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3 tips for handling and balancing EFTs at your dental practice

December 31st, 2021 | 5 min. read

3 tips for handling and balancing EFTs at your dental practice Blog Feature

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As technology advances, so do methods of payments. In a lot of ways, this makes the lives of dental billers easier, and for others, it can be challenging. Your practice receives electronic funds payments from insurance companies to pay the claim you have filed. This is a payment that goes straight into your dental practice’s bank account. Great! 

However, you still have to keep track of when the EFT (electronic funds transfer) is posted to your dental software, and you have to make sure the posting matches what goes into your bank account. Dental ClaimSupport posts EFT payments as part of our service.

Dental offices often ask if we also reconcile the payments with your bank deposits, and the reason we don’t is that we don’t think anyone (besides certain members of your dental team) should have access to your practice’s bank account. 

Reconciling your bank balance with deposits is something your practice should handle itself because it's so important in catching errors or possible theft of your payments. Also, banking information should be very private. We can, of course, give you some advice. 

In this article, you will learn three tips we always share with offices when it comes to handling and balancing EFTs at your dental practice. We will cover why you should always wait for a trace number in your insurance portal before expecting an EFT in your bank account, and the best time to balance your EFTs within your bank account. 

Tip #1: Always wait for a trace number and deposit date in your insurance portal before posting

Before checking a claim off your list and posting it to your software as closed out, you should check your insurance portal for two things:

  1. Trace number - the unique number associated with a particular deposit amount
  2. Deposit date - the date the EFT was deposited into your bank account

These two indicators are what you’ll see in your insurance portal to let you know that the money which insurance owes you from the claim has in fact been deposited into your bank account, and when exactly it was deposited. You don’t want to close out the claim until you know for a fact it has been paid.

It’s common for dental teams to begin to worry when they don’t see a posted insurance payment in their software (either from remote billers or whoever is responsible for insurance billing), but you shouldn’t post the payment to the dental software until you know for sure the money is in your bank account.

It’s kind of like wanting the chicken before the egg. You need to make sure that payment went through to your account before you mark the claim as paid.


Learn why you should post your dental insurance payments by procedure in our Learning Center.


What happens if you post the payment to dental software before you see BOTH the trace number and deposit date?

Well, nothing crazy is going to happen other than cause your practice a headache. If you’re lucky, you’ll receive the EFT to your practice’s bank account the next day or so, and it won’t really matter, but what if your claim was denied? Or what if you posted the wrong amount?

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You will have to begin the appeal process if the claim was denied. Listen - EFTs are pretty quick. There’s no need to post payments into your software before the payment has come through. 

Also, if you post the wrong amount, balancing your books later will be a huge pain and it will confuse everyone. 

Speaking of balancing your EFTs, let’s get into our next tip. 

Tip #2: It’s far more efficient to balance your EFTs weekly rather than daily

Balancing your EFTs is a pretty simple concept. It just means that the dollar amount you have in your dental software, your insurance portal, and your bank account all match. Whatever the amount that the insurance company has paid you, is the same across the board. 

There are some insurance companies that deposit one large payment on a specific day of the week. So if you decide on this day to balance all of the payments from that week including this large payment, you’re going to be more organized. 

Having a dedicated day where you balance your EFTs without interruption is a great strategy to keep your books organized. 

You won’t be spinning your wheels logging into web portals every day if you balance EFTs weekly

As we said, balancing your EFTs is straightforward, but it’s still tedious, and you can lose focus easily. 

We recommend balancing your EFTs once a week because there are also some insurance companies that will scatter their deposits. So maybe they transfer just a few $100 here and there. Annoying, right? 

We’ve just found that it’s best to work smarter when they do this. Instead of checking every single day for a random deposit of $100, check back in a few days to see the full payment come through. 

Instead of logging into web portals every single day just to find a few little random payments, schedule a day to look at all of the payments from the previous week.  

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Tip #3: Post your dental insurance payments and balance your EFTs on separate days

Some dental teams like to post their insurance payments to their software while simultaneously balancing their EFTs in their bank account. 

If you have this hyper-focus kind of superpower - go for it. We don’t recommend it though. It can get confusing when you’re switching back and forth between several web portals while also inputting numbers. Especially if the insurance company happens to be depositing your EFTs into multiple bank accounts - mistakes could easily be made. 

We recommend posting all of your insurance payments towards the end of the week, then on a Monday or Tuesday, balancing your bank account with your dental software and your insurance portal, making sure everything matches up. 

Find a billing schedule that works best for your dental team

Feeling free to create your schedule at the dental office is a great feeling, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out when the right time to post payments or balance your EFTs is. This, compounded with the patience of receiving a claim payment (even if it is a quick EFT) from an insurance company, can be difficult. 

Dental ClaimSupport’s remote billers have posting schedules in place for offices, and we recommend to all offices, even if they don’t use our services, to also find that balance for themselves. Everyone works differently, and everyone manages their time differently. 

Learn 4 steps to take you and your dental team through the dental billing process with ease, starting with creating your own schedule. 

See your practice thrive with healthier claims income

 

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