claim, which involves making sure tedious information is correct. There’s following up to make sure that claim gets paid by insurance, and posted properly. One additional item, if applicable, is making sure you receive your EFTs.
Then there’s working your aging report, trying to follow up on the claims that are up to 90 days old. If you’re not the one sending every claim to insurance, it may not occur to you that there are some to keep track of and follow up on. It’s much easier to have a streamlined process that is efficient if only one or two other people are involved.
It’s like when you’re cleaning your room. Sure, help is nice, but you know where everything goes. You know how you like your t-shirts folded and which clothes are dirty. When someone random, who isn’t familiar with your room helps, it can slow you down because they keep asking you where something should go. And if they do it differently (or in the case of dental insurance billing, they do it wrong), you have to go back and fix it.
2. Fewer mistakes will happen if one person is held accountable for the insurance billing process
A common reason claims are denied, causing delays in payments is because there are errors in the claims. These errors could range from the patient’s social security number to their insurance group ID number, or even their birth date. Mistakes happen, and we know everyone is human, but they’re more likely to happen if the person handling insurance billing is also responsible for several other things around the office.
If you own a large practice and need multiple people working on your billing process, you should make sure that team knows their roles and responsibilities. However when it comes down to it, there should be one person held accountable for making sure everything in that process is done correctly.
When the group responsible for insurance billing isn’t distracted by checking in patients, answering phones, or other things around the office that need to be done, these kinds of mistakes won’t be made. And if mistakes are made, the one person responsible will recognize it quickly and know where they went wrong, as opposed to having to do some research on where an error could be.
Through a more efficient billing process and with less mistakes being made, your practice is going to get paid faster. The process won’t be slowed down by too many people working on one thing, or mistakes being made causing claim denials, AKA delays in payments. You’ll see that collections percentage go up with one dedicating their time to insurance billing.
3. Your dental practice will run more smoothly with clear roles defined, especially concerning your billing process
You want a smooth-running practice with happy employees, right? Of course you do! Everyone does. A sure-fire way to do this is to have roles and expectations of employees laid out and extremely clear.
Something we see in dental offices is blurred lines when it comes to who is responsible for what. If someone is stuck on the phone or dealing with a patient, another person in the office might take over the insurance billing that doesn’t typically work on billing. Sounds kind of messy, right? An office ran like this is what keeps dentists up at night, stressing about whether or not something got done.
With one person accountable for dental insurance billing, this person is spending their day making sure the aging report is worked, claims are tracked and everything in billing is neat, tidy and organized.
4. Proper work-life balance and a healthier workplace will be the result of one person being held accountable for insurance billing
If your work-place isn’t healthy, it’s probably due to someone performing a task they don’t feel like they’re being paid to do. This can create resentment and promote hostile behavior. If this is the case, you can certainly count on your practice not running smoothly. Make sure roles are clear and expectations are expressed regularly.
Set yourself up for success by dedicating a professional to your dental insurance billing
It’s tempting to have your office manager handle every aspect of billing, since they know what’s going on in the office at all times, but that’s like asking a marketing manager to also handle the finances of a big company. It’s two separate, full-time jobs that might require a team of help. There’s no way both marketing and finance can be done efficiently and effectively by one individual.
Ease your mind by either hiring one person to be accountable for your dental insurance billing, or outsource this task to a company like Dental ClaimSupport. Either way, a designated person or group moving through the process start-to-finish, and it will not only move the process along faster, but help you bring in more money as a dental practice.