As a dentist, you’ve been outsourcing your insurance billing. Working with a dental billing company has proved to raise your collection rate and be worth your time and money, but you can’t help but wonder: how long am I supposed to work with this billing company?
Is this supposed to be a 6-month or year-long process to fix your dental practice’s low collections and high aging report? What happens now that you’re seeing results?
A common question and thought we get from offices we work with at Dental ClaimSupport is this: How long are we supposed to stay with you?
As an outsourced dental billing company that has spent years working to streamline the billing process, and help offices with insurance billing, our answer is this: As long as you want a clean, reliable billing system that keeps collecting from your insurance claims in the most efficient way.
It sounds a bit harsh, but an outsourced dental billing company isn’t a band-aid or temporary fix. In this article, you’ll learn why a dental billing company should be helping you with your insurance collections indefinitely, and why this long-term solution should always be in place at your practice, no matter which company you use.
1. A dental billing company is more than a short-term helper to fix low collections and a high aging report
An outsourced dental billing company can certainly help with these problems. They will take over the insurance side of billing, relieving your team of the stress and time-consuming task of following up on unpaid claims or appealing those that have been denied.
Once you’ve spent a few months working with the billing company, and begin to see your collections increase and your aging report decrease, you might think, “we’re fixed!”
And yeah! Your dental office should be in a healthier place financially once you spend a few months working with a dental billing company.
However, this isn’t simply a staffing issue. Dental billers pay consistent attention to the ever-changing reasons for denials. They bring fresh coding knowledge and strategies to your billing system every day, with consistent attention to your insurance billing.
Professional billers update each other every time insurance companies try new denial tactics. What do you think will happen if you let that go?
2. You avoid increased overhead which often occurs when switching back to in-house insurance billing
So, if you are considering letting go of your dental billing company because you feel that your practice is in better shape, you’re going to pass off the remote biller’s responsibilities to someone in-house.
This could mean one of two things:
You’re passing the insurance billing responsibilities to someone in the office who also has other tasks they’ve been focusing on while you had an outsourced billing company.
You’re going to hire an in-house insurance coordinator.
Tasking someone to learn insurance billing on the job will cost your practice time and money
So option one is to assign insurance billing to an admin team member. They came to you asking for a raise and they want more responsibilities to make it worth the salary. They don’t really know much about insurance, but your practice is in such a great place now, that you feel like you can afford to let them learn on the job and figure it out.
Hey, we’re not saying this is impossible but it’s going to cost you time and money. The insurance billing process is technical and complex. Learning coding and compliance requires formal training, and a lot of guidance at first if you have little to no experience.
It’s also extremely time-consuming, and if this person is already responsible for several other tasks, they might not be able to perform insurance billing to the best of their ability. We’ll get into this more later.
An insurance coordinator is going to be your most expensive option
This person’s entire role will be about handling your insurance billing. Great! Right? It’s someone that’s actually in-person on your team - but they’re also on your payroll.
This means you’ll likely be paying an annual salary of around $50,000 or more, plus any benefits. That’s just the average salary of an insurance coordinator.
So - these are your options, and you have to pick something because there always needs to be someone dedicated to your insurance billing. Let’s get into that.
3. You always have a dedicated insurance billing process without the staffing issues
Insurance billing accounts for about 50% of revenue for most dental practices. It’s a really important aspect of your billing process. Because of this, you need one person who makes sure insurance billing is executed efficiently and effectively. You need to see it's done right, without driving up extra overhead costs.
No matter which of the three you choose - a dental billing company, a multi-purpose team member, or hiring an insurance coordinator - you have to ensure it’s part of the daily routine for your practice.
Ideally, this person shouldn’t have anything else on their plate. As we said, it’s a demanding job that requires education, time management, and software expertise.
If you want to break it down logically, a dental billing company is going to have the most expertise, the least distractions, and also be the most affordable option.
Maintain the lowest overhead and highest collection rate by outsourcing with the right dental billing company
When you use a service of any kind, at any rate - you want better results than you could get on your own. You also want to know how long it’s going to take before you can stop using the service.
With outsourced dental billing, it’s not a band-aid that’s going to heal your dental practice. It’s a service that you invest in because it’s going to continuously make your dental practice better.
To continue to improve your dental practice’s stream of revenue, you need to continue using outsourced insurance billing.
Listen, we know outsourcing isn’t for everyone. However - if you’re a dental professional who has seen positive results from your dental billing company, and thinking of moving on, consider what your practice is going to look like once those expert services are not present.
Dental ClaimSupport has seen practices leave because the dental team thought their practice was fixed - and all we can suggest is that the practice compares their numbers before and after a dental billing company.