As a dentist new to outsourcing any services, it may feel a little weird having a new company handle your insurance billing. So how do you work with them? They are not in-person like your office team, and you will be connecting more by phone, Zoom and email than face-to-face.
However, when you outsource your insurance billing, you are extending your team, without having to carve out more square footage for another desk and chair. Because they help you behind the scenes, your remote billers are a support system for your employees so your workday is as smooth and productive as possible.
At Dental ClaimSupport, we’ve spent years telling offices that when you outsource your insurance billing, you’re expanding your team, just behind the scenes. The remote billers are extra hands on deck working on streamlining your insurance billing process while the rest of the team focuses on patient billing, answering phone calls, talking with patients and keeping your schedule full.
In this article, you will learn how to work with someone who supports you remotely, so you can build a confident working relationship. We’ll cover what you can expect with a billing company and how you’ll communicate with your point of contact.
What you can expect from your relationship with a remote dental biller
The number one priority should be getting you paid from insurance companies. This should be no different than what you would expect from an in-house employee. This means diligent work, clear communication and clear expectations from one another.
Here’s the thing: Your dedicated team member isn’t in your office. Without face to face interaction, it is harder to get to know them and their personality.
Although you can't physically eat lunch with them, you can still communicate and build a friendly relationship. We've seen it happen many times. Most offices really grow to love their remote biller and create that trusting, working relationship as if they are elbow to elbow with you.
Because the billing work is being done remotely, it does emphasize the importance of communication. This is why it is crucial to figure out the best way to communicate with your remote biller in the beginning of your working relationship.
That could mean setting the expectation of how often you check in with one another, or maybe how you even check in. Do you talk on the phone? Email? Text? These are things you’ll decide on with each biller.
What does communication in your patient ledger look like?
When everything goes well, you’ll see:
Claims sent daily and accurately
Payments posted promptly
Claims worked daily with notes as needed in each claim record
Notes about claim balances so you can follow up with patients
Notes about any balances remaining
When a balance remains to be paid, you’ll know why. That’s because as needed, your biller will leave notes to update you about the results of working on your claims in your patient’s ledger.
Billers should also leave their initials so you know who posted the note (see DCS below in the Examples).
Example 1: A typical claim balance note about a deductible:
DOS 1/1/2020 $50 deductible applied. Patient co-pay $62.40. DCS
This means the date of service is 1/1/20, a $50 deductible as applied to the claim. Because of this, the patient's copay was likely miscalculated and now the patient’s total responsibility is $62.40. DCS (our initials)
Example 2: A claim balance note to explain denial reason:
DOS (Date of Service) 1/1/2020 Fluoride denied due to frequency. Patient portion due $30. DCS
This means the date of service is 1/1/20. The fluoride you performed was denied by the insurance due to frequency. The patient portion due for the fluoride was not collected at checkout. The patient now has a $30 balance. DCS (our initials)
You can always call or email your biller to have questions answered and get clarification on work performed in accounts.
How to handle a mistake made by your remote dental biller
What happens when you believe a mistake is made? Mistakes do happen, but understanding why the mistake occurred, talking it through with your biller, and correcting the mistake is always essential.
What is the level of the mistake?
Obviously in hiring an expert company to handle your claims, you expect zero mistakes. And we certainly agree.
However, even the best billers can make a mistake (in-house or remote) - they are human after all - but as long as the mistake is a one off and not recurring, that’s what defines a minor billing mistake versus a major one.
Depending on the level of the mistake, you have the option to bring the mistake to your remote biller, or if it is a major mistake, whoever is in charge of your remote biller.
Depending on the severity of the mistake, your complaint should continue to move up the billing company’s chain of command. Then, whoever is in charge should speak to you directly to discuss and resolve the issue.
99% of these issues can usually be resolved with honest and clear communication on the phone or via Zoom. A resolution will be found and there will be a plan to move forward to prevent the same mistake in the future.
Like we said, creating a relationship, having trust, and talking things through with your dental billing company can usually lead to a solution. This is why effective communication is so important.
Building trust with your remote employee & dental billing company will take time and create positive results
Let’s face it, every now and then there can be a disconnect when working with an outsourced dental billing company. That’s why it’s imperative to communicate often and effectively with your team when the opportunity presents itself.
You are busy. Your team is busy. You don’t want your staff coming to you saying negative things about your decision to outsource your dental billing. We get it. Sometimes, all team members aren’t on board with the decision to outsource.
We also know you don’t have the time to sit down and meet with us regularly.
A dental billing company's goal is to get you paid, while supporting you and your team members. Eliminating insurance strain is our mission - and that includes creating a Win/Win for your office and your in-house employees.
Building trust will take time, as you know. All dental billers go through an extensive vetting process, as well as a standardized training process.