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Reduce dental practice overhead costs: start with outsourcing

June 21st, 2022 | 5 min. read

Reduce dental practice overhead costs: start with outsourcing Blog Feature

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The health of your dental practice depends a lot on how you manage your overhead costs. Cost control is a huge challenge when running a dental practice. This combined with the need to generate revenue can cause stress to dentists with practices big and small. Outsourcing dental billing is a strategy that too many dentists dismiss as a luxury when it’s actually a proven cost-control strategy.

Operating costs are a fact of life when running a dental practice. But is there a solution to reducing overhead costs AND generating more revenue? It seems too good to be true. 

We have good news for you - a simple way to raise revenue and lower costs is NOT too good to be true. Dental ClaimSupport has spent the past 10 years ensuring dental practices reduce their overhead costs and multiply their income with fast, accurate claims collection.

As dental insurance experts ourselves we know what it takes to get claims paid. It takes years of experience to create a system that turns claims into cash with the least hit to your budget. 

Right now, dentists are struggling to find qualified staff and often find themselves paying more for less experience. Outsourcing with Dental ClaimSupport helps dental teams be successful because the billers bring in a proven process, often for less than half the cost.

In this article, you’ll learn how outsourcing your dental billing can reduce your overhead costs. Having an expert handling your insurance claims process costs less than you think. And their accuracy will make a huge impact on your overall revenue.

Hiring a dental billing company takes less time and money than hiring an insurance coordinator

The number one overhead cost dentists face is salaries (which should be under 28% of collections, says Dental Economics). Employing skilled members of your dental team is important, but their skills cost money. Not to mention the benefits and/or bonuses you provide. Hey, we’re not saying you shouldn’t compensate your dental team generously. 

However, the monthly dental billing service fee will (almost always) cost significantly less than payroll for a full-time position. The fee can be as much as 69% less for the service.   

As we mentioned, you need to employ skilled dental team members. And when it comes to your dental insurance claims, the person handling it needs to be an expert. 

If you hire an insurance coordinator, paying for the skills needed to handle your claims process can cost you roughly $50,000 - $65,000 per year, regardless of the amount collected.

A dental billing company’s typical pricing is around $1,300 per month for those with low total monthly claims. As the amount you claim grows, your fee will cost about 3% of claims payments posted. (Note that payment is based on performance.)

If you’re a mid-sized dental practice, let’s say your total claimed amount is just under $100k per month. Your dental claims service fee will range between $1,400 and $3,500 per month, based on the claims revenue posted. That’s about $30,000 per year. 

So as you can see, there’s a $20,000 to $30,000 difference between hiring an insurance coordinator versus hiring an outsourced dental billing company. So you’re already saving that much in overhead costs annually. That’s a lot of money! 

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You don’t have to deal with the training process and costs

No matter which option you choose, there’s going to be a transitional period. If you hire an insurance coordinator, they’re going to have to learn whichever practice management software you use. They’re also going to have to likely be trained on your current process. 

During this time, who is handling your claims process?

This transition could take a few weeks, which will cost your practice every time a claim isn’t submitted to dental insurance. Plus - this means the insurance aging report will be neglected. This lack of cash flow is going to make your overhead costs feel more and more expensive.

When you onboard with a dental billing company, within a week your claims are being handled by an expert.

You will be paired with a remote dental biller partially based on the practice software you use. So their training on the software will not be necessary, as they will already have years of experience using it. And since they will only be handling your insurance claims, learning your entire process is also not necessary. 

As long as someone on your dental team is creating the dental insurance claims, the biller can take it from there.

You will have skilled experts handling your dental insurance claims process - 60% of your overall revenue

Your dental insurance claims process accounts for 60% of your practice’s overall revenue. That’s over half. This means you need to be sure that the person handling your claims process is prepared to do so efficiently and accurately. 

That is why outsourced dental billing is the best of both worlds. 

Instead of spending your overhead costs on hiring a seasoned, full-time insurance coordinator who you wouldn’t have to spend time training - you’re saving money and still getting an expert. 

In some ways, you’re buying a streamlined claims process when you outsource your dental billing. A real person will be handling your insurance claims. But they are following the best practices that have been researched and tested by the pool of billing experts working at the company.

You are receiving expert service on the biggest portion of your revenue without paying an entire salary, unemployment tax, social security tax employer match, health insurance, vacation/PTO, and paid training time.

Another perk to outsourcing your dental billing (besides seeing your overhead costs shrink), is your revenue increase.

Your practice will collect more through outsourced dental billing

You’re going to make more money. That’s the bottom line to having experts handling your claims process. 

With the skills the remote biller has and their access to a pool of experts (their coworkers!), you’re going to collect more on your claims. They know the ins and outs of all different dental insurance types and plans, the best strategies for overturning denied claims, and how to work your aging report efficiently.

This skill set is going to raise your insurance collections percentage steadily. Through the biller’s consistent attention to your dental claims, you’re going to see few denials and delays on reimbursement. This will lead to more claims revenue.

When you start to see these collections numbers climb while spending less than you would on a salaried insurance coordinator - you are able to see the savings on overhead costs.


Ready to generate more revenue through outsourced dental billing?

You can lead a thriving dental practice without a business degree. You just need to choose how to control overhead costs. If you’re not collecting the revenue you’ve worked for, your billing process isn’t working. To improve collections, you may need to change your billing strategy. 

Many dental teams don’t see how outsourcing the claims process costs less and collects more with a proven service. Dentists who pay employee salaries want the work done in-house. They don't realize that it's actually more expensive and counter-productive.

Choosing to outsource your dental billing means choosing to make insurance collection more profitable. So your patients – not billing headaches – get your expert attention.

Insurance billing requires a thorough understanding of the insurance claims process, and constant updates and adjustments to overcome the new ways insurance companies find to reduce or deny payment almost daily. These are the kind of challenges that outsourced billers are equipped for.

And their expertise costs you less. 

To dive deeper into how outsourcing is a revenue generator and not an expense, visit our Learning Center.

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